Best Players who haven’t won the Champions League

The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious trophy in club football. Although many of the game’s current superstars have won it, there are still some amazing players who have not gotten their hands on the elusive trophy yet. Here we will look at three of the best players who are still playing but have not won it yet.

*Players must be at least 29 years old to qualify

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

It is still astonishing that the Swedish striker has not won the Champions League yet. Since leaving Swedish club Malmo FF to play abroad, Ibrahimovic has played for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and AC Milan, all clubs who have won the Champions League. Inter won it the year after he left and Barcelona the year before he came and the year after he left. The hilariously egotistical striker currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain, a club which has a good chance at going far in this season’s Champions League, has scored an impressive 325 goals in 601 official club matches. One of the most impressive parts of Ibrahimovic’s high tally is the quality of the goals he has scored. He has been known for insane bicycle kicks, back-heel volleys and so much more. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a ridiculously talented player who thoroughly deserves a Champions League title.

Zlatan-Ibrahimovic

Robin van Persie

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is an incredibly talented and unlucky player. He has won many individual accolades and has topped many top scorer charts, however, he has won very little silverware. At his first club, Feyenoord, he captured the UEFA Cup (now the UEFA Europa League) in 2002. Although this is a competition with European clubs from many different countries, it is much less prestigious than the Champions League because the teams who contest it are essentially Champions League rejects. While with Arsenal, the Dutchman finished as a runner-up in the 2006 Champions League, although he was an unused substitute in the final. Van Persie has scored 210 goals in 448 club appearances, is the all-time Dutch leading scorer and finished as a runner-up in the 2010 World Cup.

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Gianluigi Buffon

The Italian goalkeeper is still playing incredibly well at the age of 36. After starting his career with Parma 20 years ago, Buffon is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation and rightly so. He is a charismatic leader and a great player. It’s not just amazing how reliable as a keeper’ but the kinds of saves he can make, just see for yourself. He has won loads of silverware; seven Serie A titles, one UEFA Cup and a Coppa Italia. He was even the starting goalkeeper on Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning side. He has won countless awards for being the world’s best ‘keeper and has been included intwo FIFPro World XI’s. He even finished as the runner-up for the 2006 Ballon D’or. Although all of these titles make for a successful and enjoyable career, the Juventus shot-stopper has never won the Champions League. In 2003, Buffon finished as a Champions League runner-up with Juventus, losing to domestic rivals AC Milan after a penalty shoot-out. Of all the amazing players on this list, Buffon deserves a Champions League title the most.

Gianluigi-Buffon

Why NYCFC and Lampard Shouldn’t be Blamed for the Englishman’s Stay in Manchester

When legendary Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard officially joined Manchester City’s affiliate club, NYCFC, New York soccer fans were understandably thrilled. That happened on June 24. It was eventually announced that Lampard would be spending the beginning of the Premier League season on loan in Manchester to gain fitness for the upcoming MLS season. A few months and many goals later, the City Group, who owns both clubs, have decided to extend Lamps’ stay in England. All the blame immediately went to New York.

The blame directed towards the NYCFC hierarchy was completely unwarranted. NYCFC is a club that has no control over itself; the owners of Manchester City make all the decisions. If you ran Manchester City and you had a legendary player scoring many goals for you, wouldn’t you choose to keep him on your side if you could? The blame should go to the men in Manchester, not New York.

Perhaps even more absurdly, there is loads of blame going to Lampard himself. At the beginning of the Englishman’s loan spell, he was expected to be an unimportant rotation player. However, he has turned into a pivotal player and is helping the Citizens challenge for silverware on multiple fronts, netting seven goals in 19 appearances. He was a substitute in 15 of those matches. Now pretend you are Frank Lampard. You are enjoying scintillating form for a world-class team in your own country. You are given the choice of staying on that team or moving to a different country for a start-up club, wouldn’t you choose to stay in Manchester?

All that said, I myself am an inaugural NYCFC season ticket holder. I will yearn to see Lampard at the beginning of the season (even though we already have David Villa). However, I understand that the people who run NYCFC, don’t really run NYCFC and both them and Lampard can’t be blamed for his stay in Manchester.147018

Lampard after scoring against Chelsea

Which should Atletico focus more on: The Champions League or La Liga?

As Atletico Madrid appear to be closing in on their best season ever, they have a big dilemma: should we focus more on the Champions League or La Liga?  Here you will find cases for both.

La Liga

Atletico appears to be on track to end the duopoly that Barcelona and Real Madrid have held over La Liga for so long. Winning La Liga probably was what Diego Simeone dreamed of when he took over  Atletico Madrid because the Champions League trophy then would have been considered such a far-fetched idea. This brings me to my next point.

Champions League

Atletico Madrid have never won the UEFA Champions League. It is by far the most prestigious trophy in club football. Another great thing about winning the esteemed, elusive trophy is that it will assure Atletico’s participance in the Club World Cup. Thus giving them the chance to be crowned the world’s best football club. Another pro to winning the Champions League is the fact that it may very well convince star striker Diego Costa to stay next season instead of departing to Chelsea, Atletico’s semifinal opponents.

In the comments, have your own say! Comment which competition you think Atletico should focus more on.737