The group stages of the Champions League ended this past week. The 16 teams to advance to the knockout round are now set to battle it out come February 2019.
It’s fair to say that the Champions League did throw out a lot of surprises. Napoli and Internazionale, two Italian giants, took a drop to the Europa League. SL Benfica, despite being in a group where they could have qualified, joined the Serie A clubs.
Despite what the standings suggest, the major European powers also had it tough during the group stage. Real Madrid lost twice to CSKA Moscow. While Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure was likely to affect Los Blancos, few expected them to stagnate at such a rate. Paris Saint-Germain, despite having a star-studded squad, were only able to qualify on the final day. The same is with Liverpool who held out in a 1-0 win over Napoli to secure their Round of 16 berth on the final day.
These factors were definitely taken into consideration while forming this Champions League Team of the Group Stage. With better than expected performances from some of the non-traditional European giants, their players dominate our XI. We opted to use a 4-3-3 formation for our team.