L'Equipe's Champions League Team of the Group Stage

L'Equipe's Champions League Team of the Group Stage

The Champions League group stage has finished for another year.

It was another action-packed round in the world's premiere footballing competition, with Ajax and Inter Milan the surprise teams to be eliminated from the tournament.

This year has also seen some other names take centre stage, rather than the usual dominant pair of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Robert Lewandowski scored 10 goals in six games, Erling Haaland managed eight in six and Serge Gnabry scored four in one game versus Tottenham.

Messi did produce some dazzling performances against Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund at the Camp Nou, but Ronaldo has been a pale shadow of his usual self in the Champions League.

As such, the Portuguese superstar does not feature in L'Equipe's Team of the Group Stage but more surprisingly, neither does Messi.

Haaland and Gnabry - who was handed a rare 10/10 rating by the publication away at Spurs - also miss out and some of the selections will certainly raise a few eyebrows.


Not a single Premier League player makes the cut, despite all four teams progressing to the last-16!

GK - Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

A worthy selection, he was outrageously good away at Dortmund in particular.

RB - Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)

No room for Trent Alexander-Arnold or Achraf Hakimi - who scored four goals for Dortmund in the group stage - with Juve's makeshift right-back getting the nod.

CB - Thiago Silva (PSG)

The French side were pretty dominant in their group, so a decent choice.

CB - Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)

Despite Liverpool finishing ahead of Napoli in their group, Koulibaly beats Virgil van Dijk to the punch here.

Koulibaly in action

LB - Jose Gaya (Valencia)

Again, not the worst selection. Gaya was a key component in Valencia's progression to the last-16, although PSG's Juan Bernat would perhaps have been a more suitable candidate.

CM - Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)

A questionable choice, especially given the performances of Ilkay Gundogan and, in particular, Toni Kroos throughout the group stage.

CM - Houssem Aouar (Lyon)

Remember what we said about Kroos? Well, it's an absolute joke that the German misses out to accommodate Aouar here.

RM - Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)

Coman in action

How did Coman manage to wriggle ahead of Gnabry here then? Especially as the German is the one who plays on the right of Bayern's attack...

CAM - Hakim Ziyech (Ajax)

Despite Ajax's elimination, Ziyech is a worthy candidate because he dropped masterclasses even when the Dutch side failed to win. At Stamford Bridge, he was unplayable.

LM - Emil Forsberg (RB Leipzig)

Forsberg goals in the Champions League this season? Three. Raheem Sterling goals in the Champions League this season? Five. Heung-min Son? Five. Need we say more?

ST - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Okay, we cannot argue this one. Well played, Robert.

Lewandowski in action

It's certainly an interesting team and it once again sheds light on L'Equipe's brutally harsh rating system.

Lewandowski scored 10 in six games and could only just about get above a seven, which is madness.

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