The measure of stardom in the current football circles, is by how many international trophies a player can lay claim onto, be it at the club or country level. This is what defines top players today, but there are those who have managed to stay top of the chain even without continental accolades.
It takes tremendous performance at club level to be in that class of celebrated players without having won an international trophy and medal. With the first round of matches in the UEFA Champions League complete, it remains tough to pick favorites but hundreds of players now have their focus on winning the title.
Here we sample some of the top who have graced the competition in years past but are yet to lay a hand on the coveted medal.
The Swede is currently 39, and perhaps the oldest player among the current crop. He has done his business in Europa and the USA in a career spanning over 20 years but he is still active in it. From his first season in Sweden in 1999, to the current season, he has played for teams that have won the Champions League, but not when he was a member. The Swede has featured for Barcelona, Ajax, Manchester United, Juventus, Inter Milan and PSG but his case has been of bad timing when changing clubs and right after, the former club wins the European title.
The Argentine has turned out for Atletico Madrid and Manchester City before. He is now at Barcelona, a season after City reached their first even Champions League final but fell to Chelsea. Aguero achieved a lot at City, but only failed to lead the club to international accolades. He scored 184 goals for City, won five league titles, but not a Champions League medal. Barcelona are struggling at the moment and the player is currently injured and not in a position to help. Despite their history, mostsports betting tips
won’t be backing Barcelona to mount a serious challenge for continental glory this season, especially after opening with a3-0 loss at home
to Bayern Munich.
The Italian defender is an accomplished international. He has achieved it all with Juventus and recently added to his accolades the European Championship with Italy. One medal that’ missing among his accolades, however, remains the Champions League title. He is currently 36 and heading towards the final stages of his career. Indications are that he may retire after the 2022 World Cup but while he remains in search of a World Cup medal too, he will be eyeing the Champions League title.
The Belgian international is regarded as one of the top creative players in Europe at the moment. He has won it all at club level but has failed with Belgium and City internationally. He is now 30 and very soon will be bowing out of the game. After a fine start to the Champions League, he will definitely be hoping that his team can go a step further after the loss in the final last year. An emotional De Bruyne left the pitch injured in the final last season, against Chelsea and perhaps that might have contributed to City’s failure in Porto. While there’s no question about his talent, De Bruyne also has to bank on fortune to win the continental accolade.
In a game that has seen top keepers, the class of Thibaut Courtois, Gianluigi Buffon, Gianluigi Donarumma, Manuel Neuer, Ederson Alisson Becker and more, Jan Oblak stands out. He ranks among the top keepers in the world at the moment and can command a hefty transfer fee if he were to move from Atletico Madrid. He was on the losing side in 2015/16 Champions League final and has made it to the Champions League team of the season three times. A four time La Liga best keeper, Oblak’s profile screams for a Champions League medal, which he has gone very close to but missed out.
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