Out of Favour Real Madrid Star Marcelo Linked (Again) With Summer Move to Juventus

​These links between Marcelo and Juventus just won’t go away, will they? 

The Real Madrid full-back has been tipped to follow the same path trodden by ex-teammate, and good friend, Cristiano Ronaldo for some time now, and we may finally be arriving at the end of this ongoing saga. 


According to La Stampa, Marcelo has attracted the interest of a number of top European clubs, and yep – you guessed it – the Old Lady has been having a nosey once more. 

And there may actually be some substance to these rumours this time. 

The 31-year-old has lost his place in the Madrid side this season, following the arrival of French defender Ferland Mendy, and he has failed to impress when given the opportunity to regain his spot. 

​Marcelo watched from the sidelines as los Blancos picked up three wins out of three at the end of January and the start of February, but his return saw his side lose two and draw one of their next four matches. 

Far from inspiring stuff, then. 


But if there’s one man who can get the best out of anyone, it’s ​Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar enjoyed his best years at ​Madrid playing on the same flank as the Brazilian defender, striking up a fearsome partnership and a telepathic understanding. 

And I Bianconeri will be in the market for another defender this summer, as they look to bolster their current options with an attacking wing-back, who would be more suited to the energetic style that coach Maurizio Sarri is trying to deploy. 

The Italian coach was keen on bringing Marcelo to Turin last summer, but a move never materialised. The same rumblings have resurfaced once again however, with ​Juve officials hoping to meet the defender in Madrid to discuss a deal, but the coronavirus outbreak has put a stop to any transfer talk.


I Bianconeri are willing to offer Marcelo a four-year contract, two years longer than his current deal with Madrid. 

​Come on, let’s get the band back together. 


Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu to House Medical Supplies in Fight Against Coronavirus

Real Madrid have made provisions for the Santiago Bernabéu to be used to store medical materials donated to help the fight against coronavirus. 

Spain has been the one of the worst hit nations by the spread of COVID-19. The country has experienced the second most deaths due to the disease, behind Italy but ahead of China. ​The majority of these deaths have been in the capital. 

Earlier in the week, Real were thanked by Isabel Diaz, the head of Madrid’s regional government, for their “big donation in health materials” and the club have now announced further measures.


As reported by The ​G​uardian, Los Blancos have offered their 78,000-capacity stadium to be used to store donations of medical supplies to the Spanish health authorities. Real will also use their charitable foundation to receive cash donations. 

The news comes several days after the club’s former president Lorenzo Sanz died after contracting the virus. Sanz was in charge of ​Real between 1995 and 2000 and was responsible for signing a host of top names, including Roberto Carlos, Predrag Mijatovic, Clarence Seedorf and Davor Suker.

The club won two ​Champions League titles under his premiership before current president Florentino Perez took over in 2000. 

Former Real Madrid FC President Lorenzo

The Real squad were one of the earliest sides to go into isolation after a member of the organisation’s basketball team tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago. 

Despite the virus continuing to wreak havoc across the continent, UEFA remain stoically committed to finishing the season by ​30 June.

If this cannot be achieved, players whose contracts expire on this date are likely to be made to continue playing for their ​current clubs until the campaign can be completed. This even applies to those who had already agreed transfer to a new club such as Hakim Ziyech, who has already agreed a deal with ​Chelsea ahead of next season. 


6 Champions League Games to Re-Watch on UEFA.tv

​Still struggling to find enough classic football to watch while at home with nothing to do?

Fear not, for UEFA have ​announced they are streaming a selection of past Champions League games every Tuesday and Wednesday for free on UEFA.tv. They’ve picked a cracking list of matches, each filled with drama and individual brilliance, that will have you on the edge of your sofa.

So, if you find you’re still missing football, here are six Champions League classics for you to go and enjoy.

Juventus 3-0 Atlético Madrid – 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo

Looking for a Cristiano Ronaldo masterclass and a dramatic comeback? Look no further.

Needing to overcome a 2-0 loss in the first leg, ​Juventus had to score three goals without conceding against defensive specialists Atlético Madrid in order to progress to the last eight. 

Despite the mammoth task, the Portuguese star delivered for I Bianconeri, overcoming the formidable duo of Diego Godín and Jose Gimenez with two vintage headers past Jan Oblak. With time running out, the game looked to be heading into extra-time, until ​Ronaldo intervened with a late penalty to complete the turnaround and send Juve into the quarter-finals.

Many asked if a 34-year-old Ronaldo would still step up for the big games. Here, he answered decisively with one of his best games in a Juve shirt.

Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain – 2017

Sergio Roberto

The game that was so good, it earned its own Wikipedia page and nickname – La Remontada, or ‘The Comeback’ to you and I. At least, it’s enjoyable for those who aren’t PSG fans.

The Ligue 1 side were dominant in the first-leg and went to Camp Nou with a 4-0 advantage. Barça looked outclassed, and the tie looked over. Or so it seemed…

The match started with a goal in the third minute from ​Luis Suárez, and even despite Edinson Cavani’s second-half away goal, it wasn’t enough to stop the Blaugrana from erasing the deficit. Indeed, it was unlikely hero Sergi Roberto who netted in the fifth minute of injury time to send the Parisians home in tears.

Was it horrendous defending, or an astonishing attacking display? Either way, this riveting game will live long in the memory of football fans, for the dramatic comeback and the memorable collapse of PSG, who haven’t really recovered since. It that isn’t compelling enough, Lionel Messi was brilliant on the night as well.

Galatasaray 3-2 Real Madrid – 2013


While Los Blancos ultimately went through to the semi-finals, they were given an almighty scare by Cimbom in this quarter-final second leg.

A volleyed Ronaldo finish put the La Liga side 4-0 up on aggregate, and it looked like a routine away win for the Spanish side. Yet the Süper Lig club had other ideas, and equalised through former Arsenal cult hero Emmanuel Eboué’s thumping strike. 

Wesley Sneijder and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba then scored within two minutes, putting the hosts in front and only two goals away from knocking out Jose Mourinho’s team. But Ronaldo had other ideas, and scored again to end any hopes of a shock exit.

It was a thrilling game, and the added star-power of Ronaldo and Drogba make it a worthwhile watch.

AC Milan 3-0 Manchester United – 2007

AC Milan's Kaka celebrates scoring again...

It’s rare to find a game where Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United were thoroughly beaten by their opponents, but this Milan side were unstoppable at home and boasted some outstanding players.

The Italian team had lost the semi-final first leg 3-2 in Manchester, but it took only 11 minutes for Kaka to level the tie with his early goal. Clarence Seedorf later added a second before half time, and it was substitute Alberto Gilardino who scored to secure ​Milan a trip to Athens to take on Liverpool in the final.

Simply put, Carlo Ancelotti’s side showed why they were considered among the best teams in the world at the time. Their passing and movement was outstanding, and they ensured the likes of ​Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs had little impact on the game at all.

This victory showed a brilliant team who were at their best – which was too much for Ferguson’s Premier League-winning side of 2007.

Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich – 2013


This all-conquering Bayern Munich side are among the most exciting teams of the decade, and this dominant performance symbolised just how entertaining their style of football was.

Having comprehensively beaten the Catalans 5-0 at the Allianz Arena, few expected ​Die Roten to be just as dominant at Camp Nou. They pinned the Blaugrana back in their own half, and pounced on any misplaced pass to launch deadly counter-attacks that frightened the ​Barça backline.

The ‘Robbery’ pair of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were at their best, terrorising full backs Dani Alves and Adriano, while Mario Mandzukic’s selfless display showed how good he was without needing to score himself.

Ultimately, this was a clash of different tactics, with the Catalans’ possession-style football decisively torn apart by Bayern’s swashbuckling counter-attacking style.

Manchester United 4-3 Real Madrid – 2003

Real Madrid's Ronaldo celebrates after s

Rather watch the Brazilian Ronaldo at his destructive best? Then this is essential viewing for you.

This was a game that boasted world-class attacking football and fantastic goals, as well as world-class performances. Among them, David Beckham scored twice off the bench, including a trademark free-kick for the Red Devils, while Zinedine Zidane put on an imperious display for ​Los Blancos.

But the star of the show was clearly El Fenomeno. The Brazilian scored a stunning hat-trick, including a 25-yarder that even got ​United fans off their seats. Few away players get a standing ovation at Old Trafford, but his performance deserved one, and he was duly applauded by all when he was substituted towards the end of the game.

The match is worth watching for his performance alone, with the attacking displays by both teams an added treat for any interested viewers.


VII Players Who Were Reborn After Being Cast Aside by Their Clubs

Football is a funny sport. Rarely do we see superstars maintain their level throughout their career, with many players facing highs, lows and everything in between.

Sometimes, players and clubs are simply not good matches, but there are also examples of players just needing that elusive chance to prove themselves. Regardless, a change of club can be the right answer.

Here are seven players who revived their careers after being cast aside by their club.

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah‘s career started off like so many others. He was a hot prospect after breaking through at Basel, but a switch to ​Chelsea in 2014 just didn’t work out. He had shown flashes of excitement, but rarely had fans off their seats.

He joined Roma on loan in 2015 and impressed enough to earn himself a permanent move a year later. In total, he managed 34 goals and 22 assists in 83 appearances, which sounds like a reborn career, right? Well, we’re just getting started.

That time with Roma led to a move to ​Liverpool in 2017, where Salah has erupted. He helped turn Liverpool into European champions and he finished fifth in the 2019 Ballon d’Or. How’s that for a career revival?

Kevin De Bruyne


Yet another example of a player reinventing themselves after leaving Chelsea, Kevin De Bruyne’s career risked stalling after his spell at Stamford Bridge came to an abrupt end in 2014.

An £18m move to Wolfsburg proved to be the spark De Bruyne needed, as the Belgian took the opportunity to prove to the world that he was the elite creator many felt he had the potential to become. He bagged 20 goals and 37 assists in just two seasons, before landing in ​Manchester City.​

De Bruyne is now one of the ​Premier League‘s elite talents, and his disappointing spell with Chelsea is well and truly behind him.

Esteban Cambiasso

Esteban Cambiasso

What’s most interesting about Esteban Cambiasso’s career is that he had to revive himself after leaving ​Real Madrid on two separate occasions.

Part of Los Blancos’ academy, Cambiasso was allowed to return to Argentina in 1998 after struggling to prove himself, but four years in senior football convinced Real to bring him back. However, he couldn’t hold down a permanent spot in the team, starting just nine games in his final season, and was ultimately released in 2004.

​​Inter took a chance on him and he did not disappoint. Cambiasso made 431 appearances for I Nerazzurri, winning five ​Serie A titles and the 2009/10 ​Champions League.

Nicolas Anelka

Nicolas Anelka

One of the hottest attacking prospects around in 1997, Nicolas Anelka lived up to that billing after joining ​Arsenal. He earned a £22.3m move to Real Madrid two years later, but that’s when things came unstuck.

The Frenchman managed just seven goals in 33 appearances and was quickly discarded, but he soon rebuilt his reputation back with PSG.

Anelka then went on to represent the likes of ​Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, scoring a total of 208 goals before retiring in 2015.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku

After blossoming into one of the Premier League’s finest strikers with Everton, Romelu Lukaku earned himself a move to Manchester United in 2017, but his time at Old Trafford yielded mixed results.

Things began well but quickly fell away, and by the time 2019 arrived, many fans were keen to see the back of him as they felt he had nothing to offer anymore.

It turned out that all he needed was a dietary change, and Inter were the ones to give him that. Lukaku has been back to his dominant best under Antonio Conte and is proving all his doubters wrong.

Edin Džeko

Edin Dzeko

Edin Džeko burst on to the scene with Wolfsburg in 2007, firing the team to an unlikely ​Bundesliga title in 2009 and earning himself a move to Manchester City soon after. He won two league titles in England, but rarely looked like an elite talent.

A loan to Roma saved the day, with Džeko eventually finding the kind of form which had him in the conversation for Europe’s top marksman. He fired home 29 goals in his second season at the club, which was nearly double his best numbers with City.

He was on the Ballon d’Or shortlist in 2017 and continues to score an abundance of goals for Roma, which is why he is still regularly linked with blockbuster moves back to England.

Jérôme Boateng

Jerome Boateng

Manchester City spent a long time pursuing a 21-year-old ​​Jérôme Boateng, and they eventually got their man in 2010. However, almost as soon as he arrived at the club, it became clear that City didn’t know what to do with him.

Against his wishes, Boateng spent plenty of time as a right-back, and he eventually pushed for a move to ​Bayern Munich as he wanted to join a club who would play him in his preferred central role. In hindsight, that was a good shout.

A core part of one of the most dominant sides in Bundesliga history, Boateng has already lifted seven league titles and the 2012/13 Champions League, and he’s still got time to add to that.

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The 15 Ballon d’Or Winners Who Never Won the Champions League

Imagine winning the Ballon d’Or. A lifetime of blood, sweat and tears finally recognised by being voted the very best footballer in all of the lands. 

Now, imagine winning the Champions League. Months and months of hard work finally paying off as your team is crowned kings of Europe. 

Both are pretty good feelings, right?…But which is better?

Well, the following players will never know. They are part of a very exclusive club of Ballon d’Or winners who have never lifted the European Cup. 

Strap yourself in for some heartbreak ladies and gentlemen, it’s going to be emotional. 

Stanley Matthew (1956)

Stanley Matthews

​The evergreen Sir Stanley Matthews was the inaugural winner of the Ballon d’Or in 1956. His age at the time? 41 years young. 

Despite having his career interrupted by the outbreak of World War II, the skilful and speedy Matthews still managed to clock up nearly 700 appearances by the time he finally retired at the age of 50. 

He’s also the only player who’s ever likely to win the award while playing for Stoke City – though Rory Delap must have come close in 2009? 

Omar Sivori (1961)

Omar Sivori,Elsener

A ​Lionel Messi prototype, this fleet-footed Argentine became a ​Juventus legend, leading the Old Lady to three Scudetti in the late 1950s and early 1960s. 

However, the European Cup eluded Sivori. In fact, he never even got past the quarter-finals. Poor fella.

Josef Masopust (1962)

​​The best Czech player of all time, Josef Masopust scooped the Ballon d’Or the same year that he scored the opening goal of the 1962 World Cup final.

The closest he came to securing Europe’s greatest club prize came during the 1966/67 season when Celtic’s ‘Lisbon Lions’ defeated Dukla Prague in the semi-finals. 

Lev Yashin (1967)

Goalkeeper Lev Yashin (black) from the S

Lev Yashin is the only goalkeeper in the ​history of the universe (that we know of) to ever ​win the Ballon d’Or. That should give you some indication of the sort of talent we are talking about. 

The Moscow stopper was an incredible player with cat-like reflexes and a love of fashion. Always kitted out in full black strip with his signature flat cap, Yashin made it cool to be a goalkeeper.

Florian Albert (1967)

​After the Mighty Magyars had fallen, Florian Albert spearheaded a new generation of Hungarian footballing royalty. 

Nicknamed the Emperor, Albert was a classy, composed forward with a remarkable scoring record for Ferencvaros – where he spent the entirety of his career. Despite dominating the Hungarian League, they were never able to replicate this success on the European stage.

Oleg Blokhin (1975)

Oleh Blokhin

​Spending most of his 20-year career at Dynamo Kyiv, the Tzar’s blistering pace and incisive dribbling saw him win the Ballon d’Or in 1975. 

After his playing days came to an end Blokhin kept himself busy by entering politics as well as having a lengthy managerial career with the likes of Olympiacos, AEK Athens and Ukraine. 

Allan Simonsen (1977)​

​​1977 Ballon d’Or winner and the only player to score in the European Cup, UEFA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup finals? Corrrr, Allan Simonsen has had quite the career. 

The icing on the cake would have been a European Cup win, but ​Liverpool – who defeated the Dane’s Borussia Monchengladbach side in the 1977 final – made sure that didn’t happen.

Igor Belanov (1986)

​Perhaps the most forgotten Ballon d’Or winner of all time, Igor Belanov – who scooped the award in 1986 – may be more memorable if he had won a European Cup during his career.

The closest the diminutive number ten came was a Cup Winners’ Cup triumph in 1986. That came two years before the lowest moment of his career – missing a penalty in the European Championship final. Ouch. 

Lothar Matthaus (1990)

Lothar Matthaus

​Lothar Matthaus has come closer than anyone on this list to tasting Champions League glory – three minutes to be precise.

After losing the 1987 European Cup final courtesy of two late Porto goals, history repeated itself in 1999 when Manchester United scored twice in stoppage time to secure the trophy. That’s gotta sting.

Roberto Baggio (1993)


​One penalty miss has callously clouded the legacy of one of the best Italian players of all time. It’s easy to forget that prior to blazing his spot-kick over the bar, Baggio had almost single-handedly dragged Italy to the final of the 1994 World Cup.

It’s also easy to forget that he never won the Champions League. In fact he never even came close, only taking part in the competition on two occasions

George Weah (1995) 


​The only African player to even win the Ballon d’Or, George Weah’s combination of skill, strength and speed made him the most fearsome striker in the world in the mid-1990s.

While at Milan, Weah was part of an impressive strike force including Roberto Baggio and Dejan Savicevic, making it curious that they never managed to taste continental success. 

Ronaldo (1997 and 2002)

Ronaldo Nazario - Soccer Player

​Ronaldo’s career is tarnished somewhat by a feeling that he could have been ​even better if his body had allowed.

Persistent knee issues affected him throughout the second half of his playing days, which goes some way to explaining why one of the best strikers of all time never lifted the Champions League trophy. He did score 14 goals in the competition, mind. And got ​a standing ovation against Man Utd.

Michael Owen (2001)

Villa v Liverpool x

​Another scarily good talent who had his career marred by injury, Michael Owen was just 21 when he won the Ballon d’Or. 

He was snapped up by ​Real Madrid three years later, hoping to help Los Blancos lift the 2005 Champions League title. In a cruel twist of fate, ​Liverpool – the club Owen had departed in search of European glory – would end up winning it. What a stinger.

Pavel Nedved (2003)

Pavel Nedved beat off competition from Thierry Henry and Paolo Maldini to surprisingly win the Ballon d’Or in 2003. 

The floppy-haired free-kick specialist came agonisingly close to winning the Champions League the same year, missing out on Juventus’ defeat to Milan in the final due to suspension. Perhaps it would have been different if he was available… 

Fabio Cannavaro (2006)

Fabio Cannavaro

​Contrary to ​some people’s belief, defenders can and should be awarded the Ballon d’Or from time to time. Case in point, Fabio Cannavaro – whose stoic performances helped Italy win the 2006 World Cup. 

Though Cannavaro has reached the pinnacle of the international game, he never won the Champions League, coming closest by reaching the quarter-finals with Juventus in 2006 – where they were eliminated by eventual finalists ​Arsenal.


The Reason Why David Alaba Is Considering Bayern Munich Exit

A lack of playing time in midfield is supposedly the reason behind ​Bayern Munich David Alaba possible summer exit. 

Murmurs of the Austrian’s departure have accelerated in recent weeks, despite the 27-year-old playing a key role in Die Roten’s chase for the treble this season under Hansi Flick. 

Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are credited with an interest in Alaba, who is weighing up his future, having spent over a decade in Bavaria.

Hansi Flick,Dr. Holger Broich,David Alaba

While the defender has rarely struggled for consistent game time at Bayern since his first-team debut in 2010 – winning a hoard of trophies that includes eight Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League – it is apparently his desire to play further forward that is the reason he could be on the move this summer.

Christian Falk of German news outlet Bild has reported that in 2016 when Alaba last extended his contract at the Allianz Arena, he was promised to have his chance to play in his preferred midfield position – a role he played earlier on his career and one he’s often deployed in for the national team. 

Alaba is said to be unhappy that the club bosses haven’t kept their promise, and seeing Joshua Kimmich convert from full-back to a star midfielder has been a bitter pill to swallow for the Austria international – who’s been leant on to play at centre-back this season following long-term injuries to both Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez.

The versatile star has won it all at Bayern since his move from Austria Wien’s academy in the summer of 2008.

Max Bielefeld of Sky Sport also believes Alaba is leaning towards a departure from Munich and is quoted as saying: “He is desperate to win the Champions League, and he sees a greater chance of doing so at other clubs. That’s why a transfer is certainly possible in the summer.

“It seems like Alaba is leaning towards saying goodbye. You can hear that in every interview. He flirts with something new, and that’s what you hear from his entourage as well. Shortly before he turns 28, he’s ready to take on a new challenge.”

David Alaba

A potential deal for Alaba – whose contract in Munich runs until 2021 – would likely cost around £60-70m, with Biefeld adding that it’s only a matter of time before Alaba’s new agent, Pini Zahavi, opens talks with the two Spanish superclubs.

“There will certainly be talks with Real and Barcelona, it will all pick up speed in the coming weeks.” 

In addition to Barça and Madrid, English Premier League sides like Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have all been linked.


Arsenal ‘Confident’ They Can Extend Dani Ceballos Loan From Real Madrid if Necessary

​Arsenal are ‘confident’ that they can reach an agreement with Real Madrid to extend Dani Ceballos’ loan spell past 30 June should the Premier League season run beyond that mark, although no formal talks have yet taken place. 

It is far from clear if and when the 2019/20 Premier League season will continue, currently on an indefinite haitus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. All Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League action was originally suspended until at least 3 April, but this has now been extended to at least 30 April. 

Dani Ceballos

​The PFA’s deputy chief executive recently admitted that it is looking increasingly likely the remainder of the English football season will be played behind closed doors, with very few alternatives as governments worldwide try to limit or prevent public gatherings. 

Following a meeting of Premier League clubs, it was explained that a number of teams are prepared to finish the campaign, and are willing to play fixtures behind closed doors if necessary – but uncertainty over dates has left a question mark hanging over players’ contracts, and what will happen once their deals expire if the season does overrun. 

The Evening Standard report that ​Arsenal remain ‘confident’ they can keep Ceballos, who joined on loan during the summer, past 30 June if the Premier League season runs into July.

Dani Ceballos

The report adds that the Gunners are ‘relaxed’ about the current situation and how it impacts Ceballos’ loan and although no formal talks have taken place, it is said that senior figures at the club believe ​Real Madrid ‘will not oppose’ an extension to his current deal. 

The 23-year-old has struggled with injuries during his loan spell and, as a result, he has made just the ten league starts for the north Londoners. He has made 24 appearances in all, scoring once and providing two assists. 

There is no option to buy in the deal for the Spaniard, but Arsenal are seemingly confident they can keep hold of him if the 2019/20 season does drag on into summer. 


Every Player Who Won the Champions League, World Cup & Ballon d’Or

​There are a handful of trophies which truly define a player’s career.

For all the fantastic Copa Libertadores, Gold Cup or FA Cup winners there have been over the years, there are only two trophies across the world which are held above all others – the World Cup and Champions League.

On top of those is the Ballon d’Or, which is given to the best player on the planet every year (since 1995), but throughout history there have only ever been eight winners of all three…

Sir Bobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton

Champions League: 1968

World Cup: 1966

Ballon d’Or: 1966

The Ballon d’Or isn’t always handed out to a player based on their performances at international level, and it certainly isn’t the case that Sir Bobby Charlton didn’t deserve the award for his quality at club level, but the Manchester United legend was crucial to England’s success in 1966.

He scored in the group stages against Mexico, but most notably it was his two goals against Portugal in the semi-finals which booked England’s place in world football’s showpiece fixture.

Charlton even set up Sir Geoff Hurst’s equaliser in the final, as England went on to beat Germany 4-2 at Wembley Stadium.

Gerd Müller


Champions League: 1974, 1975, 1976

World Cup: 1974

Ballon d’Or: 1970

Der Bomber might have been helped by the fact he was part of a Germany and Bayern Munich team who were one of the greatest of all time, but Gerd Müller was still one of the best strikers to ever play the sport.

He’s one of just two out and out strikers to ever win the World Cup, Champions League and Ballon d’Or.

He finished his career with 515 goals to his name and to this day remains Bayern Munich’s best goalscorer of all time, as well as the Bundesliga’s top marksman.

Franz Beckenbauer

World Cup Finals - "The Netherlands v BRD"

Champions League: 1974, 1975, 1976

World Cup: 1974

Ballon d’Or: 1972, 1976

Although it was Müller who was firing in the goals for Bayern Munich and Germany, Franz Beckenbauer was the real star of those teams.

Der Kaiser is one of just 10 players throughout history who have ever won more than one Ballon d’Or – he’s the only defender to ever pick up at least two awards – and he was part of a Bayern Munich team which won three Champions Leagues in a row.

Paolo Rossi

Paolo Rossi

Champions League: 1985

World Cup: 1982

Ballon d’Or: 1982

Like Sir Bobby Charlton, Italy’s Paulo Rossi was a lot more than just a player who put in his best performances at international level, but Pablito’s display at the 1982 World Cup was impossible to ignore when it came to deciding that year’s Ballon d’Or.

Rossi has a quiet tournament until the quarter-final stage, where he scored a hat-trick against Brazil and went on to net a brace in the semi finals against Poland.

Pablito even scored in the final, opening the scoring against Jupp Derwall’s Germany with a header, with Italy going on to win the game 3-1 thanks to goals from Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli.

Zinedine Zidane


Champions League: 2002

World Cup: 1998

Ballon d’Or: 1998

Before Zinedine Zidane became a Champions League-winning manager at Real Madrid, he was a Champions League-winning midfielder in the Spanish capital.

His famous volley in the final against Bayer Leverkusen helped him to become the fifth player to ever win the Champions League, World Cup and Ballon d’Or – the last two which he won four years prior to Europe’s elite club competition.

It was during his time at Juventus where Zidane helped to inspire his national team to the World Cup in 1998, eventually earning himself a groundbreaking £46.6m move to Real Madrid just after the turn of the millennium.



Champions League: 2003

World Cup: 2002

Ballon d’Or: 1999

Despite Brazil’s consistent success throughout the 20th century, it wasn’t until AC Milan lifted the Champions League in 2003 that a star player from the Seleção had claimed all three major trophies in their career.

Rivaldo had only moved to Europe three years before winning the Ballon d’Or, and despite losing the World Cup final to Zidane’s France in 1998, the Brazil legend eventually got his hands on that trophy four years later – scoring in five consecutive games during their route to the final.

He ultimately had to leave Barcelona to get his hands on the Champions League, but even then Rivaldo was only an unused substitute as Milan secured the trophy thanks to a penalty shootout against Juventus.



Champions League: 2006

World Cup: 2002

Ballon d’Or: 2005

Ronaldinho hadn’t long been at Paris Saint-Germain when he won the World Cup in 2002, but the former Grêmio had to wait until a move to Barcelona before he started getting the worldwide recognition he deserved.

He pipped Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to the Ballon d’Or in 2005, while the following year Ronaldinho was part of the Barcelona team which beat Arsenal back at his old stomping ground, the Parc des Princes, in the Champions League final.



Champions League: 2007

World Cup: 2002

Ballon d’Or: 2007

Neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi have (or, likely will) join this list, so it looks set that Brazil legend Kaká will remain the most recent inductee into the most elite group of players to win football’s three most coveted prizes.

Kaká had only just turned 20 when he won the World Cup with Brazil, although he only appeared in one match as a second-half substitute.

It would be another year before Milan snapped him up from São Paulo, but it was with the Rossoneri where Kaká would win the Champions League and Ballon d’Or in 2007, going on to join Real Madrid in a move which made him Brazil’s most expensive player.

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South Korean Brand Nivelcrack Drop Wavey R9 Inspired Collection

When you think about Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, there is still a lingering question of ‘what if’? 

What if his knee hadn’t completely exploded during his playing career? What if he hadn’t feinted before that fateful World Cup final in 1998? And, of course, what if he had his face plastered all over a Hawaiian shirt?

Well, we can’t help you with the first two questions but thanks to South Korean cool-kid brand Nivelcrack, we can show you what he would look like on a Hawaiian shirt. 

For those not in the know, NIVELCRACK – which translates to level of top footballer – is a brand and a creative studio dedicated to all things football. They manufacture lifestyle and performance wear with craftsmanship, reflecting the spirit of footballers, clubs and their lifeblood in the supporters. They use their status to not only sell clothing but also to promote other people within the sphere of football, fashion and culture.

For their SS20 the brand have taken inspiration from one of football’s most iconic players, El Fenomeno. The collection features t-shirts, shorts, caps, rugs, sliders, hawaiian

shirts with Fenomeno graphic pattern and even tracksuits that are inspired by R9 Mercurial boots. What more could you want?

The full collection will be available from the ​Nivelcrack website on the 26th of March and if you think we’re getting that Mercurial R9 tracksuit, you’re absolutely right.