Football

Champions League finalists: Ultimate XI

Ribery could play a key role in the Champions League final (©GettyImages)
Ribery could play a key role in the Champions League final (©GettyImages).

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund go head-to-head on Saturday evening in an attempt to be crowned European champions. 

In tribute of the game, we make a best XI of the two sides and look at a team which would make our ultimate Champions League finalists. 

Here is the XI: 

Goalkeeper: Neuer

Before Dortmund's spectacular cup run, the answer to which is the better 'keeper would have been easy to answer, but both have put on world-class displays since then. Weidenfellers age might be an argument for more experience but Neuer has played in the Bundesliga for a while and it is not his first Champions League final. 

However, Weidenfeller's authority and calmness have especially impressed me more so than that of Neuer. Even so, the stats speak for themselves and the Bayern keeper has held an astounding 79.6% of all the shots he has faced. Meanwhile Weidenfeller only held 64.7% with an equal amount of games played. This puts him behind both of the keepers from Greuther Furth, who finished rock-bottom in the Bundesliga. 

Centre-backs: Dante & Hummels

Bayern's defence in the Bundesliga has been almost unbreakable, and new signing Dante has been an immense part of that success. Although he was originally bought as a back-up centre-back, his extraordinary performances soon made him one of the first names on Jupp Heynckes team-sheet.  

Hummels has been equally important to Dortmund's back-four and his world-class performances in the Euro 2012 made him known as one of the best CBs on the planet. There is just no beating these two, although I was also impressed with several of Subotic's performances. 

Full-backs: Lahm & Alaba

Although still a world-class player, Lahm has not impressed me as much this season as he did in previous years. Still, if any player can get Bayern to lift the Champions League trophy this year, then him. 

Alaba has improved immensely this season and has developed into one of the most feared modern wing-backs in Europe. Both of these defenders are very offensively-minded and play a crucial part in many of Bayern's chances up front. I feel very bad about not putting Schmelzer in this position as he has played a huge defensive role for Dortmund both in Europe and the Bundesliga, but the two Bayern full-backs are some of the best in the business. 

Centre-midfield: Gundogan & Schweinsteiger

Gundogan has been a great defensive player for Dortmund and continues to improve. Although Javi Martinez has also showed moments of brilliance, I think that Gundogan has been consistently better and his displays against Malaga and Real Madrid prove that he is a key part of the clockwork in the BVB's midfield. 

Schweinsteiger has also been a key part of his midfield, as usual, and with a chance to redeem his penalty miss from last year's Champions League final loss, I think he will be one of the leading roles on the pitch this weekend. 

Attacking-midfield: Reus, Götze, & Ribery

There are just too many good names that aren't on this team. Both Dortmund and Bayern have played extremely well offensively. Both have the same formation with three of the best attacking-midfielders. Although Götze will not be playing in the final, his outstanding performances for Dortmund have more than earned him this spot. 

Reus has been one of Dortmund's key signings last summer, and he has lived up to his price tag. His pace is an extreme benefit for Dortmund and he doesn't fail to score goals either. 

Last but not least, Ribery. He has been amazing for Bayern. Despite his age, he still seems to get better and better, and his world-class goals this year prove that he could be on any team and get a starting position. 

Centre-forward: Lewandowski

Although Gomez and Mandzukic have both had moments of brilliance, Lewandowski's four goals against Los Blancos show that he has what it takes to become a European super-star.

All he needs to de is replicate his past performances and he will score, even against the impeccable Bayern defence.

 

What do you think? Did I miss anyone in my final XI? Who will be European Champions of 2013? Please answer in the comments.

 

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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Football
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