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Champions League Immortals: Pick your all-time XI as BT Sport celebrates 30 years of club football's elite competition
BT Sport is asking you to choose your dream line-up as we count down to this season's showpiece event in Paris.
You’ve had the debates, now it’s time to settle the score.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Champions League, BT Sport is assembling the competition’s greatest ever team from our shortlisted all-star cast.
And we want you to get involved!
Pick your XI through our team selector and share on social media to join the debate as we prepare to reveal BT Sport's official team ahead of the 2022 Champions League final at the Stade de France between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
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So, what is an immortal, I hear you ask?
It's someone who lives forever, never dying or decaying. Someone whose fame is everlasting, who will be remembered throughout time. Constantly and perpetually.
A Champions League Immortal is just that. To become an Immortal, your legacy with the competition must be permanent and unforgettable.
It’s the Mount Rushmore of the Champions League, the lifetime achievement award for a select 33 of the greatest footballers in the modern era.
The 33 contenders
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Edwin van der Sar & Iker Casillas
Right Backs: Dani Alves, Cafu & Philipp Lahm
Centre Backs: Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Rio Ferdinand, Carles Puyol, Paolo Maldini & Raphael Varane
Left Backs: Roberto Carlos, Marcelo & Ashley Cole
Midfielders: Xavi, Steven Gerrard, Andres Iniesta, Luka Modric, Paul Scholes, Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf & Toni Kroos
Forwards: Luis Figo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Raul & Gareth Bale
So how did we whittle down the 8,200-odd players who’ve appeared in the competition between the 1992/93 season to the present day to our 33?
We looked at the most successful players, the top scorers, the leaders, those with the most appearances, who’ve been there, seen it and done it with multiple clubs...
We looked at those who’ve had key roles in the greatest Champions League sides ever – Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan, Barcelona under Pep Guardiola, Real Madrid between 2014 and 2018.
We looked at players who’ve featured in the Champions League’s most memorable moments and players who save their very best, for the very best club competition in world football.
We also asked our glittering team of pundits for their input and finally, we’ve arrived at 33 players who’ve truly defined the Champions League era.
We split those players down into positions with three goalkeepers, three right backs, three left backs, six centre backs, nine midfielders and nine forwards to form the shortlist.
From Rio Ferdinand to Owen Hargreaves, our pundits were given the chance to make the case for their Immortals as they talked through some of the greats to grace Europe's top table.
The pundits' all-time XIs
But remember, if you don’t agree with them, you can pick your own line-up!
And if you just can't decide who takes that final midfield spot or starts between the sticks, we've condensed all 33 players' storied Champions League tales into handy videos on our team selector.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to share your team on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #UCLIMMORTALS.
The debate will finally be settled when we ask our pundits and a special guest to work together to come up with BT Sport’s definitive team.
The show will air in the run-up to the 2022 Champions League final, as we crown our Immortals.