UEFA Champions League Team Of The Season So Far

Footy Accumulators' UEFA Champions League Team of the Year

With the UEFA Champions League appearing to not be returning for the foreseeable future, we thought we’d take a step back and recap the competition so far, specifically the best players so far.

In order to fit in all of the players we wanted to, we’ve gone for a 3-5-2 formation.

Have a look at our best XI of the tournament so far and see what you think.

Goalkeeper - Jan Oblak

We were torn between two players when considering the goalkeeper for our side, with both Keylor Navas and Jan Oblak both having fantastic Champions League campaigns so far this season.

After some consideration, we’ve opted to go for the Atletico Madrid man, with his exceptional performance against Liverpool in their round of 16 second leg giving him the edge over Navas.

Having kept four clean sheets in eight Champions League games this season, including the one in their first leg against the defending champions, Oblak has been instrumental in Atletico Champions League campaign.

At Anfield, a miraculous nine saves against the Reds not only kept Atletico in the tie, but saw them qualify after a resilient extra time display.

Defence - Thiago Silva

Our first defender comes in the form of Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva, who has been imperative in PSG’s strong defence record this season.

As it stands, no team has conceded less goals or kept more clean sheets than PSG in the Champions League this season, and without a doubt, Thiago Silva played a key role in that.

Despite only featuring in six of PSG’s eight Champions League games, the Brazilian has made 53 ball recoveries and nine tackles, which is almost 24% of the Ligue 1 sides' total tackles in the competition this season.

Defence- Virgil Van Dijk

Alongside Silva, we’ve decided to go for Virgil van Dijk as our second defender. Despite Liverpool not keeping the best defensive record in the Champions League this season, having kept one clean sheet in eight games, van Dijk has continued to show why he is one of the best defenders in the world.

You may be confused as to why we’ve included the Dutch defender, considering Liverpool’s poor defensive record this season. However, our reason for doing so comes from the fact that it would have been much worse without him in the centre.

During Liverpool’s eight Champions League fixtures, van Dijk made a total of 85 tackles which is more than any other player at the current stage of the competition.

What's even more impressive is the ex-Southampton man's confidence on the ball and willingness to play the ball out of the defence, which is proven by the fact the Liverpool man has completed more passes than any other player in the competition.

Defence - Nicolas Tagliafico

We finish off our defence with Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico. We're not letting elimination from the group stage affect our decisions when deciding our best XI, and bearing that in mind, we needed to include Tagliafico for his efforts.

The Argentine has once again shown his impressive balance between attacking and defensive talent. As it stands, no player has made more tackles in the Champions League than Tagliafico, which is impressive considering that he has played fewer games than most players, keeping three clean sheets in the process. Tagliafico also registered one goals and provided one assist in the group stage. Of course, there are defenders who have been involved in more goals, but Tagliafico earns his inclusion thanks to his balance between attack and defense.

Right midfield- Achraf Hakimi

Starting off our midfield, we have Borussia Dortmund’s Achraf Hakimi. Despite also making appearances at right-back and left midfield in the Champions League this season, Hakimi has spent most of his time at right midfield, playing five of his eight Champions League games this season there.

The Morrocan proved to be vital in Dortmund’s qualification from this season's so-called “group of death”, with two of his four Champions League goals coming in a 3-2 victory over Inter.

centre midfield - Hakim Ziyech

Hakimi is joined by a fellow Morrocan in midfield, as we have also decided to include Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech. Despite Ajax’s disappointing group stage exit, Ziyech continued his fantastic Champions League form from last season, scoring two goals and providing five assists in six games, with no player providing more assists as of yet.
Throughout the season so far, the Morrocan has displayed his effortless talent and creativity with the ball and is responsible for one of the best goals of the season in the form of his long range effort in Ajax’s 3-0 victory over Valencia. Chelsea will be receiving quite a player when Ziyech makes the move to Stamford Bridge.

Centre midfield - Marcel Sabitzer

Joining Ziyech in the centre of the park is RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer. Despite being a flexible player who is also capable of playing as a right winger and a right midfielder, we believe that Sabitzer is best suited in a more central role, plus it allows us to fit in both Sabitzer and Hakimi in our best XI.

The Austrian has been nothing short of incredible for RB Leipzig this season and has been instrumental in their campaign which saw them reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history, albeit a short history.

Four goals and two assists in seven Champions League appearances this season, including two goals against Tottenham in the round of 16 highlight the importance of Sabitzer to Leipzig this season.

Left midfield - Serge Gnabry

Finishing off our midfield is Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry. Gnabry is similar to Sabitzer in the way that he is a flexible player capable of playing in multiple positions, but considering that Gnabry has made five of his six Champions League appearances this at left midfield, it’s perfectly justifiable to make him the left midfielder in our best XI.

The former Arsenal man set the Champions League alight when he returned to London to face Tottenham in the group stage, scoring four goals and providing an assist in an emphatic 7-2 victory for Bayern.

Gnabry continued his goal-scoring form in London in Bayern’s round of 16 first leg against Chelsea, where his two goals helped Bayern to a 3-0 victory against Frank Lampard’s side.

Winger - Angel Di Maria

Starting off our attack, we’ve opted for PSG’s Angel Di Maria. When looking at the right wing position, we were considering Riyad Mahrez as well as Di Maria, but considering the Argentinian’s record in the Champions League this, there was no way that he couldn’t be included.

The PSG man opened up his Champions League campaign in the best way possible as a brace against former club Real Madrid helped PSG to a 3-0 victory against their main rivals in the group.

Despite not being able to add to his goal tally in his following six Champions League appearances, Di Maria displayed his incredible creativity and provided five assists, including a vital one in PSG’s 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund to send them to the quarter-finals.

Striker - Robert Lewandowski

We were once again torn and undecided when considering the striker for our best XI, as Erling Haaland’s spectacular goal-scoring record is well and truly worth of recognition, but at the end of the day, it was impossible for us to create our best XI and not include Robert Lewandowski.

The Polish striker is enjoying the season of his life, scoring 39 goals in 33 appearances for the Bavarian side this season, including an absurd 11 goals in six Champions League appearances, with four of those 11 goals coming in Bayern’s 6-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade.

Winger - Quincy Promes

For our left wing position, we’ve decided to go for another Ajax player in the form of Quincy Promes.

Once again, it may be easy to dismiss Ajax considering their exit at the group stage, however, that doesn’t mean that the efforts and performances from the likes of Ziech and Promes should be ignored

The Dutch winger enjoyed a fantastic group stage with Ajax, scoring four goals and providing one assist in five appearances.

It’s easy to use hindsight in situations like this, but considering that Promes was absent from Ajax’s 1-0 defeat to Valencia in their final group game, with that game proving to be instrumental in Ajax’s failure to reach the round of 16, it’s clear that Ajax missed Promes in that game and may have qualified if he continued his brilliant form into that game.

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