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2019/2020 UEFA Champions League: The best XI

2019/2020 UEFA Champions League: The best XI of the season

August 24, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
An exhilarating campaign was concluded on Sunday with Bayern Munich emerging as the new kings of Europe. LiveSoccerTV gives its verdict on the players who stood out in their respective positions to make the best XI of the competition.

A frantic UEFA Champions League campaign was successfully concluded on Sunday night with Bayern Munich running away as champions for the sixth time. The Bavarians upheld their status as favorites to see past the threat of Paris Saint-Germain thanks to a lone-goal scored by Kingsley Coman.

In the end, the euphoria surrounding the competition remained unadulterated although the COVID-19 pandemic did enough to alter the format of the knockout phase. Needless to say, the whole campaign served up moments of incredible action, magnificent individual performances and a new crop of potential football stars for fans to look forward to. Here, we take a look at the best starting XI of the tournament, substantially dominated by Sunday's finalists.

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

We would put Manuel Neuer in post, not only for his heroics in the final against Paris Saint-Germain but for the role he played in Bayern Munich finishing as the team with the best defensive record in the 2019/2020 Champion League. With the skipper of the Bavarians manning the post, only five goals were conceded in the entirety of the competition. He averaged 2.5 saves per game (78%) and kept six clean sheets in the 11 games played.

Defender: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Despite playing in midfield for most part of the Champions League campaign, Joshua Kimmich slots in at right back in our best XI. The German international replaced an injured Benjamin Pavard ahead of the Round of 16 second leg clash with Chelsea and did not put a foot wrong.

The 25-year-old who initially broke out as the perfect successor for the legendary Philipp Lahm managed more assists (4) than any other defender in the competition and made 28 key passes. In the 8-2 humiliation of Barcelona, he registered an assist and a goal and was responsible for both assists that led to Gnarby's opener and Lewandowski's strike against Lyon in the semis. He capped off a stellar campaign by finding Kingsley Coman with an inch-perfect cross for the winner against PSG in the final.

Defender: Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

At the tender age of 19, Alphonso Davies became the first Canadian to win the UEFA Champions League. The former Vancouver Whitecaps sensation enjoyed a breakthrough season with Bayern Munich and was a key figure in the Bavarians' treble win.

Primarily, there was no left-back who had a better campaign than Davies. Aside being unbeatable defensively, the youngster registered three assists, and completed more dribbles (26) than any defender in the competition.

Defender: Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig)

It is no surprise whatsoever that top European clubs have started circling around Upamecano. The French defender was instrumental in RB Leipzig's historic Champions League semi-final berth that saw them cruise past the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid in the knockout phase. He had a successful tackle rate of 3.6 and made 3.4 clearances per game, according to data by WhoScored.

Defender: Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain)

Thiago Silva's partnership with Presnel Kimpembe in the heart of PSG's defence can be heralded as one of the best-ever seen in recent editions of the UEFA Champions League. The 35-year-old Brazilian cemented his legacy at the French outfit by delivering consistent top performances when it mattered most in the competition.

His leadership at the back saw him play a role in PSG keeping five cleansheets in his nine starts. The former AC Milan star averaged 4.0 duels and 4.3 clearances per game.

Midfielder: Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)

The excellence of Kimpembe and Thiago Silva gave Thomas Tuchel a lot to think about in terms of what his side's best centre back pairing would look like. In the end, the German coach had to resort to handing Marquinhos a makeshift role as a defensive midfielder.

Indeed, it is safe to say that the Brazilian exceeded expectations, honing the role to the extent that the mostly favored Marco Verrati had to enjoy multiple spells on the bench. He managed two tackles and 1.6 interceptions per 90 and had an 86% pass accuracy per game. We can go one about this without mentioning his cameo in the quarter-final and semi-final that resulted in goals in wins over Atalanta and RB Leipzig respectively.

Midfielder: Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich)

Just like Alphonso Davies, Thiago Alcantara was in a league of his own in the 2019/2020 edition of the UEFA Champions League. The 29-year-old Spanish international was the heartbeat of the Bayern's side and was the main reason why Hansi Flick had a little less anxiety when unleashing the high attacking line on teams.

Along with his peerless passing range, his ability to start an attack out of nothing cannot be rivalled. A transfer out of Allianz Arena is said to be on the cards for Thiago, but whoever will be landing the signature of the former Barcelona midfielder will be getting a player that successfully registered a 91% pass accuracy and a dribble success rate of 81.3% in nine Champions League appearances.

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

While Manchester City somewhat fell below expectations with their quarter-finals elimination, Kevin De Bruyne's resourcefulness cannot be swept under the carpet. The Belgian international capped the Premier League season with the PFA Player of the Year award and continued his upward trajectory with more top performances in the UEFA Champions League.

De Bruyne created five big chances, placed four key passes, and had an 82% dribbling rate in seven appearances. He registered two goals and two assists respectively.

Forward: Neymar Jr (Paris Saint-Germain)

Many will remember Neymar Jr for his poor finishing ability in the penultimate clash as well as the final of this season's UEFA Champions League campaign but the Brazilian's importance to PSG's run cannot be underemphasized. The 28-year-old ranked second to Lionel Messi for successful dribbles (43), scoring three goals and providing four assists in just seven appearances. His trickery and crafty nature landed him an average of 4.8 fouls per game.

Forward: Serge Gnabry

With nine goals, two assists and a Champions League gold medal to his name, Gnabry earns the second of our three slots for forwards. The 25-year-old German international left his mark as a potent finisher alongside Lewandowski as Bayern Munich ran riot on whichever opponent that came their way.

Fans of clubs from London in particular will have fond memories of his performances against both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. Aside his goal contribution, had 85% pass accuracy to his name and averaged 2.1 shots per 90 in nine appearances.

Forward: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

We saved the best for last. As far as individual performances go, Robert Lewandowski hit the ceiling, scoring a lot of goals as Bayern Munich stamped their dominance in European football. The big Pole earned the Player of the Tournament accolade by scoring 15 goals and providing five assists on the way to his first-ever Champions League success. To put this into perspective, the 32-year-old striker scored a goal every 59 minutes and contributed to a goal being scored every 42 minutes.

Substitutes: Keylor Navas, Achraf Hakimi, Angelino, Presnel Kimpembe, David Alaba, Houssem Aouar, Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Erling Haaland.

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