Days after the Champions League final, UEFA have announced the tournament’s official ‘Squad of the Season’.
Eighteen players - two goalkeepers, five defenders, six midfielders and five forwards - have been picked out as this season’s outstanding performers in Europe’s premier club cup competition.
The squad was chosen by UEFA’s ‘Technical Observers’ - comprised of various high-profile figures including Sir Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson - in Cardiff over the weekend.
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The 18-man squad features many of the 2016-17 Champions League’s standout players, such as Gianluigi Buffon, Luka Modric and, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo.
But there are a few surprise absentees - including one, in particular, who surely deserved a place on the list.
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UEFA's Squad of the Season
First of all, let’s see who the Technical Observers selected and their reasons why, courtesy of UEFA’s official website.
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Technical Observers say: Excellent performances. A talisman for his team.
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Outstanding shot-stopping underlined by a high number of saves made.
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Technical Observers say: Key member of Juventus' back three. Combined good defending with vision and range of passing.
Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Performed outstandingly as the competition progressed.
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Like fellow Madrid full-back Carvajal, an outstanding contributor.
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Technical Observers say: The captain and key defender for the UEFA Champions League winners.
Diego Godín (Atletico Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Bedrock of Atlético's outstanding team defending.
Casemiro (Real Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Provided Madrid's midfield with defensive structure and balance, not to mention important goals.
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Assured in possession, positionally aware. Complete midfield performances.
Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Excellent quick tempo passing and incisive attacking play kept Madrid ticking.
Isco (Real Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Attacking midfield performances of the highest level. Can dribble, pass and score from left, right or centre.
Miralem Pjanić (Juventus)
Technical Observers say: Integral to Juventus on their run to the final. Quality deep-lying midfield play.
Tiemoué Bakayoko (Monaco)
Technical Observers say: Important defensive midfield performances for an impressive Monaco team.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Top scorer for the fifth consecutive season and man of the match in the final. Decisive performances throughout knockout phase.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Technical Observers say: Second top scorer and always capable of creating goals for himself and his team-mates.
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Technical Observers say: Goalscoring, link-up play and work rate were an example to forwards everywhere.
Kylian Mbappé (Monaco)
Technical Observers say: The outstanding young player in an outstanding team of young players. Excellent strike play throughout.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)
Technical Observers say: Another who performed very well, scoring goals and linking play in a dangerous Bayern team.
UEFA’s official UCL Squad of the Season in full
Twitter can't believe which player was left out
There’s an argument to suggest that Neymar should be on the list purely for his performance in that extraordinary comeback against Paris Saint-Germain at the Camp Nou.
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is also a little unfortunate to miss out on a place in the squad.
But one man who surely deserves to be there is Dani Alves.
The Brazilian full-back was magnificent for Juve throughout the competition - particularly against Monaco in the semi-finals, where he scored one goal and provided two assists over the course of the two-legged tie - and football fans on social media can’t believe he was overlooked.
Surely Alves should have been in the squad ahead of Godin? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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