first_img 12 12 Zlatan Ibrahimovic has never won the Champions League – Ibrahimovic has played for six clubs who have won the Champions League, but he has never actually lifted the trophy himself. He left Inter a year before they won the 2010 final and joined Barcelona just before they won it in 2009, but left before they claimed the prize again in 2011. The Swede has also played for European Cup-winning clubs Ajax, Juventus, AC Milan and Manchester United, without landing the big one, while his spell with big spending Paris Saint-Germain didn’t even yield a last four appearance. 12 12 12 Ferenc Puskas didn’t win the World Cup – Puskas played in the dominant Hungary team of the 1950s, who between 1950 and 1954 were unbeaten in 32 games. Like Lionel Messi he won a gold medal at the Olympics but couldn’t follow that up with success at the World Cup. Hungary were surprisingly beaten in the 1954 final by West Germany, despite having thrashed them earlier in the tournament and racing into a 2-0 lead with the trophy at stake. Puskas wasn’t fully fit for the final and controversially had a late strike ruled out for offside, as Hungary succumbed 2-3. There he is above, centre of the bottom row. 12 Socrates missed out on the Copa America and World Cup with Brazil – Socrates was captain of one of the greatest Brazilian sides ever at the 1982 World Cup, but they were dumped out by eventual winners Italy in the second round group stage after a thrilling 3-2 defeat. In 1986, Brazil were beaten at the quarter-final stage by France and he also finished as a runner-up at the 1983 Copa America. 12 12 Jimmy Greaves missed out on a World Cup winners’ medal – Greaves was part of the England squad that won the World Cup in 1966, but initially only the 11 on the pitch were given medals. At the time the Tottenham striker was his country’s most lethal finisher and at the start of the tournament he had 43 goals in 52 games. However, injury saw him miss the quarter-final win against Argentina and his replacement, Geoff Hurst kept his place in the team even when Greaves was fit for the final. He was awarded a winners medal in 2009 when players who didn’t play were all honoured. Ronaldo never won the Champions League – Ronaldo joined Real Madrid shortly after their 2002 Champions League win, but the club didn’t win it again until 2014, by which time he had long gone. He is certainly one of the best players ever not to have won the trophy given that his trophy cabinet included two World Cup winners’ medals, league titles, a UEFA Cup, Cup Winners Cup and the Ballon d’Or award twice. getty center_img Gary Lineker never won a top flight league title – Everton won the league again despite losing Lineker before the season started Steven Gerrard never won the Premier League – Gerrard won the Champions League, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and League Cup during his Liverpool career, but he came so close on two occasions to that elusive title. In the 2008/09 season the Reds had the look of champions with Fernando Torres and Gerrard supported by Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Jamie Carragher and Pepe Reina. They lost just twice all season, but still finished four points behind winners Man United and Liverpool later collapsed in 2014 with the Premier League crown in their sights. Johan Cruyff never won international honours with the Netherlands – Cruyff won countless club level trophies as a player and manager and all that was needed to complete the set was the World Cup. However, the closest he came was in 1974 when the Netherlands were beaten by West Germany in the final. Cruyff’s Dutch team have gone down in history as one of the all-time greats nonetheless, but he was missing when the Netherlands travelled to the World Cup in Argentina in 1978, due to safety fears after a suspected kidnapping attempt during his spell with Barcelona. In his absence the Dutch reached the final again, but lost to the hosts – perhaps with Cruyff in the side they would have gone one better? 12 Paolo Maldini didn’t win anything with Italy – He played 126 games for his country and was captain for a large chunk of those caps, but Maldini never managed to win a major tournament with the Azzurri. Having finished third at the 1990 World Cup he was part of the side that were beaten by Brazil in the 1994 final on penalties and then lost the Euro 2000 final to France. He retired from international football before the team became world champions in 2006. Still, seven league titles and five Champions League successes isn’t bad, eh? Gianluigi Buffon has never won the Champions League – Buffon has actually come closer than both Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic to winning the Champions League. In 2003 he was in goal for Juventus when the final was decided on penalties, with Milan triumphing on that occasion. The next time Juve appeared in the final was in 2015, but the club were well beaten by Barcelona. 12 Michael Ballack (back row, third from right) never got his hands on the Champions League – Ballack became known as a serial runner-up and, though he did end up winning titles with Bayern and Chelsea, he ultimately fell short in the Champions League. When Bayern won the Champions League in 2001 he was a Bayer Leverkusen player; a year later, he helped the club reach the 2002 final, only to lose 2-1 to Real Madrid (in the same season ‘Neverkusen’ agonisingly blew the Bundesliga title and lost the German Cup final). After a spell with Bayern, he lost the 2008 Champions League final with Chelsea, on penalties against Man United (followed by losing the Euro 2008 final with Germany, six years after missing the World Cup final through suspension). In 2009, Chelsea were robbed of a return to the final by dodgy refereeing of their last four game with Barcelona, and he was back at Leverkusen when the Blues won the European Cup in 2012. A year later, his former club Bayern won the tournament again. Great player, played for great clubs, but a Champions League winner’s medal just wasn’t meant to be for Ballack. 12 12 Lionel Messi may not ever win a major honour with Argentina.The forward is in real danger of missing out owing to his four-match suspension which will rule him out of all but one of his country’s remaining three World Cup qualifiers.Argentina are currently out of the automatic qualifying spots for Russia 2018, which may be the 29-year-old Messi’s last chance to win a World Cup. He reached the final in 2014 and has been a runner-up in the Copa America in 2007, 2015 and 2016.Here, talkSPORT looks at the other great players and the major trophies that eluded them. We haven’t included the countless greats who have never won the Ballon d’Or (you can see that list here). Gaizka Mendieta never won the Champions League – Mendieta was one of the classiest playmakers around and possibly one of the best midfielders in the world in his heyday. He was the heartbeat of the Valencia side, but was on the losing side in successive Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001. He came closest to winning it in 2001, losing 5-4 to Bayern Munich on penalties. Mendieta actually scored in normal time and then converted his spot-kick, but still left with a losers’ medal.last_img