Champions League Valora Futbol Fans' Top Five

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After each Champions League week, Sport360 brings you the best five players from the UEFA Champions League, as chosen by you the supporters through our ValoraFutbol fan ratings tool.

YOU have direct influence on who appears in each top-five, so be sure to rate each weekend.

What do you make of this week’s ratings?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

DANI ALVES (JUVENTUS) 8.3

A stunning performance from the Brazilian against Monaco prompted some experts to label him as the best attacking right-back of all time.

He first fed Mario Mandzukic with a spectacular ball into the box for the opening goal, before registering a goal of his own with a thunderous volley to make it 2-0.

KARIM BENZEMA (REAL MADRID) 7.7

While Benzema didn’t offer much brilliance against Atletico Madrid, there was one moment of excellence that will be remembered by all Real Madrid fans.

Just when his team needed some inspiration, Benzema produced an extraordinary piece of skill. Realising Atletico’s defenders did not want to concede a corner, Benzema almost Iniesta-like dribbled past three of them.

He then got some space and passed it to Toni Kroos whose shot rebounded off Jan Oblak and was subsequently converted by Isco.

GABI (ATLETICO MADRID) 7.5

While his side may not have progressed to the Champions League final, Gabi was excellent throughout the second leg.

The captain was instrumental around the middle of the field and came to the aid of his ailing defence on several occasions.

GIORGIO CHIELLINI (JUVENTUS) 7.5

Juventus’ rock-solid defender Giorgio Chiellini was instrumental throughout the second leg.

A fabulous interception denied Radamel Falcao the opportunity to pounce for a certain Monaco goal.

He also helped his team create a series of attacks, which even if not converted, still put pressure on a gallant Monaco defence.

SAUL (ATLETICO MADRID) 7.4

Over the course of the season, Saul has shown his knack of scoring the opening goal in games.

Against Real, it was Saul’s header from a corner that initiated the home side’s flying start.

Despite not qualifying for the final, he once again showed he relishes the big stage.

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Zinedine Zidane is fortunate to have a world class squad

Andy West 11/05/2017
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In the end, Real Madrid just had too much quality.

All week, the game had been billed as the cocky aristocrats against the humble labourers and, although that’s a gross simplification of these two clubs from the Spanish capital, it was ultimately a fair summary.

As much as they huffed and puffed and came close to blowing Real’s house down, Atletico couldn’t quite muster the sensational comeback they craved for one simple reason: they were outclassed.

The key moment late in the first half, when Karim Benzema received a long throw-in from Cristiano Ronaldo and produced a brilliant dribble to somehow snake along the byline, taking out Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic with a glorious change of feet.

What’s more, Benzema then had the presence of mind and ability to pick out the unmarked Toni Kroos, whose firm shot was repelled by Jan Oblak but prodded home on the rebound by Isco.

He won’t get any credit on the stats sheet but this was Benzema’s goal, and his stunning move summed up the basic difference in quality between the two teams.

Benzema, it should be added, has endured a pretty poor season. He is on course for his lowest goalscoring tally in seven years, and Zinedine Zidane has been forced to endure persistent calls for his compatriot to be replaced in the starting line-up by Alvaro Morata.

But despite his lack of form, Benzema was still able to conjure up a moment of magic which effectively sent his team through to yet another Champions League final appearance.

The biggest key to Real’s success, however, is that this time the key moment came from Benzema, last week it was from Ronaldo, on other occasions it has been from Sergio Ramos, Isco, Kroos, Luka Modric, Marcelo…the list goes on and on, because Zidane is fortunate enough to command a squad packed with world-class quality all the way through.

Even Los Blancos’ most lowly-ranked substitutes, players like Lucas Vazquez and Nacho, would easily command a starting place at practically every other team in the world, and Ramos’ claim that you could pick any 11 players with your eyes closed and still end up with a brilliant team is spot on.

If Ronaldo doesn’t get you, Benzema will. If neither of them do, someone else will step up, and it’s doubtful whether any manager has ever been fortunate enough to enjoy a squad so talented.

Benzema provided the key moment last night, but he wasn’t the only man to play a role in the result because the final hour of the contest, after Atletico’s initial steam ran out, was completely controlled by the Real midfield trio of Modric, Kroos and Isco.

The latter, in particular, is finally starting to consistently fulfil his obvious potential, and it will now be difficult for Zidane to leave him out.

Actually, scratch that: it will be easy to leave him out, because whoever replaces him will also be a superb player.

That’s all Real Madrid have.

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Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Three things you missed

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With Real Madrid holding a 3-0 lead heading into the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, few gave city rivals Atletico Madrid a chance of advancing to this year’s final.

Atletico had other ideas, however, and stunned their derby rivals to take a 2-0 lead within 16 minutes, setting the proverbial cat among the pigeons. But Isco’s goal shortly before halftime after some silky skills from Karim Benzema killed the tie again, and ultimately while Atletico won 2-1 on the night, Real Madrid advanced 4-2 on aggregate.

Here are three things you may have missed from Wednesday’s game…

REAL MADRID’S SEND-OFF PARTY

When Real Madrid’s players left for the game, they had a sizable crowd waiting to send them off.

Their walk to the team bus was lined by young fans waiting to wish their heroes luck ahead of the second leg.

It wasn’t quite the crowd that had shown up to welcome the bus into the Santiago Bernabeu ahead of the first leg, but it was a sight to behold nonetheless.

VICENTE CALDERON BIDS FAREWELL TO EUROPE – AND MADRID DERBIES

With Atletico Madrid moving from the Vicente Calderon at the end of this season, this was the grand old stadium’s final European game.

Of equal, if not more importance, however, was the fact that it would also be the final Madrid derby played at the Calderon.

With that in mind, there was a pointed message for Atletico’s city rivals displayed in the stands: “Proud to not be like you.” Same as ever, then.

ZIDANE, JUVENTUS VS REAL MADRID, AND CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALS

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has always held Juventus in high esteem after his five years with the Italian club before his then-world-record transfer to Madrid, so this season’s Champions League final will be a special one for the Frenchman.

There’s also his personal history in Champions League finals to consider. Zidane won in his first-ever final as a manager, last year, and also won the only time he made it to the final with Real Madrid, scoring a famous goal in the 2002 showpiece.

In fact, the last time he lost in a Champions League final, he was playing for Juventus – and against Real Madrid. What a quirk of fate it would be if his perfect record with Los Blancos ended at the hands of his old club.

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