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Greatest Players in Champions League History (Part 5)

Summary

9. Luis Figo From Sporting Lisbon to Barcelona to Real Madrid to Inter Milan, Luis Figo won trophies wherever he went. But he lifted the European Cup just once over the course of a legendary 20-year career—in 2002 with Real […]

9. Luis Figo

From Sporting Lisbon to Barcelona to Real Madrid to Inter Milan, Luis Figo won trophies wherever he went.

But he lifted the European Cup just once over the course of a legendary 20-year career—in 2002 with Real Madrid.

The previous January, he had been named FIFA World Footballer of the Year, and at Hampden Park in Glasgow that May, he capped off the most memorable spell of his career with a win over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League Final.

8. Andres Iniesta

By the time he turned 29, Andres Iniesta had appeared in 91 Champions League matches and won the competition on three occasions—in 2006, 2009 and 2011.

As part of a Barcelona team that is favoured to win the tournament each season, the Spain international is one-third of club football’s most electrifying trio, along with Xavi and Lionel Messi.

Last season, even though Barcelona went out to eventual winners Chelsea at the semifinal stage, he was named Champions League Best Player.

7. Zinedine Zidane

In 2001-02, during his first season at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane was named La Liga Best Foreign Player, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match.

He scored the winner in that 2002 centrepiece, against Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow, but it was the one and only time he’d lift the European Cup.

That said, during the 10 seasons he competed in European football’s most prestigious club competition, he was one of its main attractions, making 89 appearances during his time at Juventus and Real Madrid.

6. Ryan Giggs

When he eventually retires, Ryan Giggs will have played in more Champions League matches than any players in history.

The 39-year-old is currently on 142 matches—level with Raul—but has a new one-year contract under his belt and will no doubt make a handful of appearances in the competition next season.

A European Cup winner in 1999 and 2008, he has appeared in four finals, scoring 29 goals over 20 seasons in the competition.