Ranked! The 15 best players NEVER to win the Champions League

The best players never to win the Champions League: The 12 best players NEVER to win the Champions League: Ronaldo of Inter Milan takes on Clarence Seedolf of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Inter Milan and Real Madrid at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 25, 1998 in Milan, Italy.
(Image credit: Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

It used to be the World Cup that was the marker of how good a football really was. Just look at Pele and Diego Maradona: legends of the game whose roles in lifting the biggest prize in the sport has elevated them to a mythical level.

Now, it's all about the Champions League. The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were born between Golden Generations for their respective nations, meaning that domestic dominance is the best metric for how to judge them. There are those that say players have to have won the biggest competitions to be considered the best – and Old Big Ears is a fair enough way to judge, given that it's the headline event every year.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

With contributions from