European Team of the Week: Old masters Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic lead the line with Eden Hazard

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  • Every week we pick 22 of the best performing players in Europe’s top five leagues and, with your help, narrow it down to the best XI.

    Using polls on our Instagram stories, we pit players in each position against each other and let you decide who deserves to make the cut.

    Veteran forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo join forces up front while there are plenty of goals in defence too with Mats Hummels bagging a brace.

    Follow our Instagram page to get involved.

    Here’s what our latest European Team of the Week looks like:

    GK: Keylor Navas (PSG)

    The former Real Madrid keeper had a quiet day between the sticks for Paris Saint-Germain but showed good distribution and delivered when called upon. He did well to save Abdoul Kader Bamba’s penalty, earning himself a clean sheet at Nantes.

    RB: Kyle Walker (Man City)

    He defended his flank expertly against Sheffield United and managed to get forward to support the attack as well. Walker scored the only goal of the game with a driven shot from range against his boyhood club that was followed by a muted celebration.

    CB: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)

    In Erling Haaland’s absence, Dortmund found an unlikely source of goals in Hummels. The centre-back bundled in the opener from a corner before rising well to head home the second. His outside-of-the-boot cross for Jadon Sancho early on though highlighted his quality on the ball.

    CB: Nayef Aguerd (Rennes)

    The Moroccan scored with a fine header to snatch victory for Rennes over Brest. He also managed to make a last man tackle and deny the opposition a goal-scoring opportunity.

    LB: Rayan Ait-Nouri (Wolves)

    A dream debut for the 19-year-old. Coped well down his side defensively and got forward with purpose. The Frenchman marked his arrival with a superb finish into the bottom corner to open the scoring in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

    CM: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)

    Birthday boy James Ward-Prowse was at his set-piece-taking best with two goals and an assist but the people have spoken and Jack Grealish gets the nod instead. The Villa captain had an excellent game despite the 4-3 loss to Southampton. He set up Tyrone Mings before winning a penalty and a speculative shot from range in the closing moments also managed to find the net.

    CM: Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea)

    Frank Lampard has spoken highly of Ziyech who is still approaching full match fitness and in his first league start of the season, the playmaker showed why. He provided Chelsea with a cutting edge in attack, drilling home the opener and then playing in Timo Werner for the final goal of a 3-0 win at turf Moor.

    CM: Ruslan Malinovsky (Atalanta)

    The 27-year-old absolutely ran the show in the midfield for Atalanta, assisting Luis Muriel for the opener in the 2-1 win at Crotone. He could’ve had a goal himself but his one-on-one effort in the second half was saved. He should certainly have had more assists as well having played seven key passes in the encounter.

    FW: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

    Returning from another long injury lay-off in the Spanish capital, Hazard marked his comeback with a spectacular strike to break the deadlock against Huesca. He impressed early in the second half too, playing a huge part in a sweeping move for Madrid’s second before he was replaced at the hour mark.

    FW: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan)

    Ibrahimovic is 39 years young and continues to flourish as the focal point in this AC Milan attack. He showed his strength with excellent hold-up play before laying the ball off for Frank Kessie to score the opener. In typical Ibra fashion, he grabbed the headlines with an acrobatic effort from close range to earn his side all three points in a 2-1 win over Udinese.

    FW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

    Another superstar ageing remarkably well is Ronaldo who made his first appearance since recovering from COVID-19 when he came off the bench against Spezia. With his side drawing 1-1, he only needed three minutes to give them the lead, rounding the keeper for a tidy finish. His panenka penalty eventually capped a 4-1 victory for the Italian champions.