UEFA have officially announced the Champions League breakthrough team of 2019.
UEFA have picked out a team of young players who have broken through in the UEFA Champions League this calendar year.
In order to narrow the field, they set the following criteria:
1. aged 24 or under
2. UEFA Champions League debut in 2019 or only limited prior experience and made a major leap this year.
Alex Meret – 22 (Napoli)
Meret has been long tipped for the top. He has looked right at home in his first UEFA Champions League campaign. He has conceded just four times in six outings.
Achraf Hakimi – 21 (Borussia Dortmund)
The Real Madrid academy product is a key cog in Lucien Favre’s dynamic system and. He has scored four group stage goals which shows that the Moroccan is not shy of coming forward.
Benjamin Pavard – 23 (Bayern München)
The World Cup winner is hardly unknown, but 2019/20 provided his first taste of Europe’s premier club competition. Bayern Munich’s defensive future looks bright with Alphonso Davies also emerging.
Dayot Upamecano – 21 (Leipzig)
Another French defender who has prospered in Germany. Upamecano is dynamic at the back but it is his comfort on the ball that has drawn the admiration of many.
Renan Lodi – 21 (Atletico Madrid)
The departure of Filipe Luís and Lucas Hernández left a big void at left-back for Atletico Madrid. But the tireless Brazilian Renan Lodi has helped fill it at both ends of the pitch.
Sander Berge – 21 (Genk)
Genk had a challenging group stage but their towering Norwegian midfielder shone bright. His intelligence and leadership have attracted many suitors.
Kai Havertz – 20 (Bayer Leverkusen)
In his fourth season in senior football, the skillful Havertz is being classed in Germany as an Alleskönner – a player who can do everything. This autumn we learned the reason behind his name.
Dani Olmo – 21 (Dinamo Zagreb)
Dani Olmo looks to be profiting from the difficult decision to leave Barcelona in search of first-team chances in 2014. He has enjoyed a winning debut for Spain in November.
Rodrygo – 18 (Real Madrid)
According to Zinedine Zidane, he is a player who has got a bit of everything. The Brazilian youngster announced himself with a perfect hat-trick against Galatasaray.
Erling Braut Haaland – 19 (Salzburg)
The Norway forward completed a first-half hat-trick on his UEFA Champions League debut against Genk. He has scored in each of his first five outings. And now he has agreed to a move to Borussia Dortmund in January.
Lautaro Martínez – 22 (Inter)
Five group stage goals were not enough to take the Nerazzurri through but they certainly showcased Lautaro’s attributes: pace, power, industry, flexibility and a nose for goal.
All data and information collected from UEFA’s official website.
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