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While he hasn’t been on the European stage for long, Thibaut Courtois has taken no time in becoming one of the most impressive goalkeepers around, even though he’s yet to make a Premier League appearance for parent club, Chelsea.
Although the likes of Manuel Neuer, Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas might have better team records, Courtois has shone on the individual scale and pulled off more than 70 saves last season, keeping 20 clean sheets in the process.
In contrast, the aforementioned trio of ‘keepers were all closer to just 40 saves in the season with less clean sheets, at that.
Another nominee as one of the world’s finest centre-backs at the moment, Mats Hummels has been an ever-present force in the past three seasons for Borussia Dortmund.
The German international doesn’t have much experience in playing amongst a three-man defence but his stature and attributes all suggest that he wouldn’t find it impossible to adjust.
Helping to lead the Black and Yellows to the Champions League final, last season wasn’t the most fruitful for the Borussia Dortmund star, but was an undoubted success on an individual basis.
A particularly versatile talent of the Spanish national team at the moment, Javi Martinez could easily come into our European XI’s midfield but poses as much of an option in defence having filled in at centre-back during his Athletic Bilbao days.
In his first season at the Allianz Arena, the 24-year-old won a European treble and is currently in the national frame of the reigning World and European cup title holders.
Only left out of our starting XI as a result of a dip in recent form, Xavi remains a powerful asset for any side he performs for, helping to lead Barcelona to another La Liga crown last season.
Now 33 years old, the Catalan veteran has simmered slightly in terms of extravagance but still has the same, almost omnipotent football brain, making him an invaluable and cool option from the bench.
Last summer, rumours were swirling that Thomas Muller might leave Bayern Munich for a better chance of first team football. A year later, the German international is a key staple in the European champions’ lineup, making 42 starts across all competitions for the side last season.
Muller is primarily a talent to be used out wide but can also mould to fill a more central responsibility, adding extra positional coverage on the 23-year-old’s behalf.
Like Muller, Franck Ribery played a substantial part in Bayern Munich’s treble-winning campaign last season, making 43 starts for the club across all competitions, scoring 11 goals and making 23 assists in the meantime.
The 30-year-old beats a raft of other European wing talents to a spot on the bench of our squad, but his specialism out wide means he’s included with a very specific purpose in mind.
The sole striking support to Napoli’s Cavani, two-time Polish Player of the Year, Robert Lewandowski, was unfortunate not to lead Borussia Dortmund to a Champions League triumph last season.
The gem in the 24-year-old’s season was assuredly a four-goal haul in the first leg of his side’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, an event that officially put Lewandowski in the global eye as a supremely rounded forward.