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.
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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
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