Champions League: Best XI of the 2016/17

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Champions League Final

Well, there you have it after a pulsating and exciting final, Real Madrid became the first team, in the modern era, to retain the Champions League. This was a vintage Champions League with amazing comebacks and superb individual performances, and it was all capped off with a magical night in Cardiff.

Juventus and Real Madrid were the two best teams, and it really was not a surprise to see them make the final. However, there were also players from other sides who left their mark and made an impression.

From newly born stars like Ousmane Dembele and Ludwig Augustinsson to experienced campaigners continuing their levels of brilliance like Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema. With this season’s competition done and dusted we thought we should take a stab at naming a best 11 for this game playing a 4-3-3 formation to squeeze in as much talent as possible.

GK: Gianluigi Buffon Juventus:

It would be impossible to leave this giant of the game out. In his sixteenth season at Juventus, he continued to raise the bar of excellence, and his presence alone seems to make Juventus a calmer and more organised team. Such a shame he couldn’t finally win the trophy.

LB: Marcelo, Real Madrid:

One of the standout players in the competition at any position this season, the Brazilian defender caused havoc in both the quarter-final against Bayern and the semi-final again cross-town rivals Atletico – arguably the best fullback in the world.

CB: Diego Godin, Atletico

Up until their semi-final defeat against Real, Godin and his Atleti side were superb defensively conceding only five goals in ten games. He is imperious as ever in the air and remains one of the best centre-backs in world football.

CB: Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus:

Not much more can be said about the marvellous Bonucci, despite seemingly being around forever, the Italian defender is only 30-years-old and continues to raise the bar for defenders. Juventus conceded only three goals before the final including only a single goal in the Champions League’s knockout stages, and a lot of that was down to Bonucci.

RB: Dani Alves, Juventus:

Joining his international colleague and fellow full-back Marcelo, Alves also offers solid defending but it his ability to get forward and influence games that make him so special. In the quarter-final against his old side Barcelona, he was superb, and he was even better in the semi-final against Monaco.

CM: Luka Modric, Real Madrid,

The metronomic maestro just makes Madrid tick; he moves the ball brilliantly, finds gaps where no one else does and sets the tempo that makes Madrid so hard to play against. Despite all their talent they just aren’t the same side without him.

CM: Fabinho, Monaco:

Monaco were one of the surprise packages of the tournament and Fabinho was key in that. Moved from right-back to central midfield, the Brazilian provides Monaco’s midfield with stability and allows their creative players to shine even brighter.

CM: Bernardo Silva, Monaco

More of a wide player than a strict central midfielder but on this team, he can play in front of the other two. With the ball seemingly glued to his feet, Silva was the creative force behind Monaco’s incredible CL run.

LW: Cristiano Ronaldo, Monaco

Ended as the top goal scorer despite being nine goals behind Messi when the quarter-finals began. He proved himself the man for the big occasion scoring five against Bayern over two legs, a hat-trick against Atleti in the semi-final and two goals in the final, simply amazing.

ST: Kylian Mbappe:

The young striker lit up the tournament and marked himself out as one of the best young players in Europe. He was only introduced later in the Champions League and scored six goals in just nine games at a rate of one every 89 minutes.

RW: Lionel Messi, Barcelona

Despite a disappointing campaign for Barcelona, Messi had another superb year in the Champions League bagging 11 goals. He will hope that, under a new manager, Barcelona can challenge next season.

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