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Guest Article – Champions League XI Who Did Not Make The Round Of 16

Time for another guest article of now as new transfer window signing Anthony Umoh takes a look at a Champions League XI which has not made it through to the Round of 16. I guess it is a dream team of sorts?
Thanks for getting involved Anthony, the floor is now all yours. Take it away.

When you are playing in the champions league, you are playing in the best club competition in football, so this means you are competing against the best players in the world. There’s a lot of reasons why you want to play in this competition, testing yourselves against the best players in the world. The opportunity to increase your reputation if your club does well an example is when Monaco got to the champions league semi-final, for the clubs a simple reason is that you will generate more money. In this article, these clubs and their players they didn’t make the knockout rounds and I are going to do a combined xi that didn’t make the top two in their group and will now be demoted to the Europa league or out of Europe altogether. For the formation, we will be using the 4-2-3-1.

GK- Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid

Jan Oblak is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and his sixteen million pounds move from Portuguese side Benfica being able to rival the likes of Manuel Neuer and David De Gea, the six foot and a half Slovenian has been a consistent performer for Atletico Madrid and Slovenia for the past few years.Jan Oblak has been able to attract likes of Arsenal and Liverpool who requested his services.Unfortunately, his team didn’t make it through to the knockout rounds, and he will find some familiar faces in this group because Atletico finished third and they will drop into Europa league where they will be one of the favourites to win the tournament.

LB- Filipe Luis- Atletico Madrid

Filipe Luis is not last Atletico player on this, and he will be familiar with Jan Oblak in goal. The highly talented left-back has been able to justify his place as one of the best left-backs in Spain as the Brazilian is incredibly gifted when on the ball and being able to be a threat in the final-third but also be able to defend and made himself a complete player and a part of Diego Simeone’s side. The thirty-two-year-old will be frustrated that he been knocked out of the group stage as he will want to to be able to win the champions league.

CB- Diego Godin- Atletico Madrid

Diego Godin a few years ago could argue he was the best central defender in the world. Despite being decent on the ball, he is more of an old-school defender that doesn’t take any prisoners. The Uruguayan has been able to win one-hundred and fourteen caps for his country and was in helping them reach the semi-final in the 2010 world cup and being able to lift the Copa America trophy in 2011. For Atletico he has been a performer in the big games, for example, scoring on the last game in the league season against Barcelona to secure La Liga in 2014 and scoring the first champions league goal in the final against Real Madrid that year dispute losing the final.

CB-Kalidou Koulibaly- Napoli

Napoli was unable to qualify from a  group which contained Man city, Shakhtar Donetsk and Feyenoord. Central Defender Kalidou Koulibaly includes all the attributes of a modern-day Center Back as he can play on the ground and spray long passes, he can read the game well and his in great physical shape, is fast and strong and great in the air. The twenty-six-year-old has been to mature very nicely since his move from Genk and has been able to attract the like of Chelsea and Barcelona as he has been a critical player for Napoli and Senegal.

RB- Juanfran- Atlético Madrid

Juanfran is a Spanish right-back who plays for Atletico Madrid, and he has made twenty-two caps for Spain’s national team. Juanfran has played for Atletico since 2011, and his playing style is very many suits Atletico Madrid as he is a reliable right-back capable at both ends of the pitch this kind of attributes have contributed to success like them winning the Europa league in 2012, Copa del Rey in 2013 and La Liga in 2014. He still won’t be the last Atletico player in this xi as they had a disappointing campaign as you would have felt that they are dark horses for the champions league this season.

CM- Naby Keita- Rasenball Sport Leipzig

We now move on our midfield, and we get started with the box-to-box midfielder of Naby Keita who play for RB Leipzig, he has agreed a 48 million pound move to Liverpool which is a great deal.For that money they get a midfielder who can do it all, he can provide energy, but also he provides quality, so he can be a playmaker, score goals, but even he can be someone who can sit in front of the defence. Naby Keita has had some impressive comparisons; this includes the like of N’golo Kante and also Deco.

CM- Koke- Atletico Madrid

Koke has been at Atletico Madrid since 2000, and he seems like he will be a one-club man and stay there for the rest of his career, but you never know in football. Koke is a centre midfielder with brilliant technical ability being able to play as a winger on either side but he can play as the centre midfielder, or he can play as the ten. Xavi former Barcelona player has heaped a lot of praise towards Koke, and it caught Barcelona’s attention as he one of Spain best midfielders for the next ten years, at the moment he has been able to win thirty-six for the Spanish national team.

CAM- Marek Hamsik- Napoli

Marek Hamsik is an incredibly underrated player; this may be due to him staying so loyal to Napoli when he has had so many big clubs go after him if he left Napoli he could easily be considered as one of the world best players. Marek Hamsik is an incredible playmaker having the ability to pick out a pass, but he also has a great shot and is more than likely to overtake Diego Maradona and become Napoli’s highest goalscorer ever. Another reason for Hamsik being underrated is because he plays for Slovakia and not one of the big nations if he played for a country like Italy he would be more likely to compete in international tournaments. Despite this, he has played in Euro 2008, Fifa World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2016.

RW- Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann is the final Atletico Madrid playing in this starting xi, and he is the best player in the Spanish time he has been at Atletico Madrid since 2014, and he will be slot into the right-wing, despite his comfortability in playing multiple positions like left-wing, as the attacking midfielder or as your striker. Griezmann is a player who is technically gifted enough to drop deep and create the play but he also able to go in-behind defences with his pace. Also, his direct dribbling and his goal scoring ability will suit this position, and these attributes have won him forty-nine caps for the French national team.

LW- Dries Mertens- Napoli

Dries Mertens is in the best spell of period, and it should be as the thirty-year-old in his prime, but unfortunately, he won’t be able to show his form in the champions league this season as Napoli finished third in the group stage. Dries Mertens is part of the current golden generation of Belgian which includes the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany and he has won sixty caps for his country. His attributes include being able to dribble with high speed and control and also his incredible pace, but his crossing ability means he will suit perfectly for the left-wing, but he can even play as the striker and the number ten.

ST- Pierre Emerick Aubameyang- Borussia Dortmund

The final piece in this line-up is the striker and the player who will fill out this role Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, and he plays for Borussia Dortmund who was in a group with Real Madrid, Tottenham and Apoel Nicosia. This is a group Dortmund would have been confident of qualifying for but unfortunately, they finished third. Aubameyang is one of the quickest footballers in the planet and with his direct dribbling can provide a devastating counter-attacking threat, and over the years he has improved his overall technical ability making him a better finisher and a complete player.

Thanks again Anthony, with the quality that Atletico Madrid have not to mention the addition of Diego Costa to their ranks you would have to make them strong favourites for the Europa League this season.

If you would like to get involved as a guest writer in 2018 then please get in touch with me via email at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com and we can have you signed up as a member of the squad. Thanks, Dan.

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