While although the Champions League can be considered as a tournament that actually started back in 1955/56 season as the European Cup, there is still a clear distinction between the pure knockout phase of the past and the tournament that we all know and love today.
A tournament that is undoubtedly the biggest club competition in the world and with it being such a difficult one to master, earning a winner’s medal is often considered one of the key accolades that any player can earn in his career.
While although it is a challenge to win the Champions League once, it is incredibly difficult to win it on multiple occasions. Then again, that is not to say it is impossible either and, in the list, below, we will highlight the most successful players of the modern era.
Who else but a man who is never shy when it comes to dominating the headlines and with those headlines recently being generated by a return to Manchester United, it was there where the Portuguese icon claimed his first Champions League outright victory.
A success that came in the Russian capital of Moscow back in 2008 and with United getting the better of fellow Premier League outfit Chelsea on penalties, this would be the first of five Champions League victories that Cristiano Ronaldo has to his name.
While the other four were earned while wearing the iconic colours of Real Madrid and after winning the competition a quartet of times in just a quintet of years, the Spanish institution were once again synonymous with this legendary tournament.
Not only that but Cristiano Ronaldo was also the first man to score in two separate finals for two different teams and when it comes to personal accolades, this is just one of the incredible number he has earned for himself over the years.
While four seems to be something of a magic number, as a whole host of world-class talents have earned this frequency of Champions League winner’s medals and one of those, is Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic.
Even though he was not a part of the 2014 Real Madrid team that got the better of Atletico Madrid, he would eventually restore parity with many of his Los Blancos teammates and that parity came as recently as June 2021.
That was when Chelsea got the better of Manchester City and for those who are partial to Bovada sports betting, such a result would have generated the opportunity to make a decent amount of profitability.
Profitability, that comes with Chelsea being considered and subsequently priced as the underdogs for last season’s Champions League Final and had you backed the Blues to win, you would have certainly been smiling at the end.
Of course, it would not be a list regarding Champions League winners and multiple success without mentioning Lionel Messi and although he no longer calls the Camp Nou home, his time at Barcelona will never be forgotten.
Especially as the mercurial Argentine helped Barcelona to victory in the competition on four separate occasions and with the first of those coming back in 2006, it was his time with Pep Guardiola that was certainly the most memorable.
Whether the Pep Guardiola era of Barcelona can truly be considered the greatest club side ever created is something that will always be argued. However, what cannot be argued is the fact that the Catalan outfit were mesmerising in both 2009 and 2011.
Those were the years in which Barcelona got the better of Manchester United and with Messi acting as chief tormentor, Champions League trophies two and three were soon to be collected for good measure.
While the fourth and final success in this competition came back in 2015, as Barcelona got the better of the Juventus and now Messi will be aiming to lead his new employers PSG, on their way to continental dominance.
Even though many stars have won the Champions League on four separate occasions, by virtue of being a part of either the legendary Barcelona or Real Madrid all-star squads, our next entry is someone who bagged three wins for himself.
The man in question is Samuel Eto’o and the fearsome Cameroonian forward, helped both Barcelona and Inter Milan to the top step of European football – while doing so on three occasions, in the space of just five years.
Like Messi above, the first of these wins came back in 2006, as Barcelona got the better of Arsenal at the Stade de France and the former Real Mallorca striker would also be a part of the 2009 team under Guardiola.
However, the following season he was part of the ill-fated swap deal that saw him switch clubs with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Barcelona’s loss was certainly Inter Milan’s gain, as Eto’o played a huge part in the Italian side winning the 2010 edition of the competition.