Of course, we all know the most successful Champions League teams – those teams that always either win the title or come pretty close. Real Madrid is king of the Champions League – and teams such as Milan, Liverpool and Bayern Munich also do pretty well. Whenever it’s time for Champions League betting, it’s always these teams that will come in as favourites. But what about the best Champions League players?
Here, we look at those players that really made an impact on the biggest competition in European sport…
Surely we couldn’t have started the list in any other way! No discussion about the Champions League can start without mentioning Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward has been a true sensation in the competition – and he has been a part of a Champions League-winning team a record-breaking five times – with both Manchester United and Real Madrid.
What’s more, Ronaldo is the all-time leading scorer in the tournament, with an astonishing tally of over 130 goals in his footballing career… which isn’t even over yet. His ability to deliver when it matters most has made him arguably the most iconic figure in the Champions League.
Ronaldo’s greatest competition in the sport has to come next. Arguably the greatest footballer of his generation, Lionel Messi has enjoyed some serious success in the Champions League as well. Whilst playing for Barcelona, Messi has won the tournament an impressive four times – and has been the driving force behind many of their biggest wins.
Known for his dribbling skills, precise passing, and clinical finishing, Messi has consistently performed at an extraordinary level – and has managed to achieve a pretty impressive goal record in the competition.
Raul is often regarded by many as one of the greatest Champions League players of all time. The legendary Spanish striker enjoyed some remarkable success with Real Madrid – having won the tournament three times. His insane ability to score the most important goals at the most important time… and his famous leadership qualities made him an influential figure in the team.
He also holds the record for the most goals scored by a Spanish player in the Champions League.
A true legend of AC Milan and the Champions League, Paolo Maldini played a huge part in Milan’s successes in the tournament. The Italian defender has won the title five times, making him one of the most decorated players in Champions League history.
The Italian’s legendary defensive skills, composure on the ball, and leadership qualities made him an indispensable part of Milan when they were the most dominant team in Europe.
Another player who played a pretty big role in AC Milan’s success in the Champions League is Clarence Seedorf. The Dutch midfielder has been part of a tournament-winning team four times, twice with Ajax and twice with Milan. Famed for his versatility and technical ability, he was a massive presence in the midfield – contributing with goals and assists on a consistent basis.
A maestro in the midfield, Andres Iniesta was a massive part of Barcelona’s success in the Champions League. As a player, he has won the tournament four times and played a pivotal role in orchestrating Barcelona’s deadly attacking play.
His undeniable vision, perfect passing ability, and steely composure under pressure have made him a standout player in the most important matches.
Let’s forget about the headbutt for a second. Before this, Zidane was a player known for his elegance and skill on the field. The French midfielder won the Champions League once with Juventus and later became an integral part of Real Madrid’s successes in the tournament as a manager. His technical brilliance, creativity, and ability to score crucial goals in important moments made him a true Champions League legend. He was a passionate player that played with his heart (and sometimes his head – unfortunately!)
These are just a few of the best Champions League players – there are some that certainly deserve a place on the list… and we look forward to the next generation of skilled players that we can enjoy watching in the greatest tournament in Europe.