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10 stars that will make you want to watch the UEL

10 stars giving fans 10 reasons to watch the Europa League 2018/19

September 19, 2018 By Ali M.
While this competition suffers in the shadow of the Champions League, there is reason to be excited for the upcoming season.

Tuesday marked the beginning of the new Champions League season, with Thursday being the start of the fresh Europa League campaign. While the earlier was highly celebrated by fans, the latter struggles to spark excitement in many football lovers.

However, 2018/19 promises to be different. Not only will we see a new champion crowned, given Atletico don't get demoted again, but a number of top players will grace this tournament also. Here are 10 footballers that will give you a reason to watch the upcoming Europa League season.

Mesut Ozil

This season has been tipped as a make-or-break campaign for Mesut Ozil. After his controversial retirement from the German national team, his performances have come under more scrutiny. Is he a luxurious flop or is he a talented ace who'll achieve greatness? The playmaker is adamant to show he is the latter, and guiding his club to European success will do just that.

Bern Leno

Remember when Leno completed his move to Arsenal and fans hailed him as their savior in goal? He has not played a single minute in the Premier League so far, having to watch Cech in action from the bench. The Europa League is where he'll get his chance to shine, and shine he must do. He should take inspiration from countryman Marc-André ter Stegen who only got playing time in European games but eventually became one of the top goalkeepers in the world.

Eden Hazard

While Hazard is talented enough to be up there with the best, dare we say Messi and Ronaldo, his inconsistency has stood in his way. After leading Belgium to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup, he has begun the season in emphatic style for Chelsea.

Eden Hazard, Chelsea, Cardiff, English Premier League

While the winger won't be mentioned in the same bracket as Leo or Cristiano anytime soon, European success could propel his stocks. Griezmann is a perfect example, as he is now mentioned in the Ballon d'Or conversation partly thanks to his Europa League medal. Eden knows he must follow suit.


The pressure on Kepa to succeed at Chelsea is immense, especially after going from a little-known keeper to the most expensive custodian in history. CIES recently named him the most overpriced signing of the summer, but an excellent campaign in this tournament would not only make fans forget about Courtois, but also prove he was worth every single penny.

Gonzalo Higuain

Despite being crucial to Juventus' success over the past few years, the Argentine lost his place to make way for Cristiano. As a result, he left Turin for Milan. Bonucci did something similar last season but failed to show the Old Lady what they missed; Higuain will hope for the exact opposite.

Bas Dost

When Bas Dost terminated his Sporting CP contract after being attacked by fans, many wondered how the club would fare without their 30+ goals per season forward. However, he shocked everyone by resigning to the club. 

Did he make a mistake? Last season, he helped his team reach the Europa League semi-finals. Should he guide them to the trophy, his decision to stay will be vindicated.

Dimitri Payet

The Frenchman endured a nightmare end to last season. Not only did he suffer an injury in the Europa League final that forced him off the pitch, but he was also subsequently ruled out of France's World Cup success. The talented midfielder will be on the hunt to rectify things. Last season, he only touched this European trophy; this season he will aim to lift it.

From only getting a finger on it to lifting the entire trophy: will Payet go all the way this season?

Dimitri Payet, Europa League Final, UEFA Europa :League, Marseille, Atletico Madrid


The combative center-back is now 35. His days at a respectable European side are thus numbered. While he will likely continue past this current campaign, winning this competition will be excellent for the former Real Madrid man nonetheless.


A talented man, Quaresma has never reached amazing heights in his career. Despite being a crucial member of Besiktas, the Portuguese ace continues to go under the radar. Winning the Europa League would put him on the map again even if he is 34.

Timo Werner

Remember when Timo Werner was linked with a mega-money move to Real Madrid to replace Cristiano? Since then, the youngster flopped at the 2018 World Cup. Back with RB Leipzig, he must show once again that he is a talented forward with a promising career ahead of him.


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