The 2018-19 Uefa Champions League is done and dusted with Liverpool crowned champions following a 2-0 win over fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs.
The tournament was awesome, although not devoid of heartbreaks and surprises – it produced 100% excitement for fans and value. Stars emerged and one of the surprises of the tournament is the Ajax Amsterdam side – the youthful Dutch team turned out giant killers as manager Erik Ten Haag assembled the best crop of young talents that took the elite European competition by storm.
Without further ado, here is DailyAdvent UEFA Champions League ultimate XI for the 2018-19 season:
Alisson Becker (Liverpool): The Brazilian goalkeeper was the difference between Liverpool’s tears in 2018 and joy this season. He had a perfect final and he was tested in the closing stages of the game.
He was also vital in their crucial group game against Napoli in which he made various top quality saves.
Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool): His campaign has been so spectacular that there is even talk of him winning the Ballon D’or.
In the final, he once again showed why he is the best central defender on the planet and was rewarded with the man of the match award after the game.
Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax): The Ajax captain despite being a teenager, has been one of the biggest standouts this season. A central defender who played the ball out from the back and with enormous leadership capacity. Big clubs are fighting to get hold of him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool): The Liverpool full-back is in form. He is clever, bold and very good physically and has ended the season on fire. He was also one of the best players in the final against Tottenham.
Andy Robertson (Liverpool): If Alexander-Arnold was one of the surprises of the back end of the Reds’ season, what can we say about his teammate on the other flank.
Robertson has proved he is a lot more than a hardworking player. Everyone said that Liverpool’s weakness was on the flanks, but with Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, Klopp has those positions well covered.
Frenkie de Jong (Ajax): The future Barcelona player has really stepped up this season. He was decisive in the Ajax midfield which surprised Real Madrid and Juventus away from home which helped them reach the semi-finals.
Unfortunately, they missed out of a place in the finals after losing to Tottenham in the semi-finals.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool): Wijnaldum could not be missing from this starting XI. He was key in the semi-final second leg versus Barcelona and got himself a place in the team of the season. He was not very effective against Tottenham in the finals.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona): Like the rest of the Barcelona team, Messi only had one bad day in the whole competition. The catastrophe in Rome repeated itself in Liverpool and Barca missed out on a Champions League which they were a touching distance from.
The Argentine, as always was miles better than his teammates.
Dušan Tadić (Ajax): Tadic’s cool head and perfect understanding of the game came slightly late. His campaign at Ajax has been absolutely fantastic. He put up spectacular performances wherever he played. He scored, assisted, lead the team’s play, an almost perfect footballer with only one downside: he has burst onto the scene slightly late.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool): The Senegal international footballer was arguably Liverpool’s best player in the Champions League this season. He was much better than fans favourite Mo Salah. Even in the final, he was slightly above the rest even though he did not have his best day.
Possibly, together with Klopp, the people who contributed the most to Liverpool’s Champions League success.
Lucas Moura (Tottenham): He did not start in the final which so many fans were not happy about, but he made history thanks to his goals in the semi-finals against Ajax. Not to forget his goal against Barcelona at Camp Nou that got them the qualifying ticket in the group stage.
A perfect match for him which was one of the most decisive individual performances in the Champions League this season and got him a place in this team.
Manager of the season: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
After missing out in the last two finals, he finally got his hands on the trophy this time around with Liverpool. One of the turnarounds of the tournament was due to his brilliant approach against Barcelona as his Liverpool side came back from a first leg three goals deficit to win 4-0 in the second leg at Anfield.
Do you think Salah and Ronaldo deserve a place UEFA Champions League ultimate XI? Share your view on this in the comment section… Thanks