UEFA have revealed their breakout team of the year, a team complied of the best performing youngsters to play in the Champions League this season.
Seven different clubs are represented in the team, with the Bundesliga the most prevalent in the team, which has been arranged into a 3-4-3 formation.
Let’s get to the defenders!
Goalkeeper: Alphonse Aréola – PSG
For a while, PSG have had issues with securing their first-choice goalkeeper. With Kevin Trapp seemingly out of favour, it’s been up to 23-year-old Alphonse Aréola in the Champions League.
Despite a few mistakes, including a worrying fumble against Basel which resulted in a nervy second half, Aréola is looking to be a young and prosperous goalkeeper for PSG, and perhaps even France in the future.
Victor Lindelöf – Benfica
Victor Lindelöf has been likened to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, so it’s no coincidence that the Swede is seemingly off to Manchester United in January. Despite the move not having been announced, he’s already been pictured signing a Manchester United shirt.
Lindelöf is a natural centre-back, standing at 6”2. Similarly to former Sweden teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he possesses the mobility and technical ability to take control at the back while avoiding conceding fouls. He’s proper hard.
Samuel Umtiti – Barcelona
It was going so well for Umtiti, who had all but secured his cup rotations spot in the Champions League for Barcelona. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, he sustained an injury keeping him out for a month at the start of November.
He did play four of the eight six group games though, keeping three clean sheets in the process. Formerly of Lyon, Umtiti has been signed for Barcelona as a long-term replacement for the team’s ageing centre-backs, and he looks like he can do the job competently at the young age of 23.
Sergi Roberto – Barcelona
Sergi Roberto is an enigma of a player – versatile, and it’s difficult to tell where his best position is. He’s Barcelona’s very own… well, you’ll find out in a few positions time. Formerly a central-midfielder, Roberto has been re-positioned as a right-back replacing the departed Dani Alves. And what a move it was.He’s played in seven different positions, and has excelled in all of them, but he’s the master of one, and at only 24.
Having been hailed as ‘Barcelona’s secret weapon’ by the Telegraph, the Spaniard is creating around 2.6 chances per Champions League match, as well as earning an 85% passing accuracy throughout the group stages. He has three caps for Spain, though is often overlooked for more experienced central players.