Football Whispers have consulted the archives and picked the greatest XI to never win the Champions League, including the Juve shot-stopper. best XI players
GK – Gianluigi Buffon
AFTER 168 caps for Italy, and holding on to his world-record fee for a goalkeeper since 2001, Buffon is without doubt one of the best goalkeepers ever to play the game.
At 39-year-old, he is second only to Alessandro Del Piero in Juventus’ all-time appearance list.
Throw in eight Serie A titles and four Coppa Italias and he’s almost lifted every trophy possible.
Saturday was his third final defeat, following on from the penalty shoot-out with AC Milan in 2003 and Barcelona in 2015, third time sadly no the charm for Buffon.
CB – Laurent Blanc
IT often gets forgotten now that the former Paris Saint-Germain boss was one of the best centre-backs of his generation.
He won the Premier League with Manchester United in the twilight of his career, adding to the French league, Cup Winners’ Cup and Copa del Rey titles he picked up.
With France, Blanc was a leader at the back, winning the 1998 World Cup with France, following that up with the European Championships triumph two years’ later.
However, despite playing for Marseille, Barcelona and Inter Milan, he never got his hands on club football’s biggest prize.
CB – Lothar Matthaus
ONE of the greatest players of a dominating German side in the 1990s, Matthaus went from marauding centre-mid to a composed, commanding centre-back.
He was key in the Germans winning the 1990 World Cup in Italy and then during the Euro 96 campaign in England.
Matthaus won eight league titles over two spells with Bayern Munich, as well as Serie A with Inter and although he won the Uefa Cup with both clubs, that European Cup crown evaded him throughout his career.
CB – Fabio Cannavaro
AS Italy travelled to Germany for the 2006 World Cup, no one expect they would be serious contenders for the title, but a superb defensive display from Cannavaro helped lead his country to success.
His performances led to him being handed the 2006 Ballon d’Or with Juventus.
He never actually won the Italian league title during his career, but had two La Liga winners medals with Real Madrid.
He won the Uefa Cup in 1999 with Parma, but although he career is distinguished and is the most capped player in Italian football history, he never lifted the Champions League trophy.
RWB – Lilian Thuram
FRANCE fans will always remember Thuram for his amazing performance against Croatia in the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup.
He scored twice to give Les Bleus the lead, helping them qualify for the final.
Regarded as one of the best defenders ever to play the game, he won the Uefa Cup in the same team as Cannavaro, but like the Italian, never won the big one.
DM – Patrick Vieira
SIGNED as a relatively unknown player by Arsene Wenger, Vieira developed into one of the Premier League’s best ever midfielders.
Part of the Invincibles, the best he ever did was play in the quarter-finals with Arsenal twice.
In 2010, he left Inter Milan after featuring in the group stage, they went on to lift the trophy.
CM – Michael Ballack
BALLACK was on the pitch when Zinedine Zidane scored that magnificent goal at Hampden Park that saw Real Madrid win 1-0 and lift the Champions League.
The German would move from Leverkusen to Bayern and win three league titles.
Six years on from his first loss, the midfielder would face agony again, losing the penalty shoot-out to Manchester United as part of Chelsea’s team.
Always the bridesmaid, he also finished runner-up in both the 2002 World Cup and 2008 European Championships.
LWB – Pavel Nedved
NEDVED’S flowing blond locks were a standout feature of Juventus’ midfield in the early 2000s.
After three league titles in his homeland of the Czech Republic, he added five in Italy, one with Lazio, but his greatest success came in Turin.
However, a booking against Real Madrid in the 3-1 semi-final win ruled him out of the Old Trafford final against AC Milan.
Juventus lost on penalties and the left-winger never had another chance to win the trophy.
CAM – Dennis Bergkamp
ARSENAL and Holland fans will regard Bergkamp as one of the best players to ever wear their jersey, so it’s a great shame that he never won the Champions League.
Gunners players now would dream of winning three league titles, add to that the two Uefa Cups he lifted in 1992 and 1994 and you have an accomplished career.
CF – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
THE talismanic Swede has lifted silverware at every club he has played for.
It used to be guaranteed that when you had Ibrahimovic up front, you won the league.
He couldn’t do that with Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, but he still scored 28 goals in all competitions.
United’s win over Ajax handed Zlatan his first Europa League medal, but 35-year-old has never even played in a Champions League final.
You have to wonder if he would swap his 11 league titles for just one Champions League crown.
CF – Ronaldo
NO, not that one, but the original Ronaldo, although he can count the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan on his CV, never won club football’s biggest prize.
In 2003 he helped Real reach the semi-finals, scoring in the 2-1 first leg win over Juventus, but they would lose the second 3-1 and Ronaldo’s hopes of glory disappeared with it.
Still regarded as one of the greatest No9s, he’ll have to console himself with three Ballon d’Ors, two World Cups, two league titles and the 1998 Uefa Cup.
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