5) Michael Ballack
If there was ever a player who accumulated more runners-up medals than winners’ medals, it was probably Michael Ballack. The Germany international is arguably the most unlucky player in football.
A world renowned central midfielder who has won the German Footballer of the Year thrice, he has come second best with both club and country a number of times; be it the Bundesliga, the Premier League, the World Cup or the Euro Championship.
And the list does not stop there. Ballack has reached the Champions League final twice and lost on both occasions. The first time was with Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 when Raul and Zidane ensured Real Madrid would get a ninth Champions League trophy.
The second time was with Chelsea in Moscow when Manchester United beat them in a penalty shootout. Ballack took Chelsea’s first penalty and converted it but Terry’s slip and Anelka’s miss meant he would go home empty handed yet again.
6) Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The Swedish striker has played for a number of top clubs in his career – Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and now Manchester United. And he has played in the Champions League with each of these clubs bar United.
Having scored truck loads of goals for each of these teams in the respective Leagues, his conversion rate was not as good in Europe. But he too has seen something of a curse where the club he left has won the Champions League the very next season.
After leaving Inter Milan in 2009, the Italian club won the trophy the very next season. It was the same case when he left Barcelona in 2010.
His quality on the pitch is undeniable. But in the eyes of many, he probably may not get that legendary status and recognition deserved for the very best until he wins a Champions League trophy.