UEFA Champions League has never been this competitive recently where many big name teams like Sevilla, Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen, Porto, Valencia have been knocked out from the group stage and some underdogs like Gent, PSV Eindhoven and Dynamo Kyiv performed exceptionally well and qualified for the next rounds.
Several magnificent and exemplary performances made the task difficult for us to choose the best XI from group stage.
Still analyzing their performances we have come to a conclusion:
Kevin Trapp: The former Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper has impressed PSG manager Laurent Blanc with his performance and replaced Salvatore Sirigu both in Ligue 1 and UCL. PSG has conceded least number of goals (1) in group stages and managed to keep 5 out of 6 clean sheets.
Andrea Barzagli: Barzagli has always been solid at back for Juventus and this time was no different. Though Juventus finished as runners up behind Manchester City in group D, they conceded only 3 goals in their six group stage campaigns. Barzagli featured in all of them.
Naldo: His heroics in the final group stage encounter ensured Wolfsburg’s qualification in knock out stages for the first time in their history. He scored two crucial goals against United and was defensively solid throughout.
Diego Godin: The Uruguayan is a common name in world football nowadays for his consistency at the back. He was one of the best central defenders this year’s campaign.
David Alaba: Alaba not only defends, he is equally capable of scoring goals. He is an obvious choice for the best XI
Sven Kums: Gent was the surprise of this season who qualified for the knockout rounds. Sven Kums was the star performer who operated box to box in the heart of their midfield. He was solid defensively and provided a number of key passes for the forwards.
Hulk: The Brazilian winger is in outstanding form for Zenit this season. He scored a number of crucial goals which led them to finish the group stage as table toppers.
Thomas Muller: This versatile German simply can’t stop scoring. He scored five goals in six group league campaigns in this year’s competition.
Willian: He is the only spark of the under performing Chelsea side this season. His goals from free kicks led Chelsea to finish top of their group.
Cristiano Ronaldo: He showed again why he is considered one of the world’s best. He scored 11 goals in 6 matches ( which includes four against Malmo in a 8-0 victory) and became the first ever player to score double figures in the group stage of the Champions League.
Olivier Giroud: Arsenal had to win their final group stage match against Olympiakos by a convincing margin away from home. The Frenchman stepped up and scored a hat trick which dramatically took Arsenal to the next rounds of this year’s campaign.