The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) have named their Champions League squad of the season. Real Madrid have seven players while Liverpool, have three while semi-finalists Bayern and Roma have two players each. The squad is, like always, brimming with quality players. As is tradition, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have made the cut; here’s the list of the players who made the 18-man list.
Keylor Navas (Real Madrid)
3 – Keylor Navas is the first goalkeeper in the Champions League history to play and win three consecutive finals (penalty shootout included). Faith. pic.twitter.com/noTPoTON0u
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 26, 2018
Keylor Navas was in the Champions League’s winning side as he made 29 saves and helped Real Madrid to their third Champions League trophy in a row.
Technical Observers say: Steady campaign and made saves when required to.
Alisson Becker (Roma)
#UCL Squad of the Season ✔
Most saves in 2017/18 ✔
🇧🇷 Alisson Becker 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/LnfjWae5w7
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2018
The Roma stopper had a sensational season with the club including an amazing Champions League campaign as I Giallorossi won the hearts of many. Alisson kept 5 clean sheets and made 47 saves in the process.
Technical Observers say, Some excellent performances en route to the semi-finals. Numerous saves away to Shakhtar kept his team in the tie.
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern München)
First Arturo Vidal at the Confederations Cup, now Antonio Rüdiger in Germany training…
Joshua Kimmich loves a little tussle with a teammate. 👀 pic.twitter.com/64B2yB7OWG
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) May 30, 2018
Kimmich scored 4 goals and assisted another 3 from the right-back position as he inspired Bayern to reach the semi-finals where they were knocked out by Real Madrid, who would later go on to win the cup.
Technical Observers say: Energetic full-back helped Bayern’s run to the semi-finals, and an excellent goal in the semis gave his team belief.
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
As a player and coach you decided to say goodbye at the top. Thank you for two and a half incredible years. Your legacy will never be erased, one of the most successful chapters in the history of our beloved @realmadrid pic.twitter.com/dO6bw74aA3
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) May 31, 2018
The skipper of the winning team, Sergio Ramos played a major role in Real Madrid’s third consecutive Champions League trophy. He made 14 tackles, 45 clearances and 18 interceptions in the Champions League knockout stages.
Technical Observers say, The champions’ defensive talisman as they completed their hat-trick.
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Video | Marcelo once again the heart of the party in the Brazil NT bus. pic.twitter.com/iDHcMU0G9G
— Real Madrid Info (@RMadridInfo) June 3, 2018
The dancing Brazillian played in 11 of Real Madrid’s knockout matches as he registered 3 goals and 3 assists. Marcelo is considered to be the best left-back in modern football.
Technical Observers say: Provides width and an incredible attacking threat from left-back.
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
Chiellini at Disneyland Paris 🏰 pic.twitter.com/nJSDIyjGdr
— JuPorn™ (@jup1897) May 29, 2018
The 33-year old had another solid season for Juventus as he led them to their 7th consecutive league title. In the 7 matches that Chiellini played for the Bianconeri, Chiellini made 10 tackles, 46 clearances, and 13 interceptions.
Technical Observers say: Juventus’ key defender was at the heart of brilliant team defensive displays in London and Madrid.
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s Premier League rivals? They’re “jealous” of the Reds’ Champions League run, says Virgil van Dijk. pic.twitter.com/G8xoy4IYuv
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 29, 2018
Joining Liverpool in the winter transfer window, Van Dijk just played 6 matches for The Reds where he made 5 tackles, 41 clearances, 10 interceptions and provided a defensive stability that Liverpool were lacking.
Technical Observers say: Arrived at Liverpool in January and provided composure and stability in the competition’s knockout stages.
Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
Varane is now the YOUNGEST player in football HISTORY to win 4 European Cups/Champions League titles [25 years 1 month].
Besting Gento’s record [25 years 8 months]. pic.twitter.com/KTaz68CcDs
— Real Madrid Stats (@RMadrid_Stats) May 26, 2018
Varane has proven himself as one of the best defenders in the world today. The 25-year old made 9 tackles, 66 clearances and 14 interceptions in his 11 matches in the competition.
Technical Observers say: Ramos’ central defensive partner is outstanding in his own right.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Flashing lights! 🇧🇪 pic.twitter.com/FGvErAaqhf
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) June 3, 2018
With a goal and 4 assists in 8 matches in the tournament, Kevin De Bruyne was the complete playmaker for City side who reached the quarter-finals. The Belgian superstar was also essential to Manchester City’s 100-point title-winning campaign in the Premier League last season.
Technical Observers say, The complete midfield player, with the technical and athletic ability to play in any midfield role.
Casemiro (Real Madrid)
Casemiro with the assist for Brazil 2nd goal vs Croatia pic.twitter.com/d2TNhGNsAS
— Real Madrid Info (@RMadridInfo) June 3, 2018
One of the best defensive midfielders in modern football, Casemiro has made quite a name for himself in the last couple of seasons for Los Blancos. In his 12 matches in the competition, he made 29 tackles, 22 clearances, 23 interceptions and 7 key passes.
Technical Observers say, The anchorman of Madrid’s immaculately balanced midfield trio.
Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
Neymar Jr and Luka Modrić exchanged jerseys after the match.pic.twitter.com/8hHGybJ5s9
— Brazil Football 🇧🇷 (@BrazilEdition) June 3, 2018
The Real Madrid playmaker played 11 Champions League matches making 9 key passes, 16 dribbles, and 14 interceptions. Modric seemed like the most composed in the Real Madrid side.
Technical Observers say, Always available to receive the ball, he is incredibly important to how the champions want to play.
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Toni Kroos is 28 years old..
• Champions League 🏆🏆🏆🏆
• Club World Cup 🏆🏆🏆🏆
• European SuperCup 🏆🏆🏆🏆
• Bundesliga 🏆🏆🏆
• German Cup 🏆🏆
• World Cup 🏆
• La Liga 🏆
• Spanish SuperCup 🏆
• German Super Cup 🏆
21 trophies. pic.twitter.com/DAPIiBbJy2
— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) May 30, 2018
In the 12 games he played in the tournament, he made 813 passes (94% accuracy), 12 tackles and 7 interceptions. Toni Kroos just keeps getting better with every season.
Technical Observers say, Composure on the ball and metronomic passing. He and Modrić bring an attacking fluidity to Madrid’s game.
James Rodríguez (Bayern München)
10 Days until World Cup kicks off…. How will the top teams and players break down and unlock compact defenses? With huge pressure and limited time & space it always takes something special…James Rodriguez in 2014 takes some beating. pic.twitter.com/1qfNPvM5EO
— Modern Soccer Coach (@msceducation) June 4, 2018
James Rodriguez became an instant hit when he joined Bayern on loan from Real Madrid. The Colombian star showed his worth in his new colors as he helped Bayern reach the semi-finals. He registered 8 shots on target, 10 dribbles, 11 tackles, 10 interceptions and a record 25 key passes in the competition.
Technical Observers say: Performed excellently in the knockout stages, particularly in the second leg against Real Madrid.
Edin Džeko (Roma)
— Edin Džeko (@EdDzeko) June 3, 2018
The Roma striker scored 8 goals and assisted 3 as he led Roma to a sensational Champions League campaign.
Technical Observers say: A brilliant volleyed finish in the group stage against Chelsea was a highlight as he led the line and his team to the semi-finals, scoring eight goals along the way.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Roberto Firmino has scored 15 goals at Anfield for club & country since the start of the 2017/18 season.
There’s no place like home. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/WwPd2vdHzU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 3, 2018
With 10 goals and 8 assists in 13 matches in his debut season in the Champions League, Firmino lit up the tournament with his unparalleled flair.
Technical Observers say, Combined incredible work rate and fierce competitiveness with technical quality, scoring ten goals in the competition.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
🇦🇷 Messi for Argentina:
38 assists pic.twitter.com/kKUj9i1pud
— Barca Galaxy (@barcagalaxy) June 4, 2018
The 5 time Ballon d’Or winner and arguably the best player in the world, Lionel Messi makes an appearance in the Champions League squad of the season yet again, with his 6 goals and 2 assists in the competition.
Technical Observers say: Barcelona’s key attacker was the difference-maker in both rounds of 16 games against Chelsea.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
•The most complete player🥇
•Goals / Dribbling / Passes / Skills🎩
•Still outclassing everybody🔥 pic.twitter.com/wLXz1pOWj7
— Diego (@ronaldocomps) June 3, 2018
Another 5 time Ballon d’Or winner and another arguably best player in the world, Ronaldo won the Champions League for a fifth time in his career, becoming the first ever player to do so. With the league-high 15 goals, CR7 was the difference yet again.
Technical Observers say, The competition’s top scorer for the sixth consecutive year and scorer of the Technical Observers’ goal of the season.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
One Minute #BREAKDOWN: Sergio Ramos vs Mohammad Salah.
— Robin Black (@robinblackmma) May 27, 2018
One of the best performers this season, The Egyptian King scored 10 goals and assisted 2 as he led Liverpool to the finals with inspiring performances in the knockout stages and leaving us to wonder ‘what could have been?’ if Salah hadn’t gotten injured.
Technical Observers say: The Liverpool winger had an incredible season, making the difference in the semi-finals, and his departure in the final changed the outlook of the game.