20 great stars who never won the Champions League

The Champions League is considered one of the most prestigious and important international football leagues in the world. In it, the most dominating clubs are measured within the European continent and the tournament is organized every year by UEFA or the Union of European Football Associations.

All clubs dream of ever winning the Champions League Cup, however not all have been able to achieve that privilege. Here we show you a list with the 20 great cracks of European football who never won the Champions League. Let’s get started.

Gianluigi Buffon

One of the greatest legends of European football is without a doubt Gianluigi Buffon. Despite his successful career, this player has never been able to win a Champions League. On three occasions he has been very close to reaching it, but he always remains one step away from the top.

The renowned Juventus goalkeeper has been measured in three Champions League finals with the Italian team and in none of them has he been able to achieve victory. The first time he reached a Champions League final was in 2003 against Milan, where his team was defeated on penalties.

He then played another final in 2015, this time against the Spanish club Barcelona, ​​where Juventus could not keep the champion trophy either. The last time they were measured in a Champions League final was in 2017 against Real Madrid. At 42 years old, the Italian player does not lose hope of reaching the Orejona.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

This famous player of Swedish origin has had the opportunity to compete in the most important football leagues on the European continent, but he has never been able to win a Champions League. The “God of Milan”, as he is also known, won a Europa League with United but the Champions League has eluded him.

Ibrahimovic has never played a Champions League final. The furthest he went was to a semi-final with his team, Barcelona, ​​in 2010, where they were defeated by Inter. The 39-year-old forward will have a new opportunity to compete for the Champions League in the 2021/22 season, as long as Milan qualify.


Ronaldo is perhaps one of the greatest references in world football. This player, of Brazilian origin, has been able to conquer countless international cups, including two Spanish Super Cups, an intercontinental Cup, a Cup Winners’ Cup, a King’s Cup, a UEFA Cup, among many others, however the Champions League was always impossible for him.

The Brazilian competed on several occasions for the Champions League championship with high-profile teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, ​​but was never able to win the Orejona. He played a total of 42 Champions League games, in which he scored 16 goals and gave ten resistances. He played a semifinal with Real Madrid in 2003, where his team was eliminated against Juve.

Cesc Fabregas

In 2006, this player was one step away from winning the Champions League championship, however his team, Arsenal, was eliminated by Barcelona of Spain. The midfielder has been one of the greatest players in history, but that was not enough to stay with Orejona.

So far, the 33-year-old midfielder has been able to play more than a hundred official Champions League games, scoring a total of 20 goals and 23 assists. At the moment he has no alternative but to wait for Monaco to qualify to play the top continental competition again.

Van Nistelrooy

Statistics are not always synonymous with championships. The Dutch Van Nistelrooy is considered the top scorer in the Champions League, however that was not enough for him to stay with the Orejona. Throughout its history he scored a total of 56 goals in 81 games, becoming the sixth top scorer of the tournament.

He could never play a Champions League final. The closest they got was in 2002, when they played a semi-final against Leverkusen, where they were defeated and eliminated from the competition.

Francesco Totti

There is possibly no more representative player for Roma than Francesco Totti. His entire football career was played with this team, but he was never able to win a Champions League championship. With Roma he achieved important triumphs, including a League, two Italian Cups and two Super Cups.

The Orejona eluded him. His team has failed to get past the quarter-finals, where they have been eliminated twice in a row by Manchester United. The first was in 2007 and then in 2008. The eternal Roma captain has played a total of 57 Champions League games, scoring 17 goals and 12 assists.

Michael Ballack

In Michael Ballack’s triumph window you can see important trophies, including four Bundesligas, a Premier, three FA CUP and three German cups, however the Orejona of the Champions League could never show it. This brand new player of German origin has not had much luck in Europe, where he has lost two historic Champions League finals.

In 2002 they were eliminated from the Champions League final by Real Madrid and six years later, that is, in 2008, they fell again in a final, this time against United, when Terry slipped in the middle of a round. of penalties. Throughout its history, Ballack played 86 Champions League games, scored 16 goals and provided 12 assists.

Michael Owen

This player had important winning streaks throughout his career. The year 2001 was undoubtedly one of the best times for the forward. That year he earned a Ballon d’Or, in addition to winning UEFA alongside his team, Liverpool. Despite his successful career, he could never win the Champions League.

In 2011 he had the opportunity to play a Champions League final, when his team, Manchester United, met forces with the Spanish club Barcelona, ​​however they ended up losing the match. In Champions, Owen participated in 30 meetings with teams such as United, Liverpool and Real Madrid. He scored 11 goals and gave two assists.


The word triumph has always been familiar to Nedved. He won a Ballon d’Or in 2003, in addition to other important international championships, including three leagues, a Recopa and two Italian cups. La Orejona, however, eluded him throughout his football career.

He could not play in the Champions League final between Juventus and Milan due to suspension, however, had he played, the Orejona would not have won either, as his team lost the match in the penalty shootout. In the Champions League he played 78 games, in which he scored 15 goals and participated in 15 assists.

Dennis Bergkamp

Considered one of the greatest references of Arsenal. Dennis Bergkamp managed to become champion in many international competitions. He won three Premier Leagues, a league with Ajax, two UEFA Cups and a Recopa, however the Champions League trophy could never be won by the Dutch attacker.

Roberto Baggio

Despite having been part of the most important clubs in Italy, such as Inter, Milan and Juventus, Roberto Baggio was never able to play a Champions League final, a tournament where he barely participated in 11 games, in which he scored five goals and gave an assist. The furthest he got in the Champions League was to the quarter-finals with Inter in 1999.

Gabriel Batistuta

Argentine football has given us great legends. One of them is undoubtedly Gabriel Batistuta. Beyond his indisputable success on the courts, the Orejona of the Champions League has been difficult for him to get. He has only been able to play 28 Champions League games, without ever reaching the group round, in which he scored a total of six goals.

His team, Inter, played in the semifinal round of the Champions League in 2003, however on that occasion the Argentine was not registered to play the top European competition. With the national team of his country he has been able to win great victories, including two America’s Cup and one Confederations.

Lothar Matthäus

He was one step away from reaching the Orejona in 1999, however a historic comeback by Manchester United prevented him. Years later, in 2001, his team, Bayern, managed to lift the Champions League champion trophy, but by then Lothar Matthäus had already retired from the club for a year.

Fabio Cannavaro

Cannavaro is on the list of players who have won Ballons d’Or but have not been able to lift the Orejona trophy. The decade of 2006 represented one of the most successful for him, not only because he won the Ballon d’Or, but he also won the World Cup. In the Champions League he played 76 games, where he scored two goals and gave two assists. He reached a Champions semi-final in 2003 with Inter, being eliminated by Milan.

Hernan Crespo

A surprising and unexpected awakening by Liverpool prevented Hernán Crespo from lifting the Champions League trophy with his team, Milan. In that final, Liverpool came back to life with a great historic comeback. They lost 3-0 and managed to turn the score around and stay with the Orejona.

Crespo played a total of 58 games in the Champions League, where he was able to score 28 annotations and give four goal assists.

Lilian Thuram

Thuram was one step away from lifting the Champions League trophy in 2003 when he played a historic final alongside his team, Juventus. On that occasion they were defeated by Milan in a penalty shootout. Like other players, Thuram has won a UEFA club, but has not won the Champions League.

He played at least 69 games in the top European competition in which he scored just one goal. Despite not having been successful in the Champions League, his name continues to ring among the greatest legends of international football: He won a World Cup, a European Championship and a Confederations Cup with France.

George Weah

Few Africans have been able to succeed in international football, but among them George Weah stands out, who managed to win a Ballon d’Or in 1995. In that same year he was able to reach a Champions League semi-final with PSG. In its history it also has two leagues with Milan, one with PSG, an FA Cup with Chelsea, three French Cups and the League Cup with the Parisians.


The remembered player was part of important European clubs, including Valencia and Barcelona, ​​with the latter he came to play a Champions League final in 1994, however they fell defeated against Milan from Italy. In the top European competition, Romario took part in 32 games, where he scored 20 goals and gave an assist.

Eric Cantona

One of the greatest references of Manchester United. While it is true that he was a controversial player, Cantona also managed to position himself as one of the most successful footballers on the planet. In 1997 he was able to play a Champions League semi-final with United and in 1990 he did the same with Olympique de Marseille. The Orejona never raised.

Emilio Butragueño

Emilio Butragueño became one of the greatest references in European football. He developed his career with Real Madrid, a team with which he won important trophies, including six leagues, two UEFA Cups, two King’s Cups and five Super Cups. Unfortunately, the Orejona eluded him throughout his career. In the Champions League he played 29 games, in which he scored a total of 17 goals.

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