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Champions League breakthrough team of 2016 named

UEFA names Champions League Breakthrough Team of 2016 - The stats & facts

December 24, 2016 By Andrew Amoth Wandola
Here is the UEFA Champions League Breakthrough Team of 2016.

UEFA has revealed the breakthrough team of 2016, which features the likes of Renato Sanches of Bayern Munich and Man United target Victor Lindelof. This team features players who have had a major breakthrough in 2016, mostly youngsters, thanks to their brilliant performances at the European competitions for their respective sides. 

Goalkeeper

Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola makes the cut between the sticks after keeping seven clean sheets in the competition. At just 23, the talented shot stopper played all six of PSG's UEFA Champions League matches as the French giants booked a spot in the last 16 after finishing behind Arsenal in their group.

Defence

Barcelona defender Sergi Roberto was instrumental in the club's qualification to the next round of the competition. At just 24 years of age, he has already provided four assists in 13 league games for the Catalan club this season. His defensive partner, Samuel Umtiti, also makes the cut after impressive performances on his Barcelona debut season. Man Utd target Victor Lindelof seals the back three after winning the Primeira Liga with Benfica. 

Midfielders 

Monaco star midfielder Thomas Lemar joins after finding the back of the net against Spurs in both legs. So good he has been this year that he made his debut for France against Sweden in November. At just 21 years old, Joshua Kimmich makes it to the midfield thanks to his vast skills and pace. He already has seven goals to his name this season, and three of them are from the Champions League.

Then there is the man of the season, Renato Sanches, who was also a top Manchester United target in the summer before Bayern snapped him up. At the age of 19, he has already won the European Champions with Portugal, the European Golden boot award and is on the verge of winning the Bundesliga with Carlo Ancelotti's men. Borussia Dortmund midfielder Raphael Guerreiro seals the midfield. Just like Sanches, Guerreiro won the Euro 2016 with Portugal and despite being 23, he has already made 16 appearances for Seleccao.

Forwards

Christian Pulisic is one of the most exciting players to watch this season. He became the youngest foreigner to score a goal in the Bundesliga, and also the youngest player to represent a senior national football team when he made his debut for USA back in March. Another BVB youngster, Ousmane Dembele, who already has four goals and seven assists for the German side this season, makes the cut in the attack. And finally, having scored four goals in five appearances for Portugal last summer at the European Championship in France, Andre Silva wraps up the attack. The FC Porto forward has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season, including a brace against Leicester City. 

Manager

Zinedine Zidane has had an exciting year in 2016 - he won the Champions League with Real MADRID, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. He is currently enjoying a 37-match unbeaten run, and has won more trophies than he has suffered defeats with Los Blancos this season. 

Here's the full squad:

 

 


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