7 legends who may never play in the Champions League again
The UEFA Champions League is a special tournament – it is the ultimate level of professional club football. Year after year it does not fail to excite. Champions League nights are perhaps the most exhilarating ones in the life of professional footballers and fans alike. Every year we see an array of players from the elite to the new underdogs, showcasing their talents to the world. It could make players next big thing, overnight sensations, legends, cult heroes and villains as well. With the 2014/15 season Champions League all wrapped up, we look at some players that might have played their last Champions League game.
Xavi will surely be missed after a glittering career at the Camp Nou. The midfield maestro has moved to Qatari side Al-Sadd after his treble-winning season at Barcelona. The Champions League final victory was the perfect parting gift that Barcelona could give to their departing 'homegrown' hero.
He is an absolute legend of the game, arguably one of the best midfielders of his generation. He has four champions League titles to his name and he had a role in all of those triumphs, especially the 2009 and 2011 when he was in his prime.
Champions League knockout matches are tactical battles, and he was Barcelona's general. He was untouchable with his passing range and vision, and he controlled games like no one else could. This was underlined by the fact that he was ever present in the UEFA team for the year from 2008 to 2012 – five consecutive seasons.
Champions League match to remember: His man of the match performance in the 2009 Champions League final against Manchester United where he absolutely destroyed the Red Devils. Always finding spaces, picking the right passes, he never gave the ball away and hounded United’s midfielders when they were on the ball. He also provided an inch-perfect ball for Messi to make it 2-0 to Barcelona.
Champions League matches played – 157 (record); Goals scored - 12
- UEFA Champions League: Winner – 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015
- UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year: 2009
- UEFA Team of the Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012