The Forgotten Finalists: An eyebrow-raising Champions League XI

Not everybody that plays in club football's top game etches himself on the memory, as Tom J Doyle discovers…

We all know more than enough about the starting line-ups of the battering ram that is Bayern Munich and irrepressible Borussia Dortmund to forget about them in a hurry, especially as we may be seeing German sides popping in European finals for a few years to come.

But history shows us that playing in a final isn't a one-way ticket to fame. Dozens of protagonists have popped up in the limelight, blinked and legged it – either into obscurity or onto other things which make you quite forget their night in football's biggest club competition…

Goalkeeper: Carlo Cudicini (AC Milan v Marseille 1991)Son of legendary Milan keeper Fabio, a star of the 1969 final, Carlo couldn't quite follow papa into San Siro folklore. He featured for the Rossoneri in a couple of group games during the inaugural Champions League season of 1992/93, but by the final against Marseille he was back on the bench. It was a view he became familiar with in subsequent seasons for Chelsea and Tottenham.

ACTION REPLAY A wizard and a lizard help Marseille conquer Europe

Right-back: Oleguer (Barcelona v Arsenal 2006)Proud Catalan Oleguer – so bad they named him once – is that rare thing: a Barcelona player who couldn't play football. That his appearance in the 2006 final against Arsenal should be forgotten is a good thing really, for it was his mistake that cost his side the opening goal. In the second half he was booked and quickly withdrawn by Frank Rijkaard, in a game-changing substitution: his replacement Juliano Belletti scored the winner to make it 2-1 and atone for Oleguer's sins.

Centre-back: Patrick Andersson (Bayern Munich v Valencia 2001)Blackburn fans may faintly recall Andersson making a few appearances in the inaugural season of the Premier League, but the Swede went on to bigger and better things. He won the 2001 Champions League with Bayern Munich despite giving away a third-minute penalty and missing a spot-kick in the 5-4 shootout victory against Valencia, before sealing a move to Barcelona. Lucky? Perhaps. Does he care? Definitely not.

Andersson (floored) gives away a pen

Centre-back: Roque Junior (Milan v Juventus 2003)A less than brilliant Brazilian at the back, the journeyman centre-half is perhaps 'best' remembered in England for his spell at Elland Road. He was sent off on his debut and Leeds conceded 24 goals in his seven appearances, laying the groundwork for their subsequent relegation. He'd ended the previous season with a Champions League winners' medal, replacing Alessandro Costacurta for Milan in the 2003 snore-fest against Juventus at Old Trafford. Roque has the medal, while so, so many better players don't. That's football.

Left-back: Gael Givet (Monaco v Porto 2004)The glorious Gael may currently be plying his trade at the clown college that is Blackburn Rovers, but he came within a whisker of being a Champions League winner for Monaco. After winning the French League Cup in 2003, the proud principality reached the European final only to be roundly thumped by a Porto side managed by in-demand Jose Mourinho. That changed the course of English football forever more, but if that final had been different, there may have been no 'Special One' at Chelsea. So let's all blame Gael – it's just easier.

Givet (left): No, he really didCentral midfield: Stefano Eranio (Milan v Marseille 1993, Milan v Ajax 1995)Derby County legend Stefano Eranio only spent four years with the Rams, but that was enough to earn him a place in their greatest ever XI. He may not want to be reminded of it, but he made cameo appearances for AC Milan in two Champions League final defeats. He came on as an 86th-minute sub in 1993's 1-0 loss to Marseille, and in 1995's 1-0 loss to Ajax he came on in the last minute. Derby still loves you Stefano!Central midfield: Ivan Campo (Real Madrid v Valencia 2000)That shock of ridiculous hair; those sublime 40-yard strikes; those forceful tackles – it could only be Bolton's very own Ivan Campo. But before his six years as a Wanderer, the Spaniard played for Real Madrid, helping them to win the 1999-00 final 3-0 against his former team Valencia. His made many fewer appearances for los Blancos than for the Trotters, and still tweets passionately about the Lancastrians, although he always flew home to Spain to get his haircut as he didn't trust English barbers.

Hair and thighs: Campo dunks Carlos

Right wing: Finidi George (Ajax v Milan 1995)If there was ever an example of how to overshadow one of football's finest achievements with an inexorable slide into mediocrity, it is Finidi George. The Nigerian was a vital part of the Ajax side which beat Milan 1-0 in the 1994-95 Champions League final, yet Ipswich Town found out to their cost in 2001 that he just wasn't that good any more. Perhaps it typifies a player achieving a lifetime's dream too early and, like most mortal beings, wanting a new challenge, or perhaps enjoying their lives a little more. A shame really, but once again, it's Finidi who has the medal in his sideboard.Left wing: Jesper Blomqvist (Manchester United v Bayern Munich 1999)Success allows fans to look back on lesser players with the dewy eyes of a parent looking at their child's first artwork: you'll cry with joy and put it on the fridge, but it's still rubbish. Manchester United fans can do the same with Blomqvist; with speed holes in his top for his thumbs, he twisted and turned with so much panache that even he didn't know where he was going. Suspensions to Paul Scholes and Roy Keane forced Sir Alex Ferguson's hand for the 1999 final against Bayern Munich, and the Swede's most notable contribution was to be taken off for Teddy Sheringham to score the equaliser. Still, if we massage chaos theory a little, if Blomqvist hadn't been on the pitch, chances are there would have been no Treble. Go Jesper!

Blomqvist breaks clear and faints

Forward: Dimitar Berbatov (Bayer Leverkusen v Real Madrid 2002, Manchester United v Barcelona 2009)Love him or loathe him, you have to feel for the languid Bulgarian when it comes to the Champions League. Berbatov came on as a substitute in Bayer Leverkusen's 2-1 final defeat to Real Madrid in 2001-02; seven years later, he again emerged from the bench to taste defeat in Manchester United's 2-0 loss to Barcelona. The real misery came two years later though, as he missed out on a place in Ferguson's squad altogether for the 3-1 final defeat to Barca yet again. Berbatov spoke of crying in the changing room after the news, and while he scored some superb goals for United, his European woes are probably best blotted out of everybody's memories.

Forward: Jose Antonio Reyes (Arsenal v Barcelona 2006)The star that never quite was, Reyes had all the prerequisites to be a legend, yet never really fulfilled his promise. Rich potential shown at Seville led Arsenal to spend £10.5m on him in 2004, but a career which flattered to deceive was perhaps typified by this fleeting appearance in the 2006 Champions League final: he came on as an 85th-minute substitute for the less gifted but more dependable Alexander Hleb. Within months he was back in Spain and went on to play for both Madrid sides and Benfica, but is now back at Sevilla, tying up his career with a neat, flashy, yet ultimately disappointing bow.

Reyes: probably then dribbled out of play