All players to win the UEFA Champions League or Copa Libertadores

  • The biggest club competitions in Europe and South America have only ever been won by 15 players
  • This rare award is only given to five Argentines, ten Brazilians.
  • Marcelo, a former Real Madrid fullback who played for Flamengo in 2023, was the last Flamengo footballer to accomplish this feat.

A Daily Mail headline has not been the only one to cause outrage. The back cover of a December 1954 issue prompted an attempt to create something positive from the outcry of fake news.

The English red shirt declared “Hail Wolves! Champions of the World” after Stan Cullis and his team defeated Hungarian champions Honved. Gabriel Hanot was a former French international and editor at L’Equipe. He became so upset by the idea that Wolves are the best example of a team that he started the European Cup. This would eventually become the UEFA Champions League.

Chile was behind South America’s equivalent, but it had to convince Atlantic leaders Argentina Brazil Uruguay that the pan-continental tournament could make money. In 1960, the Copa Libertadores became a reality.

In the modern age, only 15 players are known to have won medals for both events. Check out the select few who could be called ‘Champions of the World.

1. Juan Pablo Sorin

Argentinian defender Juan Pablo Sorin wa

Juan Pablo Sorin was the winner of both contests within the same calendar. / GABRIEL BOOUYS/Getty Images

Champions League win: 1996 (Juventus)
Copa Libertadores win: 1996 (River Plate)

Juan Pablo Sorin’s 2017 TED Talk was simply titled “No.” The journey of how Juan Pablo Sorin overcame his setbacks includes a brief six-month stint at Juventus.

Sorin quit the Turin giants in the middle of the season, after only 44 minutes played during a Champions League campaign which Juve won with or without him. River Plate made the most of Sorin’s talent, using him throughout their Copa Libertadores victory that year.

2. Roque Junior

Roque Junior and Zinedine Zidane

Roque Junior (right), tangles with Zinedine Zidane / Claudio Villa/ GraziaNeri/GettyImages

Champions League victory:2003, Milan
Copa Libertadores win: 1999 (Palmeiras)

Roque Junior must have had no regrets after his trophies. The former Palmeiras, AC Milan and Palmeiras defender said: “I won’t allow myself to have regrets about my career. I achieved my dreams.”

“I reached the top of one of Brazil’s biggest clubs. I then went to the international level and won even more trophies. I then won with my national team.” “I won all I wanted, and then some.”

3. Cafu

AC Milan's Brazilian defender Cafu jubil...

Cafu was a great player. / Frank Fie/Getty Images

Champions League victory:2007 in Milan
Copa Libertadores wins: 1992 & 1993 (Sao Paulo)

Cafu is not just a club champion, he has also been a part of two World Cups and Copas Americas. He was the embodiment of constant motion on Brazil’s left flank.

It was a long time before those victories that Cafu’s work ethic became so renowned. Cafu fondly recalled, “I used to wake up at 4:30am and eat breakfast before taking the bus to train at 9am.”

4. Dida

Soccer - UEFA Champions League Finals - AC Milan vs. Liverpool

Dida celebrating AC Milan’s Champions League 2007 win/sampics/GettyImages

Champions League victory:2007 in Milan
Copa Libertadores win: 1997 (Cruzeiro)

Cruzeiro’s shutout of Sporting Cristal against Sporting Cristal was the only clean sheet kept by a goalkeeper in both the Champions League final and Copa Libertadores in 1997. The legendary save made from a second-leg free kick is what earned him his victory.

Gelson Baresi, Dida’s teammate said: “A goalkeeper such as Dida brings complete peace to the team.” Dida is the goalkeeper that the defender knows will catch the ball if it passes them.

5. Carlos Tevez

Champions League win: 2008 (Man Utd)
Copa Libertadores win: 2003 (Boca Juniors)

Juan Roman Riquelme left Boca Juniors, but the club inherited Carlos Bianchi. He embodied the same feverish passion that fueled Carlos Tevez’s relentless game.

Tevez, who had just won South America’s Boca in 2005, was one of three members of Manchester United’s formidable attack along with Cristiano Ronaldo.

6. Walter Samuel

Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Walte

Walter Samuel with his family poses in front of the Champions League Trophy / CHRISTOPHE SIMON/GettyImages

Champions League: Inter wins 2010
Copa Libertadores win: 2000 (Boca Juniors)

Walter Samuel laid the concrete for two continent-wide triumphs, which ended the interminable waiting period of some of the biggest clubs in the world.

Samuel and Boca Juniors ushered in the millennium with a bang. They had been without a Copa Libertadores title for 22 years. Inter had been without a win for 45 years before Jose Mourinho and his resolute team – represented by Samuel – ended their drought in 2010.

7. Ronaldinho


Ronaldinho is the first player in football history to have won the World Cup and the Champions League as well as the World Player of the Year award, Ballon d’Or, Copa Libertadores, Allsport Co./Getty Images

Champions League victory:2006, Barcelona
Copa Libertadores win: 2013 (Atletico Mineiro)

Ronaldinho was so relaxed on the field that he could not stand up. He waltzed his way to the Champions League in 2006 with Barcelona. Ronaldinho’s revenge was finally achieved after a disappointing spell with Flamengo at the end of his career.

When he arrived at Atletico Mineiro, in 2012, he stated: “We want to change things when we receive a lot criticism.” “I come here with this desire.” Ronaldinho, 32 years old, led his club to Copa Libertadores title at the age of 32.

8. Neymar

Neymar Jr

Neymar celebrated the 2015 Champions League Title wearing the same headband that he wore on Brazil’s futsal pitch / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Champions League:2015 win (Barcelona).
Copa Libertadores win: 2011 (Santos)

After an unremarkable first leg in 2011 Copa Libertadores against Penarol for Santos, critics lined up to slam Neymar. Neymar responded by putting on a strong performance in Santos’ first win in this competition since Pele. He scored the opening goal in a 2-1 victory.

Neymar is the only player who has ever scored in both the Champions League and the World Cup finals. He did this by beating Gigi Bufon during the Champions League 2015 Final, which Barcelona won.

9. Danilo


Danilo kissing the Champions League trophy / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/GettyImages

Champions League:2016 Real Madrid
Copa Libertadores win: 2011 (Santos)

Danilo was a member of two era-defining football teams on different continents. His versatility and his selflessness enabled him to win at Santos as well as Real Madrid, without making headlines.

10. Rafinha


Rafinha celebrates Flamengo’s Copa victory / Manuel Velasquez/GettyImages

Champions League victory:2013
Copa Libertadores win: 2019 (Flamengo)

Rafinha’s time with Flamengo, however, was more productive. He won 18 trophies during his tenure at Bayern Munich including the Champions League.

Rafinha, in his first season at the club as a full-time player for 2019, won six trophies while losing just three matches.

11. Ramires

Chelsea's Brazilian defender David Luiz

Ramires (left), celebrating Chelsea’s first Champions League Trophy in 2012. / PATRIK STOLARZ/Getty Images

Champions League victory:2012
Copa Libertadores win: 2020 (Palmeiras)

Ramires’s sumptuous chip at an important stage in the Champions League Final against Barcelona, 2012 will forever be etched into the history of Chelsea.

Branislav Mihailovic, the teammate of his Brazilian colleague was also amazed by this skill. He then said: “But I believe it is natural for him.”

12. Willy Caballero


Willy Caballero didn’t play, but that did not stop his family and friends from celebrating Chelsea winning the Champions League in 2021 / SUSANA VAERA/GettyImages

Champions League victory:2021
Copa Libertadores win: 2003 (Boca Juniors)

Willy Caballero, who won two medals for watching three finals on the sidelines during both South American legs of the tournament. It’s two more than the average.

13. David Luiz

David Luiz

David Luiz wore a brand new look for Chelsea. Eurasia Sports Images/GettyImages

Champions League victory:2012
Copa Libertadores win: 2022 (Flamengo)

David Luiz admitted, at the age of 35, that his Copa Libertadores win “caught him by surprise” following a career spent almost exclusively in Europe.

The centre-back, who played for Chelsea and Arsenal in the past, was aware of his surprising win. I was able to win the Libertadores and Champions League with Flamengo and join the elite group of players who have achieved both. It’s only 13-14 players, so it was a very special moment for me.

14. Julian Alvarez

Julian Alvarez

Julian Alvarez won the World Cup and Champions League in the same season / Marvin Ibo Guengoer – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Champions League victory:2018
Copa Libertadores win: 2023 (Man City)

Julian Alvarez, at just 18 years old, achieved something few River fans would have imagined. He beat the fiercest club rivals Boca Juniors in the finals of the continent’s largest competition.

La Arana, or the Spider as his brothers call him, still has plenty more peaks to climb. He added the Champions League trophy to his already bulging trophy case in the same year that he was crowned World Cup champion with Argentina.

15. Marcelo


Marcelo was emotional after winning his first Copa Libertadores with Fluminense at 35 / PABLO PORCIUNCULA/GettyImages

Champions League wins:2014 (Real Madrid), 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2022.
Copa Libertadores win: 2023 (Fluminense)

Marcelo placed his Copa Libertadores with the boyhood Fluminense club above five trophies that he had hoisted at Real Madrid. He explained that it was his most significant club title because it is the club where he grew up.

There’s no better reward than that. Marcelo exclaimed, “It’s worthless.” Real Madrid will get it. They will?

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