UEFA Squad of the Season Announced: 6 Liverpool stars selected; 4 players from Netherlands; Messi and Ronaldo included
What's the story?
UEFA's Technical Observers have announced the official 20-member UEFA Squad of the Season, following yesterday's Champions League final where Liverpool defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to lift their 6th UCL title. As much as 6 Liverpool stars have been included in the coveted list, along with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo.
In case you didn't know...
An early penalty from Egyptian striker Mohammed Salah and a goal three minutes from full time by Belgian forward Divock Origi helped Liverpool to set the ghosts of last season's final to rest and triumph in Madrid. Manager Jurgen Klopp finally broke his 7-final, 7 year wait to win a major tournament final, lifting his first European title in some style.
The heart of the matter
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, ace centre-back and man-of-the-match for the final Virgil van Dijk, wingbacks Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfield engine Georgino Wijnaldum and striker Sadio Mane made the 20-man list. This season's UCL top scorer Lionel Messi (12 goals) obviously made the list while Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo was surprisingly selected ahead of Liverpool's top scorer Mohammed Salah. The only player to make the list who wasnt part of any of the 8 teams that made the quarterfinals was Olympique Lyon's midfield enforcer Tanguy Ndombele, the 22-year-old having caught the eye with his dominant displays, so much so that a host of Premier League teams including Manchester City are vying for his signature.
Losing finalist Tottenham are represented by centre-back Jan Ventonghen, winger Lucas Moura and midfielder Moussa Sissokko, who was unlucky to concede the penalty that provided Liverpool with the opening goal in the final. The nation with the most respresentatives was Netherlands with Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Ajax's rising sensation Matthijs de Ligt, and Barcelona-bound Frenkie de Jong.
Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Brazil/Liverpool), Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Germany/Barcelona)
Defenders: Virgil Van Dijk (Netherlands/Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands/Ajax), Jan Vertonghen (Belgium/Tottenham), Trent Alexander-Arnold (England/Liverpool), Andrew Robertson (Scotland/Liverpool)
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands/Ajax), Georgino Wijnaldum (Netherlands/Liverpool), Moussa Sissoko (France/Tottenham), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco/Ajax), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Tanguy Ndombele (France/Lyon)
Forwards: Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool), David Neres (Brazil/Ajax), Raheem Sterling (England/Man City), Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Dusan Tadic (Serbia/Ajax), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Juventus), Lucas Moura (Brazil/Tottenham)
Champions League winners Liverpool will take on Europa League winners Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup, slated for August 14th.