Monday 23 October 2017

Champions League semi-finalists Dream Team - No place for Neuer, Rodriguez or Neymar

Lionel Messi with Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez
Lionel Messi with Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

With the Champions league semi-finalists confirmed, Independent.ie looks at Dream team selection, with some high-profile players missing out.

Here is our selection, an attacking 3-4-3 formation with representatives from Bayern Munich (1), Juvenutus (3), Real Madrid (3) and Barcelona (4).

Goalkeeper

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

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Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon saves a penalty from Romania's Adrian Mutu during their Group C Euro 2008 clash at the Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich yesterday.

A harsh call perhaps on Manuel Neuer, but while the German has had momentary lapses, the ever-green Buffon has been at his most assured in front of a stingy Italian defence. The Old Lady have conceded just six goals on their march to the last four.

Defence

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

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Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane is one of the most highly-rated young players in Europe. Photo: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
 

The 21 year-old French defender has been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, but with genuine top quality defenders at a premium, the club should do all in their powers to retain the services of the classy centre-back.

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

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Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus competes for the ball with Monaco's Anthony Martial
 

Hard to believe he is only 30 and is a throwback to rugged defenders of yesteryear. Plays the game on the edge, but is a rock at the heart of the Italian defence. Bonus points for an incredible yellow card against Monaco in the second leg.

Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

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Gerard Pique during the press conference
 

The former Manchester United defender is more than just a ball-playing defender and has improved immeasurably since his return to Spain. Generally regarded as the finest centre-half in La Liga.

Midfield

Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

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Thomas Muller turned down the opportunity join Manchester United

The man who can play in a number of positions at an incredibly high level, has six goals to his name and a serial provider. His assist for Bayern's third goal against Porto, a cushioned volley for Lewandowski, was a thing of beauty.

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

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Real Madrid's Toni Kroos
 

The German who knits it all together in the Madrid engine room. The World Cup winner doesn't grab as many headlines as some of his illustrious colleagues, but a key component of Carlo Ancelotti's game plan.

Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

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Andres Iniesta of Barcelona
 

Assist of the competition was sewn up by the diminutive midfielder for Neymar's opening goal against PSG and continues to show his brilliance against all opposition. Has struck up a real understanding with Ivan Rakatic.

 

Paul Pogba (Juventus)

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Paul Pogba
 

Perhaps the most coveted player in European football. The former Manchester United player will get to showcase his wares in front of potential suitors in the last four with talks of a €100m summer transfer.

Attack

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo will be joined by Javier Hernadez and James Rodriguez in attack at the Bernabeu tonight, as Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have been ruled out through injury
 

Didn't find the score sheet against Atletico, but made the biggest contribution in the tie when his moment of magic set-up Javier Hernandez. His goal against Schalke in February extend his Champions League away scoring streak to a silly 12 games.

Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

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Luis Suarez has made a rapid adjustment to life at Barcelona and will be hoping to add to the two goals he scored in the Champions League quarter-final first leg 3-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain in tonight's second leg at the Nou Camp
 

After adjusting to his new surroundings, the Liverpool man is delivering the goods when it matters. A brace in both of Barca’s knockout away legs effectively put them through on each occasion, while Man City and PSG (not to mention David Luiz) will have nightmares over the Uruguayan after some scintillating performances.

Interesting team dynamic with World Cup foe Chiellini as a team-mate.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi has been linked with Chelsea
 

No goals in his last four games, but that is only a statistic due to his ridiculous goal scoring feats. Still has eight in 10 games.

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