The Champions League season has come to an end and so does Manchester City’s and Pep Guardiola’s long wait for the Champions League trophy. As is the custom every year UEFA’s Technical Observer panel has released the official team of the tournament. But many fans have criticized the choice of players on the roster. Here we suggest an alternate tournament 11 for the Champions League season 2022/23.
Goalkeeper- Andre Onana (Inter Milan)
The Cameroonian enjoyed a debut season like no other and reached the Champions League final while building a fortress for Inter. He managed 8 clean sheets and 47 saves (3.6 per 90) throughout the campaign.
Right Back- Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli)
Di Lorenzo is the first Napoli captain in over three decades to lift the Scudetto after Diego Maradona. He was directly involved in 4 goals two of which he scored himself. He was one of the main drivers of the ball during build-up play with 86% pass accuracy.
Right Centre Back- Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
A choice criticized by none Dias has earned his spot on this team. His 95% passing accuracy per game gave Pep’s side a functional defense that supported attack at all times.
Left Centre back – Kim Min-Jae (Napoli)
It was a close call between Inter’s Bastoni and the South Korean. The Napoli debutant’s 22 interceptions and 3.6 successful aerial duels per 90 (ranked 2nd and 5th in the tournament respectively) brought his opponents to a hard stop while attacking against Napoli.
Left Back- Alejandro Grimaldo (Benifica)
Playing every minute of Benifica’s Champions League campaign the Spaniard was involved in 6 goals. Averaging 1.4 successful tackles per 90 he was well rounded in both his defensive and attacking duties for the Águias.
Right Centre Mid- Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Kimmich was a key player for the Bundesliga side against PSG. Over the two legs against the Parisians, he managed 202 touches and 7 key passes. His exceptional performance against Manchester City was celebrated with a goal in the second leg. Despite being the best player on the pitch that night, his performance could not save Bayern from exiting the competition.
Attacking Mid- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
It would be criminal not to include the Belgian in this team. Though he was forced off the field due to an injury in the final it was De Bruyne who played a massive role in getting the Cityzens there in the first place. He only did what he has been always known to do, topped the assists chart with 7 assists and scored a couple on his way to lifting the trophy.
Left Centre Mid- Rodri (Manchester City)
The Spanish midfielder was City’s main man when it mattered the most. With a near-superhuman work rate against both Bayern and Real Madrid he was instrumental in the near annihilation of the clubs that till last season were Champions League aristocracy. His goal against Inter Milan in the final was perhaps the most important goal in Manchester City’s history.
Left Wing- Vinicius Junior (Real Madird)
A player known for his pace and flair, Vini rightfully topped the dribbles chart with 47. Though his 12 goals involvements were not enough to fire Real Madrid to the finals they were enough to torment every defender he faced and to make a place in this XI.
Right Wing- Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
An extremely industrious and intelligent winger, Bernardo Silva’s relentless high-pressure tactics throughout the tournament set the tone for Manchester City’s impressive Champions League performance.
Forward- Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
The most obvious and easiest choice of all. Haaland ripped apart defenses and spearheaded City’s attack with a ruthless form. He scored more than any other player in the tournament. Of all the debutants in this list itself, the Norwegian had the best season of all.
A few honorable mentions include-
Inter’s Italian duo Alessandro Bastoni and Francesco Acerbi who formed a rock-solid defense behind the midfield.
Manchester City’s Jack Grealish who has seamlessly adapted to the ways of the Cityzens.
Porto’s Diogo Costa whose decisive saves kept the Portuguese club alive late into the competition.
And Benfica’s Joao Mario, with his impressive tally of six goals, played a pivotal role in Benfica’s journey to the quarter-finals.
Thank you for reading it. Leave us a comment if you liked it.
Have a good day ahead 🙂