UEFA name their Champions League team of the season … with no Salah or Mane

Advertisements

Liverpool dominate in defense but their big stars are lacking in the attack, Benzema and Courtois are dead-certs and there’s THREE non-finalists in the mix … How UEFA picked their Champions League team of the season

  • UEFA name their team of the season days after Champions League final in Paris
  • Karim Benzema is one of four Real Madrid players to have made the team
  • Liverpool also have four players in the team, but none of their forwards make it
  • Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 to claim their 14th Champions League crown

UEFA have named their Champions League team of the season days after Liverpool’s defeat by Real Madrid in the final of the competition in Paris.

Los Blancos beat the Reds 1-0 in the French capital in a game marred by ugly scenes outside the ground before and after.

Naturally, the two finalists dominate the XI with both sides having four players apiece. PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City players make up the other three names.

Thibaut Courtois's heroics in Paris kept Liverpool at bay and he was named man of the match

Thibaut Courtois’s heroics in Paris kept Liverpool at bay and he was named man of the match

Antonio Rudiger cut a forlorn figure after Chelsea were knocked out in the quarter-finals

Antonio Rudiger cut a forlorn figure after Chelsea were knocked out in the quarter-finals

Likely inspired by his final heroics, making a number of inspired saves from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, Thibaut Courtois was picked in goal.

The Belgian will be particularly pleased that UEFA’s committee had shown him the requisite ‘respect’ that he demanded in many of his post-final media interviews.

Meanwhile, Liverpool dominate the back-line, with three of their players being named in defense alongside Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger.

Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold were named - but there was no place for Sadio Mane

Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold were named – but there was no place for Sadio Mane

Andrew Robertson completed the Liverpool triumvirate at the back of the XI's back four

Andrew Robertson completed the Liverpool triumvirate at the back of the XI’s back four

Andrew Robertson was named at left-back, with Virgil van Dijk being named in the center of defense alongside the German Rudiger. Trent Alexander-Arnold, despite his high-profile losing of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior for the only goal of Saturday’s game, completes the Liverpool representation at the back.

In midfield, Luka Modric was the certain pick amid some stiff competition. His performances against Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea, notably, in the round of 16 and quarter-finals seemingly assured him of a place irrespective of might have happened in the semi-finals and final.

Fabinho, who returned from injury for Saturday’s final, was picked to play at the base of the midfield three. His defensive contribution has been ever-impressive for Liverpool this season, but his goal away at Villarreal in the semi-finals was crucial to the Reds’ fortunes.

Fabinho (L) and Luka Modric (C) were both named in the midfield for UEFA's team of the season

Fabinho (L) and Luka Modric (C) were both named in the midfield for UEFA’s team of the season

Kevin De Bruyne was crucial in leading Manchester City to within minutes of the final in Paris

Kevin De Bruyne was crucial in leading Manchester City to within minutes of the final in Paris

Advertisements

Kevin De Bruyne was named alongside Modric and Fabinho, with the City star making crucial contributions in each of City’s knockout ties.

His goal against Atletico Madrid in the first installation of their quarter-final tie proved the difference over the two legs, while he opened the scoring in City’s 4-3 win over Real Madrid at the Etihad in the humdinger opener to their tie last month.

In attack, Liverpool might be shocked to see neither Salah nor Mane made the XI. In Salah’s usual right-side spot, UEFA opted for Kylian Mbappe, despite his side being knocked out of the competition at the first knockout hurdle.

Not even Kylian Mbappe's heroics were enough for PSG to overcome their Champions League block - despite the round of 16 elimination, the Frenchman was still named in the XI

Not even Kylian Mbappe’s heroics were enough for PSG to overcome their Champions League block – despite the round of 16 elimination, the Frenchman was still named in the XI

UEFA named their team of the season on Tuesday with Real Madrid and Liverpool dominating

UEFA named their team of the season on Tuesday with Real Madrid and Liverpool dominating

However, the Frenchman had scored twice across the tie with Real Madrid prior to Karim Benzema’s astonishing second half rescue act.

Benzema’s 15 goals across the competition guaranteed him a place in the side after one of the truly great continental campaigns. The hat-tricks at crucial moments against PSG and Chelsea, in particular, will live long in the memory of a club who have enjoyed plenty of glorious nights on the European stage.

Vinicius completes the team with his deployment on the left. Having slightly flown under the radar owing to Benzema’s out-of-this-world performances, the Brazilian grew into the tournament at the crucial stage.

His goal to pull Real Madrid back to 3-2 at the Etihad was crucial in the context of that tie, while the significance of his finish on Saturday night needs little explanation.

Real pair Benzema and Vinicius were also awarded individual honors after being named the player of the year and young player of the year, respectively.

Karim Benzema enjoyed one of the great European campaigns, scoring 15 goals

Karim Benzema enjoyed one of the great European campaigns, scoring 15 goals

Vinicius Junior's goal capped a stellar season in the competition for the young Brazilian

Vinicius Junior’s goal capped a stellar season in the competition for the young Brazilian

Advertisement

.

Advertisements

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*