TheChampions League is finally over, withBayern Munich returning from Lisbon with the European Cup for the sixth time in their history.
Hansi Flick’s team dominated throughout the competition as they became the first club to win every single one of their games during a continental campaign.
As such, Bayern’s players dominate Team of the Season for the Champions League – but who else made the cut?GK: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) After his somewhat strange performances at the 2018 World Cup, some questioned whether Neuer was finished at the highest level of the game.The Bayern captain put those doubts firmly to bed, however, as he lifted the European Cup having kept six clean sheets in the competition – the most of any goalkeeper.Neuer’s string of saves in the final took his tally to 28 in the competition, with his completion rate of 77 per cent second only to Andre Onana among goalkeepers to make at least 15 saves during the tournament.
RB: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) Whether it was in central midfield or at right-back, Kimmich put in outstanding performance after outstanding performance to help Bayern to the title.The 25-year-old created more chances than any other player in the competition (28), with his fourth assist the cross from which Kingsley Coman scored the only goal of the final.He also contributed two goals towards the success of Hansi Flick’s side and is surely a future captain of Germany’s most successful club.
CB: Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig) He may only be 21, but over the course of Leipzig’s run to the semi-finals Upamecano has confirmed his place among the best centre-backs in world football.His man of the match-winning display against Atletico Madrid proved to be the pinnacle of his competition, with the young Frenchman winning in excess of 70% of his duels throughout the tournament.Though he looks set to stay with Julian Nagelsmann’s side for the 2020-21 campaign, it will surely not be long before he flies the nest and joins one of Europe’s truly elite clubs.
CB: David Alaba (Bayern Munich) Having started the season at left-back, Alaba yet again displayed his immense versatility to step in at centre-back amid a mid-season injury crisis in Munich and excelled in his new role.During the course of the Champions Leaguecampaign, the Austria international won 85% of his attempted tackles and 75% of his duels while completing 91% of his attempted passes.The 28-year-old’s contract situation needs resolving quickly as Bayern look to lock down one of the game’s most underrated individuals.
LB: Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) Twelve months ago Alphonso Davies was a teenage winger looking to learn from some of the best in the business in his favoured position.A year on the Canada international has emerged as one of the most talented left-backs in world football, with his performances at both ends of the pitch catching the eye both domestically and in Europe.During the Champions League campaign he won two-thirds of his attempted tackles and duels while one of his three assists in the tournament will be replayed endlessly after he bamboozled Nelson Semedo before laying the ball on a plate for Kimmich to score against Barcelona.
RW: Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich) Arsenal andWest Brom fans may still be scratching their heads as to how they failed to take advantage of Gnabry’s supreme talent during his time in England but their loss has been Bayern’s gain.The Germany international enjoyed a superb competition, scoring nine goals including a hat-trick against Tottenham in the group stages.He also laid on two assists during a campaign that saw him confirmed as the rightful heir to Arjen Robben on Bayern’s right-hand side.
CM: Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich) His raw numbers might say that Thiago contributed no goals and just two assists towards Bayern’s European success, but that would be to drastically underplay what has been, at times, a mesmeric campaign from the midfielder.No player attempted more than the Spain international’s 832 passes during the course of the competition, of which 91% found their intended target.It is no surprise that Liverpool fans are desperate for their side to sign Thiago, who has now entered the final year of his Bayern contract.
CM: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) Before Niko Kovac was sacked in November, it seemed inevitable that Muller would be sold having fallen down the pecking order at the Allianz Arena.His rebirth, however, has coincided with Bayern’s upturn in fortunes, with few doing more to earn them their treble success in 2020.Over the course of the European campaign Muller returned four goals and two assists, with only Kimmich and Kevin De Bruyne creating more chances than the Germany star.
LW: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) Neymar’s Champions League may have had a tearful ending, but the world’s most expensive footballer can look back on a competition during which he did plenty to re-establish his reputation as one of the most gifted players on the planet.Though both Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria recorded more goal contributions than Neymar’s seven (three goals, four assists) in Europe this season, the Brazilian’s performances were the driving force behind PSG’s run to the final.He scored two of the three goals in their last-16 win over Borussia Dortmund and was the standout attacking player during the mini-tournament in Lisbon that closed out the campaign.
ST: Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) The true breakout star of the European season, Haaland’s performances in the Champions League were what alerted the world to his goalscoring talent.Having scored a hat-trick on his debut in the competition against Genk in the group stages, he finished the competition with 10 goals in just eight appearances for Salzburg and Dortmund.
ST: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) A historic campaign for Lewandowski ended with a Champions League winners’ medal as well as the knowledge that he surely would have won the Ballon d’Or in December had it not been cancelled.Though he failed to surpass Cristiano Ronaldo’s single-season record, his tally of 15 goals in 11 appearances will still go down as one the great European goalscoring campaigns.He also provided five assists for team-mates over the course of the tournament and will be deserving of all the personal accolades that do still come his way in the coming months.