Ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus, WhoScored.com have selected their combined XI using ratings from this year’s competition.
Do you agree or disagree with the choices? Have you say, using the #360Fans hashtag on Twitter.
GK: GIANLUIGI BUFFON (Juventus)
The three-time World Goalkeeper of the Year has kept the highest number of clean sheets in the Champions League this season (six) – alongside Barca goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen. The Italy legend helped thwart Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. in the semis, but can he stop a certain Señor Messi?
RB: DANI ALVES (Barcelona)
Epitomising the voracious work-rate in the Barca team, Alves’ 88% pass completion rate in the UCL is just one indication of his dependability, while his ability to bomb forward has helped make him arguably the best right-back in the world for nearly a decade.
CB: GIORGIO CHIELLINI (Juventus)
His absence from the final due to injury is hugely damaging to Juventus’ prospects of a first Champions League title since 1996. He’s played every minute of their European games and has covered the most metres alongside team-mate Stephan Lichtsteiner.
CB: GERARD PIQUE (Barcelona)
After a questionable campaign in 2013-14, Pique has well and truly rediscovered his form this season, a real boon to a Barca team deprived of retired former captain Carles Puyol. A class act on and off the ball.
LB: JORDI ALBA (Barcelona)
Perhaps the unsung hero in a star-studded line-up. The 26-year-old is a consistently excellent presence going forward and offers vital support for Neymar on the left.
CM: PAUL POGBA (Juventus)
The Serie A champions’ stand-out performer has developed into a genuinely world-class player. One half of Juve’s box-to-box midfield duo, Pogba’s energy and influence knows no bounds.
CM: ARTURO VIDAL (Juventus)
When at his combative best, the Chilean is difficult to stop and presents himself effectively in both attack and defence. Showed in the game against Real Madrid that his link-up play with Pogba injects pace into Juve’s attack and can trouble any team.
CM: ANDRES INIESTA (Barcelona)
Offers real leadership in midfield and will be key to ensuring the departure of Xavi does not leave too big a void in Barca’s midfield. One of the most intelligent players on the field, the Spaniard often makes the sublime seem simple.
FW: LIONEL MESSI (Barcelona)
Provides the team with a shot of adrenaline every time he touches the ball. His 56 goals this season – 12 in the Champions League – make him Barcelona’s most important player.
FW: LUIS SUAREZ (Barcelona)
Vilified by many but a vital cog in Barca’s attacking trio. Persistent running on and off the ball make the Uruguayan livewire a real nuisance for opposition defenders. He’s scored six goals and assisted three in nine Champions League appearances this season.
Suarez great goal against PSG last week! Should I do a face reveal at 10… (Vine by World Football Vines) https://t.co/UtxPYSn63O
— Dylan Bialas (@cashoutking07) May 14, 2015
FW: NEYMAR (Barcelona)
Completing the most terrifying attacking triumvirate in world football and narrowly edging out Carlos Teves is Neymar. Always produces a high calibre display, especially in the semi-final when his two first half goals punctured the confidence of a talented Bayern Munich side.
Neymar’s first goal Vs Bayern Munich today! Double tap if you think Madrid wil… (Vine by Futbol Memories) https://t.co/72vo0ZVHtj
— Cristian Ochoa (@Crisfideo) May 13, 2015
*Graphic provided by WhoScored.com
Juventus on Thursday ruled key defender Giorgio Chiellini out of the Champions League final against Barcelona after he suffered a muscle tear in training.
Chiellini had to leave training on Wednesday and scans on Thursday confirmed the bad news for the Italian champions.
“The scan revealed a first grade tear of the soleus muscle in his left leg, meaning the defender will miss Saturday’s final with Barcelona,” said a Juventus statement.
Bad news for Juventus as Giorgio Chiellini is ruled out of the #UCLfinal with a calf injury
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 4, 2015
It was to be Chiellini’s first Champions League final and his place will now be taken by Andrea Barzagli, who returned to training on Wednesday following his own, recent injury knock.
If Barzagli proves to be unfit for the game, Juventus will turn to Angelo Ogbonna, who has played only sporadically for the Turin giants this season on their way to a league and Cup double.
However Chiellini’s absence will not be a disappointment to Barcelona, who look set to recover key midfielder Andres Iniesta for Saturday’s final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
Iniesta suffered a right calf injury at the weekend but took part in a full training session on Thursday.
Chiellini, whose natural position is at left-back, is regularly ranked among the top defenders in Europe and has often given Juventus extra potency in attack when he moves up the park for corners and free kick situations.
Chiellini scored the opener for Juve in their recent 2-1 Cup final win over Lazio as the Bianconeri clinched their first Cup and first league and Cup double since 1995.
Juventus had their final training session at their Vinovo training complex on Thursday and are set to travel to Berlin on Friday morning.
This weekend, Barcelona and Juventus battle it out in Berlin for the biggest prize in football, with a new guide revealing that the UEFA Champions League is now the richest game in fthe sport – worth a cumulative €1billion (Dhs4.2bn).
– #360LIVE: Follow the UCL final on Sport360
– #360ValoraFutbol: Rate players, bosses, refs
The €50.3million (Dhs210m) in prize money that they will collect between them isjust spare change in a competition where TV rights are worth hundreds of millions and sponsorship deals are the biggest prize of all.
Check out our interactive tool below to see where the money comes from.