The UEFA Champions league is the most prestigious competition in Europe and probably the most prestigious football competition in the World after the World cup. Every year, the best footballers in Europe ply their trade for some of the biggest football clubs in the world from Barcelona to Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea Bayern Munich and PSG.
In the past ten years we’ve seen a couple of winners with Barcelona winning the trophy three times and Porto, Manchester United and Real Madrid among the other teams that have won the prestigious trophy. Today we take a look at the best eleven players to play and win the champions league in the past 10 years. The players would be arranged in the 4-3-3 formation
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Very few goalkeepers can measure up to the standard of the Spain and Real Madrid captain. Often criticized last season for his high profile mistakes, Casillas has been a constant factor for Real Madrid in the past ten years and has two Champions league winners’ medals, the second in 2014 as well as featuring in four straight semi-finals.
Right Back: Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Since his signing for the Catalan club in 2008, Dani Alves has been a prominent figure for Barcelona at right back. Part of the Champions league winning teams of 2009 and 2011, Dani Alves is capable in defense and a massive threat going forward. With an ability to cross the ball that has seen him provide over 50 assists for Messi over the years and a venomous shot, Dani Alves is our sure fire right back.
Center Back: Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan)
One of the greatest defenders in Champions league football, known for his ability to read the game as well as his tough tackling, Nesta was part of the AC Milan team that lost to Liverpool in 2005 at Istanbul on that faithful night and was also part of the AC Milan team that exerted revenge on the reds 2 years later.
Center Back: Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
Three champions league winners’ medals, two of them as a captain, Puyol is one of the greatest players to play in the champions league. An unrelenting tough tackler and a leader on the pitch, Puyol captained Barcelona to victories over Manchester United in 2009 and 2011 as well as being part of the side that won the trophy in 2006.
Left back: Patrice Evra (Manchester United)
If ever there was a full back that also packed a threat going forward, his name would be Patrice Evra. Pace power and commitment those were some of the qualities that made the Frenchman a fans favorite at Old Trafford. That and the fact that he helped the team to three finals in four years between 2008 and 2011 winning one of those finals against Chelsea in 2008.
Defensive Midfield: Xabi Alonso (Liverpool/Real Madrid/Bayern Munich)
In holding midfield is Champions league icon, Xabi Alonso a winner with Liverpool in 2005 and with Real Madrid in 2014, Alonso’s ability to win the ball and quickly turn defense into attack is second to no other player’s in the world. Popular for scoring the second of the three goals Liverpool scored in the epic comeback victory of 2005, Alonso career has taken him across Europe to some of the biggest clubs.
Central Midfield: Xavi (Barcelona)
Probably the best passer of the 21st century, Xavi was an ever present figure in the champions league winning sides of 2009 and 2011 for Barcelona, often the one making sure the team stayed in possession and ensuring that defenses were torn apart with decisive pin point passing.
Central Midfield: Deco (Porto/Barcelona/Chelsea)
Many people don’t know this but before Xavi started splitting defenses with passes for Barcelona, Deco was the man who was doing that job ever so well. An important part of FC Porto’s 2004 triumph and Barcelona’s 2006 win, Deco could make any defender’s positioning look stupid with his passing. Deco’s finishing was also a thing of beauty as he could finish from close range as well as from any distance.
Left Wing Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United/Real Madrid)
Two time world footballer of the year, two time European footballer of the year 71 champions league goals, two winners’ medals one runner ups’ medal those are just some of the accolades that Cristiano Ronaldo has acquired over the years. From winning the champions league with Manchester United in 2008 to winning the trophy again with Real Madrid in 2014 in as season where he broke the record for most goals in a single competition when he banged in 17 goals, Ronaldo is simply a phenomenal player. Deadly in the air, fleet footed with left and right feet that release cannons, Cristiano Ronaldo has been one of the most feared forwards in European football for the better part of a decade now.
Right Wing Forward: Lionel Messi(Barcelona)
If there is a player that can stand toe to toe with Ronaldo in terms of accolades and abilities, he has to be Lionel Messi. With four Ballon D’Or awards and three UEFA Champions leage winners’ medals, Messi is probably the greatest footballer ever. Since coming to the fore in 2006, Messi has become synonymous with goals, leading Barcelona to the trophy in 2009 and 2011, Messi is unstoppable when on the ball, taking on defensers at will and finishing with ease reminiscent of the greats like Delima Ronaldo and Diego Maradona.
Center Forward: Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona/Inter Milan/Chelsea)
Probably Africa’s greatest footballing export, Eto’o was part of the Champions league winning sides at Barcelona in 2006 and Inter Milan in 2010. On both occasions, Eto’o was an integral part of those teams, scoring many important goals. His strength and skill set him apart from most strikers of his generation and he is definitely the deadliest striker in the champions league over the last Decade.
- Edwin Van Der Sar
- Gerard Pique
- Sergio Ramos
- Andreas Iniesta
- Bastian Schweinsteiger
- Wayne Rooney