The 2021-22 UEFA Champions League kicked-off this week as top clubs around Europe look to compete for the ultimate prize.
Current holders Chelsea clinched the trophy last season after beating Manchester City in the final. They have strengthened their squad with the addition of Romelu Lukaku and are definitely among contenders to win it this term. Manchester United have brought in Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane but the biggest addition is that of Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned to Old Trafford after 12 years.
Liverpool will also be looking to once again challenge for the UEFA Champions League this season after the return of Virgil van Dijk and other defenders from injury.
But the biggest favorites will arguably be PSG, who have a star-studded squad, adding the likes of Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi.
Most Valuable XI in the UEFA Champions League
Several global superstars are playing in the UEFA Champions League this season. Here we take a look at the most valuable XI that are plying their trade in the UEFA Champions League this season. A traditional 4-4-2 formation has been selected while making the list.
(Note: All values as per Transfermarkt)
Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) - €70 million
Atletico Madrid's exceptional custodian Jan Oblak is the most valuable goalkeeper in the UEFA Champions League right now. He is valued at €70 million in the current market.
The 28-year-old has been performing at an exceptional level for the last few years consistently and is currently at his peak years as a goalkeeper.
Since joining Atletico Madrid, the Slovenian has become one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and is arguably the best in La Liga right now. He has kept 160 clean sheets in 307 matches for Atletico Madrid in all competitions.
Oblak has won the Ricardo Zamorra award awarded to the best goalkeeper in La Liga five times, including winning it for four consecutive years between 2015 and 2019. He was also named La Liga's Player of the Season after guiding Atletico to the 2020-21 La Liga title.
In the UEFA Champions League, Oblak has kept 29 clean sheets in 59 appearances, although he has been unable to get his hands on the trophy.
Atletico are in a tough Champions League group this season alongside Liverpool, AC Milan and FC Porto. But Los Rojiblancos will be hoping that their goalkeeping custodian can help them progress further in the competition.
Centre-back: Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) - €75 million
One of the best young centre-backs in the world, Matthijs de Ligt is considered a future superstar of the game.
De Ligt burst onto the scene with his boyhood club Ajax and was sensational for them during their 2018-19 UEFA Champions League semi-final run. As such, he attracted a lot of interest from many big clubs but the Netherlands international decided to join Juventus in 2019.
De Ligt has been a key part of Juventus' backline since his arrival, with the 21-year-old winning Serie A in his first season at the club. Although he struggled last season, his stock has continued to rise. He will definitely be looking to put in a much improved performance for the Bianconeri this season as they look to compete for the UEFA Champions League.
Centre-back: Ruben Dias (Manchester City) - €75 million
A lot of eyebrows were raised when Manchester City snapped up Ruben Dias from Benfica for €68 million last season. Dias had done well at Benfica, but there were doubts whether he could replicate that success in the Premier League.
A year later and the Portugal international is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world.
He was a mainstay in City's defense last season, playing 55 games for the club and playing a key part in their Premier League title win. He also played a major role in City's journey to their first ever UEFA Champions League final, although they lost the trophy to Chelsea.
His performances earned him a lot of plaudits, earning him the Premier League Player of the Year and UEFA Defender of the Year award.
The centre-back has started the new season in fine form and will be hoping that he can guide City one better in the Champions League this season.
Left-back: Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) - €70 million
Bayern Munich's young full-back Alphonso Davies is the most valuable left-back in the UEFA Champions League right now.
The Canadian erupted on the European stage and impressed everyone with his performances during the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League winning campaign for the Bavarians. He played a major part in Bayern's dominance that season as the Bundesliga outfit won all six major titles available for grabs.
An incredible player with blistering pace and supreme ball control, Davies pace and marauding runs on the wings enables Bayern to play a high line. The full-back has already contributed 19 goals in 90 appearances in all competitions for the club.
Bayern have looked good at the start of the 2021-22 season and will look to once again challenge for the UEFA Champions League. Davies will definitely have a big say in their run in the competition.
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) - €75 million
Liverpool's creative force from the right flank, Trent Alexander-Arnold, is the most valuable right-back in the UEFA Champions League right now.
Product of Liverpool's academy, the 22-year-old broke into the first-team during the 2016-17 season and has since established himself firmly in the side, developing into a world-class player.
He played a key role in helping Liverpool win their sixth Champions League title in 2019 before helping the Reds win the Premier League the following season.
Alexander-Arnold has produced outrageous stats for Liverpool as a right-back. In 183 appearances, the youngster has scored 10 goals and provided 46 assists in all competitions. He also holds the record for most assists by a defender in a Premier League season with 13.
After a disappointing last season, Alexander-Arnold will look to bounce back and propel the Reds to glory once again.