European Cup: The Best Non-Winners


The Brazilian is probably the most famous player to not win the European Cup during his career even though he played for Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Barcelona during his career. He did however win the UEFA Cup with Inter in 1998, but joined Real the summer after they had won it in 2002.

Francesco Totti

Spending his twenty five year career at Roma, Totti was not part of a team that won the European Cup during his time. The club was only able to reach the quarter-finals a number of times.

Patrick Vieira

Two of Vieira’s teams made it to the finals not long after he left; Arsenal in 2006 and Inter Milan in 2010. Vieira left Arsenal in 2005 after nine years with the club to join Juventus. He also played for three and a half seasons at Inter before leaving in January 2010 as the club reached and won the final that same season.

Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio spent a large proportion of his career at big clubs such as Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina and Inter Milan but was unable to win the European Cup. His move from Juventus to AC Milan at the end of the 1994-1995 season meant he missed out on a medal as Juventus won the trophy at the end of the 1995-1996 season.

Michael Ballack

Ballack has the honour of failing to win the European Cup twice with Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 and Chelsea in 2008. His four years with Bayern Munich also saw the club fail to win the trophy during this time.

Iván Zamorano

Zamorano played for both Real Madrid and Inter Milan during his career but missed out on the European Cup in 1997 when Real Madrid won it having moved to Inter Milan the previous summer. He did retire with a European trophy however having won the UEFA Cup in 1998 with Inter Milan.

Gabriel Batistuta

Batistuta can be considered one of the greatest Argentinian players however his nine years at Fiorentina and three with Roma and Inter Milan meant that he unfortunately never came close to winning the European Cup during his career.

Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro had an illustrious club career at clubs such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan though retired relatively light on honours. He did however manage to win the UEFA Cup in the 1998-99 season with Parma.

Dennis Bergkamp

Dennis Bergkamp missed out on the title in the early 1990s after leaving Ajax for Inter Milan not long before they won the European Cup. He was also an unused substitute in the final in which Arsenal lost to Barcelona in 2006.

Robert Pirès

Robert Pirès played in the Champions League final in 2006 for Arsenal against Barcelona, but ended up on the losing team. To make matters worse, he was substituted early in the game to allow for a substitute keeper after Jens Lehmann was sent off.

Zlatan Ibrahimović

Ibrahimović played for a number of big clubs including Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris St Germain and Manchester United during his career, however a European Cup is missing from his list of titles. He was owned by Barcelona at the time of their 2011 win, however spent that season on loan with AC Milan.

Pavel Nedvěd

Pavel Nedvěd won a UEFA Super Cup and Cup Winner’s Cup with Lazio before moving to Juventus in 2001. Unfortunately he was on the losing team in the 2003 European Cup final in a game which was lost on penalties.

Christian Vieri

Vieri played for a number of top European clubs during his career including Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Lazio, Monaco and Atletico Madrid though never came particularly close to winning the trophy. Vieri was particularly unfortunate to play for several clubs who lacked titles during his time with them.

Juan Sebastián Verón

Mario Kempes

Diego Maradona


Lilian Thuram

David Trezeguet

Lothar Matthäus

George Weah

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Luis Enrique