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Best XI not to win CL

Best XI not to win CL

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By Peter Smith

Last Updated: 04/06/17 12:15pm

Gianluigi Buffon missed out on lifting the Champions League for a third time

Gianluigi Buffon missed out on lifting the Champions League for a third time

Gianluigi Buffon missed out on lifting the Champions League for a third time

Gianluigi Buffon suffered his third Champions League final defeat on Saturday night, meaning the legendary goalkeeper is still without a winners’ medal in the competition.

The 39-year-old shot-stopper also endured final heartbreak against AC Milan in 2003 and Barcelona in 2015, and now faces the prospect of never lifting the coveted trophy.

He isn’t the only superstar footballer to miss out on the prize, though. Here we pick an XI of players without a Champions League win on their CV…

The best players never to have won the Champions League

The best players never to have won the Champions League

The best players never to have won the Champions League

DEFENCE

In front of Buffon is a trio of World Cup winners. As well as their international success, France’s Lilian Thuram, Germany’s Lothar Matthaus and Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro enjoyed great glories at club level without landing the big one.

Fabio Cannavaro was unable to help Real Madrid to Champions League glory

Fabio Cannavaro was unable to help Real Madrid to Champions League glory

Fabio Cannavaro was unable to help Real Madrid to Champions League glory

Thuram retired at Barcelona a year before their 2008 success, while Matthaus was twice a runner-up with Bayern Munich and Cannavaro missed out with Juventus and Real Madrid.

MIDFIELD

Despite playing for Europe’s top club teams, somehow midfielders Patrick Vieira, Michael Ballack and Cesc Fabregas have managed to miss out on the Champions League.

Barcelona won the Champions League the year before and the year after Cesc Fabregas' second spell

Barcelona won the Champions League the year before and the year after Cesc Fabregas' second spell

Barcelona won the Champions League the year before and the year after Cesc Fabregas’ second spell

Vieira made his AC Milan debut a couple of seasons after their 1994 triumph and left Inter Milan a year before their 2010 win, while Ballack was a runner-up with Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea. Fabregas – a runner-up with Arsenal – saw Barcelona lift the trophy the year before and the year after his second stint there.

ATTACK

It seems remarkable to think world-class forwards Dennis Bergkamp, Francesco Totti, Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic haven’t lifted the Champions League.

Bergkamp had left Ajax a couple of years before their 1995 win and was an unused sub in Arsenal’s 2006 final defeat to Barcelona – his last-ever match – while Totti hasn’t reached a final in 25 seasons with Roma.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never won the Champions League

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never won the Champions League

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never won the Champions League

Despite his remarkable goal-scoring exploits, Brazil legend Ronaldo has never won the title – he was cup-tied for AC Milan’s 2006/07 success after joining from Real Madrid in January.

Ibrahimovic is also yet to win the prize, having left Inter Milan a year before their 2010 triumph and Barcelona in the season of their 2011 victory.




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