Lionel Messi, Mbappe, and Vinicius Junior to lead the attack as we look at the best players 11 of the group stage for the Champions League (UCL) 2022-23.
What a football season, fans across the globe are having. We have seen some staggering performances from our favourite stars in World Cup. And one and half months fast forward, we will again see the best of the talent play in the Champions League knockout stage.
As expected, some of the biggest European football clubs will fight for glory like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, AC Milan, and Chelsea to name a few. But there was disappointment for some big clubs like Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus as they missed out on the knockout stage place.
We have seen some extremely brilliant displays of performances – not just from established and well-known players like Salah, Mbappe, Messi, Lewandowski, and Haaland. But also from the stars in the making with a big future ahead in the likes of Mohammed Kudus, Bellingham, and Vinicius Junior.
With plenty to play for still and a lot at stake, we have to wait for the season to end. But let’s figure out the best players 11 at the Group stage of UCL 2022-23.
#1: Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge)
The 34-year-old Belgian Goalkeeper is surely having the best Champions League season of his career. His heroics at the group stage are the highlight of Club Brugge’s campaign so far. Barring a 0-4 loss against FC Porto, Mignolet managed to keep 5 clean sheets. He made 30 saves (21 inside the box) which are most by any keeper at the group stage level.
#2: Alex Grimaldo (Benfica)
Alex Grimaldo’s career never took off in Barcelona but his move to Benfica 6 years back was a career-defining moment for him. He excelled through the ranks and is now a formidable name in world football. His performance against PSG in both home and away games in group stages helped his team to draw the games at a scoreline of 1-1 in both ties. The Spanish defender has made 8 clearances, 9 interceptions, and scored 2 goals at group stages.
#3: Reece James (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s center-back will be at the heart of the defense of our lineup. His return from a long-term knee injury which kept him out of the World Cup will be a boost to Chelsea. But manager Graham Potter has to manage his game wisely. The 23-year-old English defender has quite impressive group-stage stats of 24 duels won, 1 assist, and 1 goal.
#4: Mohamed Simaken (RB Leipzig)
The French defender is one of the easiest picks in our Group Stage 11 based on his defense as well as his attacking stats so far in CL. He has a staggering 49 duels won, 11 interceptions, and 6 clearances. Apart from that he also scored 1 goal and provided 3 assists in the attacking setup. The 22-year-old defender is on the radar of some big clubs and it will be interesting to see where he lands in near future.
#5: Trent Alexander Arnold (Liverpool)
TAA’s selection in best player 11 of the group stage might raise a few eyebrows, but his stats say otherwise. He has 22 duels won, 16 tackles won, 81 pass accuracy, 3 clean sheets, and 1 goal to his name. His tackling skills were outstanding throughout the group-stage games which helped the high-line defense of Liverpool.
#6: Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
The Brazilian winger didn’t have the best World Cup. But his club-level stats especially in the Champions League are hard to ignore. He has scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist so far this season. His dribbling skills and pace will be a challenge for Liverpool defenders in the upcoming mouthwatering round of 16 clashes.
#7: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Napoli)
The Napoli Central midfielder is pivotal in Napoli’s great run both in Serie A as well as in the Champions League. Napoli is all set to end their 33-year Serie A drought and looking good to win the title after 1989-90. Anguissa has played a significant role in this dream run of Napoli. In the Champions League, he has attacking stats of 1 goal and 3 assists. Defensively also he has made 10 interceptions, 2 clearances, and 11 tackles.
#8: Fedrico Valverde (Real Madrid)
The Real Madrid midfielder is one of the best playmakers currently. He has scored 2 goals and provided that many assists in CL. But his contribution is not limited to that. The Uruguayan has made 15 crosses, 2 clearances, 6 interceptions, and 8 tackles during the group stage.
#9: Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto)
One of the gems of FC Porto, who helped his team to top the group. The Iranian forward has scored 5 goals and provided 2 assists. Apart from that, he was also influential in the defensive front as well with 8 clearances, 1 interception, and 5 tackles made. With his work ethic and all-around display, he found the place as 3rd attacker in our 11.
#10: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
One player who has matched shoulder with the shoulder to Lionel Messi this season is his club teammate Mbappe. What a top-class World Cup performance he has had! Will he match those individual heroics in PSG set up in the knockout stage of CL? That’s the question that will be hovering in the minds of his fans. He is an easy choice to pick in our 11 with 7 goals and 3 assists to his name so far in CL.
#11: Lionel Messi (PSG)
Is the 8th Ballon d’Or loading for Messi? His on-field stats and achievements say that it’s just a matter of time. He has scored 4 goals and provided that many assists with 61 % shot accuracy in the Champions League group stage. After the failures in knockout stages in the past few seasons, it will be interesting to see how his star-studded PSG side fares this time around.
So,that’s about the combined best performing players 11 for UCL 2022-23 group stage of the tournament. Other Notable omissions include Mohammed Salah, Erling Haaland, Jude Bellingham, Oliver Giroud, and Robert Lewandowski to name a few.
UCL 2022-23 – Group Stage Combined Best Performing Players 11:
Simon Mignolet [gk], Alejandro Grimaldo, Reece James, Mohamed Simakan, Trent Alexander Arnold, Vinicius Junior, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Federico Valverde, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe & Mehdi Taremi
Stats Wizard Methodology:
To select the Best players 11 for CL 2022-23 at the group stage, we have taken various skill sets into consideration. We have taken a position-wise selection for the team. Each skill set has been given a different weightage in our calculations. In case of a tie among players, the level of opposition has been taken into consideration.
Attack: We have analyzed the forward line performances basis the attack rating calculated from the overall aspect of the game such as goals scored, assists, shot accuracy, touches inside the box, successful dribbles, and offsides.
Midfield: Again, we have analyzed the midfield performances by looking at the various aspects like goals scored, assists, total passes, pass accuracy, touches, successful dribbles, duels, duels won, and interceptions.
Defense: Defensive skill sets which are included in our selection criteria are clean sheets, tackles, tackles won, duels/duels won, aerial duels won, clearances, interceptions, block shots, crosses, assists, and goals.
Thanks for reading! What’s your best players 11 group stage for UCL 2022-23? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Akshay is an author at Footbalytics. His love for football started way back in 1998 when Ronaldo (Not Cristiano) was his first football hero, and the list keeps getting longer ever since.
Though Akshay is a Teacher by profession, he firmly believes that there is no better classroom than the Sports field and no better Teacher than Sports.