Football

Champions League XI: The final four

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Messi leads the line in this Champions League XI. (©GettyImages)
Messi leads the line in this Champions League XI. (©GettyImages).

This season's Champions League has seen the four best teams in Europe actually reach the latter stages. In Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, Europe's finest are all in with a shout of being crowned Champions League winners - something that hasn't always happened in the past.

Here, we try to choose a team made up of those four clubs and based on their form in this season's competition, rather than reputation.

Goalkeeper

Choosing a goalkeeper is perhaps one of the hardest tasks, bearing in mind that all four teams are so good that their 'keeper has nothing to do in a lot of games.

With Real and Barca, both their goalkeeping slots have been rotated due to form, injury and selection so it would be hard to choose Iker Casillas or Victor Valdes.

Roman Weidenfeller is a bit of an unsung hero at Dortmund - not that well known outside of Germany but a reliable 'keeper all the same, and he takes the place just ahead of Bayern's Manuel Neuer.

Defence

Defence is not always the priority for the likes of Barca and Real. In La Liga, they dominate most games so much you could probably put Titus Bramble at the back and still keep a clean sheet most weeks!

However, they do love their marauding full-backs and at right-back you have to go for Dani Alves. At left-back I go for Philipp Lahm just ahead of Jordi Alba, though it is very close. Lahm can play at left or right-back and the German has been his usual consistent self in this season's competition.

In the centre of defence, the emergence of Raphael Varane has been big news for Madrid this season. The 19-year-old has come into the team and been a revelation, looking like he will become a club legend for many years to come. 

Alongside Varane, I pick Mats Hummels of Dortmund. Hummels has already been linked with the likes of Manchester United and the the ball-playing centre-back is a regular in the German national team.

Bayern's Daniel Van Buyten also deserves a mention but having only played four games in the competition, he did not merit being chosen.

Midfield

Midfield has to be the hardest call with so many fantastic players in all four teams. After much debate I have gone for a three man midfield of Xavi, who still has the best pass completion in the competition, his sidekick Andres Iniesta and Dortmund's Mario Gotze.

It was hard to ignore so many other players such as Gotze's teammate, Marco Reus, Bayern's Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos, Madrid's Angel di Maria and Mehsut Ozil, not forgetting Barca's unsung hero, Sergio Busquets.

You could fill four quality midfields, perhaps more, with the players on show which should make the upcoming semi-finals a magnificent occasion.

Attack

Up-front, two players obviously pick themselves - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. These two are head and shoulders above the rest. Everything that could be said about this deadly duo already has been.

My third forward is Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker has six goals in the tournament so far and is another supposed Manchester United target. Along with his Polish countrymen, Lukas Pieszczek and Jakub Blaszczykowski, he was an inspiration for the Germans in last season's Bundesliga triumph.

With only one striker slot up for grabs it was always going to be tough to choose anyone else, but other mentions should go to Mario Mandzukic, the Bundesliga top scorer and Madrid's Karim Benzema.

Overall, the semi-finals should be momentous occasions with an unbelievable amount of talent on show, which I can't wait for.

Champions League XI:

Weidenfeller; Alves, Varane, Hummels, Lahm; Xavi, Iniesta, Gotze; Ronaldo, Messi, Lewandowski.

Subs: Neuer, Alba, Van Buyten, Reus, Ribery, Robben, Mandzukic.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
European News
Football
UEFA Champions League
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