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Europa Conference League Team of the Tournament


Europa Conference League Team of the Tournament

Now that the UEFA Europa Conference League has come to an end, we’ve picked out our UECL Team of the Tournament.

GK – Alphonse Areola (West Ham)

West Ham’s champion goalkeeper gets the spot in goal, after a brilliant tournament seeing him go on to earn a winner’s medal.

David Moyes have alternated between Areola and Lukasz Fabianski in goal this season, with the former being chosen as the cup goalkeeper in the UECL. The former PSG ‘keeper has played every single minute of the European campaign, conceding just eight goals in the 13 games throughout the competition. The Frenchman has picked up the Golden Glove award in the competition with six clean sheets, tying with Lech Poznan’s Filip Bednarek even after playing one more game than the Polish shot-stopper. Areola also managed an impressive 81.1% save percentage, putting him among the best in the competition.

RB – Joel Pereira (Lech Poznan)

Lech Poznan had an impressive showing in the competition, making it to the quarterfinals before being narrowly edge out by eventual finalists Fiorentina. Right-back Joel Pereira was one of their key performers and deserves a spot in the Team of the Tournament.

Pereira put in plenty of strong showings throughout the competition, even recording two assists from full-back across the 12 appearances he made. The Portuguese defender made 20 tackles over the course of the campaign, with only four players in the competition managing to make more whilst also making more interceptions than any other player across the season in the Conference League.

CB – Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina)

Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic gets in this side as one of the two centre-backs after having a huge influence for the Italian outfit as they made it to the final of the tournament.

The Viola continued with their attacking football throughout the competition, with their high-press meaning that Milenkovic had to be a rock at the back high up the pitch. The Serbian did a fine job though and was solid across the nine appearances he made, even popping up with one goal and an assist during the campaign.

CB – Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht)

Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen finds himself on this list as the second centre-back, following strong performances with Anderlecht.

West Ham’s Nayef Aguerd and Vertonghen’s teammate Zeno Debast were notable mentions and were both unlucky not to feature, but the 36-year-old deserves his spot in the XI. Vertonghen had more ball recoveries than any player in the competition and was a colossal figure for the Belgium side as they reached the quarter-final before being knocked out on penalties by AZ Alkmaar.

LB – Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina)

One of the players of the tournament, Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi earns his spot in the Team of the Tournament after playing a pivotal role in the Italian side’s run to the final.

The Italian left-back made more key passes (42) than any other player in the UECL as well as recording the most passes into the penalty area. Biraghi created more shot-creating actions than anyone else and also ended the tournament with six assists – the most in the competition. If Fiorentina would have been able to make it all the way and lift the trophy, Biraghi would have been in with a shout of being named the Player of the Tournament after a campaign in which he and his Fiorentina side just fell at the final hurdle after a great season.

RM – Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)

After grabbing the late winner and firing his club to glory, Jarrod Bowen makes it on the right side of this team after a terrific European campaign.

The English winger finished on five goals, two behind the top goalscorer, whilst also recording two assists as the Hammers went on to lift the trophy. Bowen will go down in West Ham history though for his crucial, game-winning strike in added time which clinched for the London outfit.

CM – Declan Rice (West Ham)

One of the first names of this list has to be Declan Rice, with the 24-year-old joining prestigious names like Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds as a West Ham captain that lifted a major trophy for the Irons.

Rice was named Player of the Season by UEFA for his important role as the anchor-man that has protected the West Ham defence, leading them to glory. The England international manged a goal and an assist in the competition, whilst also having a 90% pass completion rate which put him in the top 5% of midfielders in the competition. Rice’s driving with the ball from deep was also important, averaging 3.23 progressive carries per game which put him in the top 15% of all UECL midfielders. His leadership and presence on the pitch was a big factor in pushing West Ham all the way in the competition.

CM – Andy Diouf (FC Basel)

Partnering the 2022/23 UECL Player of the Season has to be FC Basel’s Andy Diouf – the 2022/23 UECL Young Player of the Season.

The 20-year-old central midfielder played more progressive carries than any other player, as an influential box-to-box midfielder that got back and forth across the pitch. The Frenchman scored three goals and provided two assists as the Swiss side progressed as far the semi-final stage.

LM – Said Benrahma (West Ham)

Another West Ham midfielder makes the Team of the Tournament, with Said Benhrama being a key threat for the Hammers throughout the season.

The Algerian winger scored three times during the campaign, including a huge pressure penalty to open the scoring in the final. Benrahma also picked up an assist as he continued to be a danger going forward for West Ham down the left flank, cutting inside on his right foot and using his trickery to beat defenders and create chances.

ST – Zeki Amdouni (FC Basel)

FC Basel had a strong UECL campaign, with Zeki Amdouni being one of the stars for the Swiss side.

No player scored more goals in the 2022/23 UECL than Amdouni, whose seven goals saw him named as the top goal scorer. Those seven goals contributed to 54% of the 13 goals that Basel scored in the competition, showing his important to the side. The 22-year-old finished the season on fire, scoring his seven goals across the last seven games as FCB reached the final four.

ST – Mikael Ishak (Lech Poznan)

Lech Poznan’s Mikael Ishak rounds of this list as the second striker in this team after leading the Polish outfit to a quarter-final finish.

The Poznan captain recorded more goals and assists combined than any other player in the competition and was crucial in his team’s good showing in the tournament. Ishak scored five goals, two behind Amdouni, with only four other players scoring more. The 30-year-old also made the top five in terms of assists with four, one away from the leaders with five.