The UEFA Champions League group stage has officially ended with many excellent performances of the world’s top stars.
Europe’s most prestigious arena is always the stage for the greatest talents of world football. Let’s take a look at the five names who performed best in this year’s European Cup.
5. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Toni Kroos is one of the best midfielders in the group stage. The German international played a full 90 minutes in all five matches he played in, before being sent off on a trip to Club Brugge in the last leg.
The 2014 World Cup champion excelled in both attack and defense.
4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
In every match, Mbappe is always a constant threat to the opponent’s defense. The speed, skill and ability to make decisions make the 20-year-old striker very different. Considering the current European level, perhaps only Mane, Salah and Neymar possess all these qualities.
3. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
The Catalan giant fell into the group stage of death with Dortmund and Inter Milan. Without the excellence of the German goalkeeper, Barca would not have easily passed the group stage so easily.
In two hinge-filled matches against Borussia Dortmund and Slavia Prague, Barca’s number one goalkeeper was the most outstanding player. He blocked a penalty from Dortmund, thereby helping his team retain a valuable point.
2. Erling Braut Haaland (RB Salzburg)
Although RB Salzburg was eliminated in the group stage, but the performance of the Norwegian striker still surprised the whole of Europe. Haaland was second only to Robert Lewandowski in terms of goals scored in the group stage with 8 goals. Young talents born in 2000 also scored in 5 of 6 matches in the group stage.
So far, the 19-year-old has 35 times directly involved in goals (goals or assists) in all competitions, which makes Haaland one of the top 10 players leading the race for European Golden Shoe title with Lionel Messi and Lewandowski.
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
None other than the Polish striker deserves to lead this list. After 5 appearances in the group stage, the 31-year-old scored 10 goals. There were two double against Tottenham and Olympiacos, but the most impressive was a poker match against Crvena Zvezda.
In addition to his goalscoring ability, Lewandowski is vital to Bayern Munich’s attacking play both in and around the penalty area. No. 9 of the Gray Lobster has an average of 2 key-passes and 6 finishes on the opponent’s goal every 90 minutes. With his unstoppable form, the Polish captain is leading the European Golden Shoe race.