REVEALED: Erling Haaland is one of three Man City stars in the Champions League Team of the Season by stats gurus Sofascore… but there is NO room for second top scorer Mo Salah or Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
- Sofascore has unveiled the best team of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League
- Unsurprisingly, Manchester City superstar Erling Haaland leads in attack
- There is no room for Mohamed Salah and a surprising snub for Napoli, too
All eyes are on Saturday’s final in Istanbul, Turkey, but stats boffins Sofascore have already pulled together the best XI in the UEFA Champions League this season.
Manchester City and Inter Milan, who will contest Saturday night’s finale, take up five of the 11 spots, but there are plenty of other interesting team selections.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who is second top scorer in this season’s competition, is one surprise absentee, but there are plenty who will feel hard done by.
Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli will all have grievances when they see the complete ‘Best XI’ thrown up by Sofascore.
Here, Mail Sport reveals the full break-down of Sofascore’s best-rated team of the tournament, in their 4-2-3-1 formation.
Erling Haaland (right) gets the nod in Sofascore’s Champions League Team of the Tournament
GOALKEEPER: Andre Onana (Inter Milan) 7.45
Nobody has made more saves in this year’s tournament than Onana’s 45 – and it is safe to asssume he’s going to be kept a busy man in the final, too.
Onana’s 45 saves puts him ahead of Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid) and Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge) in the standings, and he has shipped just 10 goals all tournament.
His eight clean sheets from 12 games is a tournament high.
RIGHT BACK: Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli) 7.41
Di Lorenzo was one of the numerous bright sparks in Napoli’s brilliant season which saw them go further than ever in the Champions League.
With an 85.5 per cent passing accuracy he was effective in possession, plus two goals and two assists shows productivity in the final third.
CENTRE BACK: Ruben Dias (Man City) 7.41
Dias is a rock for this Manchester City team and perhaps doesn’t get the credit he deserves with so much firepower around him.
His 59 ball recoveries is second only to Rodri and it is he who has played a team high 958 minutes in the tournament this season.
Mr Reliable for Pep Guardiola.
Ruben Dias (left) has played a team high minutes en route to this year’s final in Istanbul
CENTRE BACK: Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan) 7.33
Another centre back that still has a shot at winning it all.
Bastoni is only 24 but is one of Europe’s emerging stars and has been crucial in Inter’s rock-solid defence en route to Istanbul.
He boasts a team high 19 tackles and has been a go-to anchor point alongside Francesco Acerbi at the back for Simone Inzaghi.
LEFT BACK: Alex Grimaldo (Benfica) 7.33
Nobody in Benfica’s ranks provided more assists in this year’s competition than left back Grimaldo’s four.
Add in his two goals and the 27-year-old has been a constant menance to opposition defenders.
Expect Benfica to be fighting off bids for Grimaldo this summer.
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) 7.37
Part of the heralded Real Madrid midfield over the past decade, Toni Kroos has again proved his class in this year’s edition – even if the Spanish giants were ripped to pieces in the semi-finals.
Kroos is approaching the twilight years of his career but his composure on the ball, and his telepathy with Luka Modric, remains immensely valuable.
Both Kevin De Bruyne (left) and Toni Kroos (right) have scored highly enough to make the XI
DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) 7.77
There is a reason Barcelona are so keen to land Kimmich this summer.
No player ranked higher than the Bayern Munich star in Sofascore’s team of the tournament.
He is a brilliant disruptor of play and is equally adept at running a game and setting the tempo in possession.
An experienced campaigner.
RIGHT ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) 7.38
With the imminent arrival of Jude Bellingham, questions have been asked as to what role Valverde will hold in future.
He is immensely talented and talent always wins in the end.
Perhaps fortunate to have got the nod ahead of Salah, mind you.
CENTRAL ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) 7.69
One of the best players in the world right now.
He is the tournament leader this season in assists with seven and is the metronome of Guardiola’s double-winning side.
An obvious – and necessary – inclusion.
Kylian Mbappe is one of the best in the world and edges out Mohamed Salah in the attack
LEFT ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Kylian Mbappe (PSG) 7.53
Third in the scoring charts, there are few players in world football that can effectively go stride for stride with the PSG superstar.
Mbappe v Haaland feels like this generation’s duel for the ages and the biggest problem facing the Frenchmen is that PSG simply cannot get over the hump in this competition.
But individually? He’s out of this world.
STRIKER: Erling Haaland (Man City) 7.50
Only one man could lead the line though.
After a record-breaking season it is Haaland that gets the nod up top in this side with a score of 7.50.
He is top scorer in the competition and is in the final. As far as individual campaigns go, this is one that will be one for the ages.
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