Premier League boasts 11 players in UCL 'Squad of the Season'
Uefa have released the Champions League 'Squad of the Season' in which champions Liverpool are the most represented club with six players. No Real Madrid players made the list.
Following the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday evening, Uefa have released the ‘Squad of the Season’ for 2018/19 featuring the players it deems to have been the best in this season’s edition of the competition.
This year's champions Liverpool, who secured their sixth European Cup after beating Spurs 2-0 in a largely underwhelming final, are the most represented club on the list with six players: Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson; defenders, Andrew Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk, and Trent Alexander-Arnold; midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum; and striker, Sadio Mané.
Tottenham has three representatives
Runners-up Tottenham have three representatives, defender Jan Vertonghen, midfielder Moussa Sissoko, whose handball in the opening minute led to Liverpool’s first goal through a Mohamed Salah penalty, and striker Lucas Moura.
Despite scoring the miracle hat-trick in the semi-final against Ajax to secure Spur’s place in their first-ever Champions League final, Moura began the game from the bench, as coach Mauro Pochettino chose to start with the returning Harry Kane, who had not played a game in seven weeks due to an ankle injury.
Ajax’s five representatives reflects impressive campaign
Ajax, who missed out on their first final since 1997 due to Moura’s hat-trick heroics, enjoyed a memorable campaign, taking down giants Juventus and Real Madrid on their way to the semi-final.
And their five players on the list – Matthijs De Ligt (defender), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax) Hakim Ziyech (midfielder), Dusan Tadic (striker) and David Neres (midfielder) – is reflective of their impressive performance in this year’s competition and makes them the second most represented club on the list after Liverpool.
Although, the Dutch club are set to lose at least three of those players next season -- with De Jong already having signed for Barcelona and De Ligt and Neres tipped to follow him to the exit door.
No Real Madrid players make list
Real Madrid fans will be surprised to see none of their club’s player on the list, which is perhaps a reflection on their poor European campaign. Last year's winners saw themselves eliminated at the last 16 stage by Ajax, after having lost twice to CSKA Moscow in the group stages.
Domestic rivals Barcelona, meanwhile, have just two representatives, goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen and striker Lionel Messi, who was this season's Golden Boot winner with 12 goals.
Premier League represents more than half the squad
Having set a historic precedent by supplying all four of the finalists for the Champions League and Europa League finals, the Premier League is rightfully the league with the most representatives on the UCL 'Squad of the Season' – with 11 of 20-man squad coming from English clubs.
Holland’s Eredivisie is second with the five aformentioned Ajax representatives; while LaLiga has two, and France’s Ligue 1 supplies one. No Bundesliga players made this year’s squad, making the German league the only one of Europe’s top five league to have no representatives on the list.