UEFA Champions League All-Time Best XI: Messi, Ronaldo and more

Here is the best UEFA Champions League All-Time XI including legends of the game like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

 
6:00am on Wednesday 29th May 2024
By
Jake Skudder

The UEFA Champions League has long been a stage where football's greatest players showcase their talents.

Selecting an all-time best XI from this prestigious competition is no easy task, but here we highlight a team of legends who have left an indelible mark on European football's premier tournament.

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer has revolutionised the role of a goalkeeper.

Since joining Bayern Munich in 2012, he has won two Champions League titles and has been a pivotal part of their European campaigns.

Neuer's ability to play as a "sweeper-keeper" has redefined his position, making him a standout choice for the all-time best XI.

Defenders

Dani Alves, Right Back

Football’s most decorated player, Dani Alves, has three Champions League titles to his name, all won during his time with Barcelona.

His dynamic presence on the right flank and his synergy with Lionel Messi were crucial to Barca’s success.

Carles Puyol, Centre Back

A one-club man, Carles Puyol was the heart of Barcelona’s defence for 18 years.

His leadership and defensive prowess helped Barca secure three Champions League titles, making him a cornerstone of this all-time XI.

Sergio Ramos, Centre Back

Sergio Ramos is synonymous with Real Madrid's recent Champions League triumphs.

With four titles to his name, his crucial goals and defensive solidity have been vital for Los Blancos, especially during their historic three-peat from 2016 to 2018.

Paolo Maldini, Left Back

Paolo Maldini’s illustrious career at AC Milan spanned nearly three decades, during which he won five Champions League titles.

Known for his impeccable defensive skills and versatility, Maldini is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in football history.

Midfielders

Clarence Seedorf

Clarence Seedorf stands out for winning the Champions League with three different clubs: Ajax, Real Madrid, and AC Milan.

His consistent performances and ability to control the midfield make him a deserving member of this elite team.

Xavi Hernandez

Xavi was the linchpin of Barcelona’s midfield, orchestrating play with his precise passing and vision.

His role in four Champions League victories underscores his importance in Barca’s dominance during the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta's creativity and clutch performances were vital for Barcelona. Known for his ability to deliver in crucial moments, Iniesta's four Champions League titles with Barcelona highlight his brilliance and impact on the game.

Forwards

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has been a dominant force in the Champions League since his debut in the competition.

With four titles and a record number of hat-tricks, Messi's extraordinary talent and consistency have made him one of the greatest players in the competition’s history.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer in the Champions League with 141 goals, so there was no way he couldn't be included.

His five titles, won with Manchester United and Real Madrid, and his ability to deliver in critical moments solidify his place in this all-time XI.

Raul Gonzalez

Raul was Real Madrid’s talisman during their Champions League campaigns in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

His 71 goals and three titles make him one of the most prolific forwards in the tournament's history, and that's exactly why we've put him at the centre forward role here.

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