Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez have just led Barcelona to the 2015 Champions League Trophy in an amazing attacking display against Juventus. Over 500 players took part in the pinnacle of club football this season, but thousands across Europe missed out.
Here’s a list of the 11 Best Players that didn’t play in the Champions League this season; could any of these players have made a difference against the might of Barcelona?
1. Wayne Rooney
Rooney is rated as one of the best forwards in the world; however he was unable to ensure Manchester United’s presence in this year’s competition during the disastrous reign of David Moyes.
2. Robin Van Persie
Like Rooney, Van Persie also suffered under the former Everton manager and was ultimately unable to take part in the competition. However, that did not affect the striker much as evident during the World Cup where he was in top form for Holland.
3. Radamel Falcao
With Monaco coming out second in the Ligue1 ranking table, Falcao could have been part of this year’s competition, but he chose to make the switch to Old Trafford, where Champions League football is not part of the schedule.
4. Juan Mata
The Spaniard suffered the most under Moyes and was often rotated out of the side, resulting in poor form. Consequently, he missed out on the Champions League, but has improved considerably and is showing signs of his world-class self in the last few games.
5. Leighton Baines
Baines is arguably one of the best left-backs in the world but currently on the books of Everton, he has never really made the grade at the highest level in Europe. However, the full-back is taking part in the UEFA Europa League and is expected to do well under Roberto Martinez.
6. Harry Kane
‘The future of English Football’ has arrived this season as Kane fired in over 30 goals for Spurs in his breakthrough season. Can he carry his lethal form into next season and take Tottenham back to the Champions League?
7. Fredy Guarín
During his time at Inter Milan, Guarín has cemented his place as one of Europe’s elite, however the side failed to make the grade in Serie A and did not finish in the top four position to merit a UEFA Champions League spot.
8. Nemanja Vidic
Vidić was the backbone of the Manchester United defence for nearly a decade and although his talent is unquestionable, he chose to settle at Inter Milan and isn’t going to be part of Europe’s biggest spectacle this term.
9. Fernando Torres
Apart from the torrid spell at Chelsea, Fernando Torres remains a top striker and can oust any team when at his best. However, AC Milan have been stumbling in the recent past and subsequently missed out on a Champions League spot last season.
10. Yoann Gourcuff
Gourcuff is highly rated in his native France and although his name has been mooted around Europe’s top sides, at the moment he is without Champions League football at Lyon.
11. Christian Benteke
The powerful Belgian led Aston Villa to the FA Cup final and his goals saved them from relegation. With a host of Europe’s top clubs lining up for his signature, surely it’s only a matter of time before we see Benteke in the Champions League.
So do you agree with our list of the 11 Best Players that didn’t play in the Champions League this season?
Who did we miss? Could any of these players put a dent in Barcelona’s dominance? Let us know what you think in the comments section below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.