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The UEFA Champions League’s best XI PLAYER,TEAM CHAMPION

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Valdez has just conceded six goals in this season's Champions League campaign ... Andres Iniesta: The 26-year-old World Cup winner Barca midfielder has been

Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo reacts after the drawn World Cup group 1 qualifying soccer match against Denmark at Parken in Copenhagen, Denmark, Saturday Sept. 5, 2009. Portugal badly needed a victory in Copenhagen to have a realistic chance of qualifying for next year's World Cup in South Africa. The Portuguese team has won just two of its six qualifying matches and drew another.(AP Photo/Tariq Mikkel Khan/POLFOTO)

The UEFA Champions League has reached its business end for another season. The big boys have qualified for the quarter finals, but there have been few surprises.

So here is a look at my best XI, who were instrumental in their teams’ success so far.

GOALKEEPER
Victor Valdez: Barcelona’s number one is one the most underrated goalkeepers in the world. His performances often get overshadowed by the big names that Barca have at the other end of the field.

Valdez has just conceded six goals in this season’s Champions League campaign and has been consistent, but at times he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

DEFENDERS
Dani Alves: Brazil has a history of producing full backs of great quality and Alves is another name to that long list. Alves is probably the best right-back in the world right now.

Barca right-back is exceptional both while attacking and defending with great touch and sense of defending. He also has the ability to create goals and he also can find the back of the net from time to time.

Nemanja Vidic: The ever dependable Manchester United captain has been solid as a rock. The six-foot two-inch Serbian is a no nonsense defender. Vidic dominates forwards completely. He is Manchester United’s player of the season for me.

John Terry: Chelsea’s captain has not been his steady self this season, but the newly installed English captain still makes my team given what he bring to the team. His enthusiasm and will to win lifts the team up. The man is a born leader.

Marcelo Vieira: Marcelo has come off age this season. The Real Madrid left-back has made the position his own with some stellar performances this season. He might not be the best left-back in Europe defensively, but he definitely is the best going forward. He runs all day and terrorises his counterparts with the intelligent runs that he makes.

Marcelo has the ability to put great crosses in. This 22-year-old Brazilian also has a cultured left foot which he uses to great effect.

MIDFIELDERS
Mesut Ozil: One of the Germany’s World Cup stars has been brilliant for the Madrid giants in his debut season. Ozil is the highest assist maker in this season’s Champions League with five.

His ball distribution is impeccable. The German has the ability to breeze past defenders at will with his pace and skill. Ozil’s consistent performances are keeping one-time FIFA player of year winner Kaka on the bench, which is something to be proud off.

Andres Iniesta: The 26-year-old World Cup winner Barca midfielder has been consistently at his best this season. Iniesta has become one of the best dribblers of the ball, and finds ways to go past numerous defenders with ease.

His vision on the ball makes him the best creative midfielder in Europe right now.

Gareth Bale: Spurs left-back turned left-winger is having an exceptional first Champions League season. The Wales international has single-handedly taken Tottenham Hotspurs into the quarters.

His performance against Inter Milan at the San Siro is the best individual performance of the season so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Portugal captain is someone without whom any best XI is incomplete. Ronaldo is having another great season. The star scores a heap of goals and also creates them for his teammates. The Real Madrid no.9 brings that X-factor to the team.

FORWARDS
Samuel Eto’o: The Inter Milan no.9 is heading the top scorers chart in the Champions League. The Cameroon national team captain was one of the key factors in Inter Milan’s treble winning campaign last season.

This season this lanky center forward is doing it again for the Nerazurri. His pace, sublime skill and quality finishing makes him the most dreaded forward in Europe.

Lionel Messi: Messi could make this list anytime anyone thinks of making one. The little Argentinian mesmerises defenders with his control, pace and deadly finishing. The FIFA player of the year has already notched up eight goals this season with two assist to his name as well. Messi has the quality to win any game on his own.

At times it looks like the ball is tied to his feet as he breezes past defenders

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