Winning the Champions League is the most coveted achievement in European club football. Some have the good fortune of winning multiple trophies. However, some of the best players to play the game have also missed out. And that just goes to show how difficult it is to get to the top of the European mountain.
30 is the most dreaded number in football. This is because it is the beginning of the twilight of a footballer’s career, it is where their physical abilities start to decline.
Here, we look at 10 of the best active players above 30 in the top five leagues of Europe to never win the Champions League.
10. Edinson Cavani
Things could have turned out differently for PSG if Cavani stayed for the last few Champions League fixtures. However, the Uruguayan is currently at Manchester United and is currently 33. For all the trophies he won in France and Italy, it is unlucky that he never managed to win the Champions League.
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The Gabon international joined Arsenal as one of the best young strikers in the world and has only spent 4 seasons in the Champions League throughout his career. Given the fact that he has been the top scorer in multiple leagues, Arsenal has not done justice to Aubameyang’s potential as he now spends midweek in the Europa League.
8. Marco Reus
The German made the move from Gladbach to Dortmund in 2012 and has played in yellow and black ever since. He was set to become the next best thing in football, but injuries hindered his progress. At 31, Reus is the captain of an exciting Dortmund squad, and still has a few years to try and win the Champions League.
7. Thiago Silva
Unlike Cavani, Thiago Silva stayed with PSG till the finals, but ultimately lost to Bayern Munich in the finals. An amazing career that has seen the defender play at Milan, Paris and currently, Chelsea has not managed to reward him with the top crown in Europe.
6. David Silva
Silva is one of the best players to ever represent Manchester City. In a career decorated with domestic silverware, as well as the FIFA World Cup, the Spaniard never managed to come close to the Champions League. He is currently back in Spain, playing in the Europa League with Real Sociedad.
5. Giorgio Chiellini
Chiellini is currently 36 but still manages to bring some amazing quality to Juventus. Having made it to the final on multiple occasions, the Italian centre back missed the 2015 final against Barcelona due to injury and lost to Real Madrid in 2017. The Italian still has a chance of winning the trophy, but time is running out.
4. Sergio Aguero
Aguero has a Europa League trophy to his name, but has never managed to win the Champions League despite managing to win every domestic trophy available on multiple occasions. One of the best strikers of the current generation, the City icon fully deserves a Champions League trophy, and has a chance to earn it this season.
3. Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas made it to the finals with Arsenal but was defeated by his own former club, Barcelona. Misfortune followed the Spaniard as he joined Barcelona, but only after their 2011 Champions League victory. He joined Chelsea in 2014 but never came close to the trophy. Despite being one of the best passers of the ball, it is sad to see the Spaniard not call it a day with every trophy he could win.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
At 39, Zlatan is still tearing up Serie A with goals in almost every single game. The Swede does not have a single Champions League medal to his name despite playing for some of the biggest clubs in the world. It just goes to show how much luck matters in this competition, as well as skill and talent.
1. Gigi Buffon
Gigi Buffon is 42, and is older than his current head coach, Andrea Pirlo. In some Juventus fantasies, Buffon will probably never retire. However, after a career that has spanned over a quarter of a century, it seems that the Italian will not retire until he finally gets his hands on the trophy. He went as far as the finals on multiple occasions, but fell short on each step. However, he is still active and still has a season to get things right and march into the sunset with every trophy won.
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