Champions League Player Power Rankings: Ronaldo, RvP and Bale Star

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMarch 19, 2014

Champions League Player Power Rankings: Ronaldo, RvP and Bale Star

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Welcome to the latest edition of our UEFA Champions League player power rankings.

    With Real Madrid, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United sealing qualification to the quarter-finals, we continue to update our top 10 players based on form, production and performance.

    Last week's No. 1 has kept his crown, but there's been a serious rejig in the middle of the pack as several players dropped out. If a player misses the second leg completely, he is disqualified, so Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria drop despite turning in amazing performances back in February.

Honourable Mentions (HM)/Dropouts

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    Daniel Tejedor/Associated Press

    Dropping Out

    Karim Benzema, Angel di Maria and Marco Reus did not play in their respective teams' second legs, so they are not eligible for the rankings.

    Chori Dominguez and Ivan Marcano drop due to poor performance.

     

    Honourable Mentions

    • Iker Casillas
    • Joel Campbell
    • Delvin N'Dinga
    • Sebastian Kehl
    • Wayne Rooney
    • David de Gea

10. Lukasz Piszczek, Borussia Dortmund

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    Last Week: 7

    Differential: -3

    Lukasz Piszczek really struggled against Zenit Saint Petersburg this week, with Oleg Shatov and Danny giving him a real run for his money.

    His performance in Russia was very strong, so he keeps his place in our top 10, but he moves right to the bottom of the ranking and is hanging on by a thread.

    He really doesn't look fit right now.

9. Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Last Week: 6

    Differential: -3

    Robert Lewandowski had a thrilling physical battle with Tomas Hubocan on Wednesday night.

    The Pole relishes a tussle with a burly defender and utilises clever movement to lever an advantage if he can, but the Zenit centre-back kept him quiet, and Lewy failed to create any form of clearcut chance on goal.

    A tough night's work.

8. Eden Hazard, Chelsea

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Last Week: None

    Differential: New!

    Eden Hazard turned in another awesome performance on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge and, for the first time in months, replicated his scintillating league form on the continental stage.

    Emmanuel Eboue could only stand and stare as the Belgian waltzed past him with consummate ease, and according to WhoScored.com, the former Lille man completed an astonishing nine dribbles.

7. Robin van Persie, Manchester United

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Last Week: None

    Differential: New!

    Robin van Persie scored a spectacular hat-trick to fire Manchester United into the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday night.

    He was stretchered off in the closing minutes, which was cause for concern, but his performance over the course of 92 minutes was hunter-like in its efficiency.

6. Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Last Week: HN

    Differential: New!

    Last week, Cesar Azpilicueta missed our top 10 by a hair's breadth and settled for a place on the honourable mentions list.

    This week, he enters our ranking after another extremely solid showing at left-back against Burak Yilmaz, Didier Drogba and the rest of Galatasaray's attacking luxuries.

    He's unbeatable in one-on-ones and has a wonderful habit of winning 50-50s consistently.

5. Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Last Week: 10

    Differential: +5

    Sergio Ramos kept it as tight as possible for Real Madrid in their second leg against Schalke, but an unfortunate deflection allowed Tim Hoogland to score.

    The Spaniard plays hard in every game and was visibly angered by the Royal Blues' slice of luck, but the inability to register a clean sheet pales in contrast to an aggregate 9-2 score.

    Ramos moves up this week.

4. Marcel Schmelzer, Borussia Dortmund

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    Last Week: HN

    Differential: New!

    Like Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcel Schmelzer settled for an honourable mention last week but did enough to move into the top 10 on Wednesday night.

    He was withdrawn late on for Erik Durm, but his floated cross enabled Sebastian Kehl to climb the highest in the first half, heading home to essentially seal progression.

    The German is really hitting some strong form.

3. Gary Cahill, Chelsea

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Last Week: HN

    Differential: New!

    Gary Cahill backed up a strong performance at the Turk Telekom Arena against Didier Drogba with an even better showing at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

    He dealt with the Ivorian as well as physically possible, but it was his impact in the final third that decided the game on the night.

    First, he was able to flick on a free-kick and give John Terry a chance to score; later, he followed up his defensive colleague's header from a corner by stabbing the ball home to make it 2-0.

2. Gareth Bale, Real Madrid

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    Paul White/Associated Press

    Last Week: 4

    Differential: +2

    Gareth Bale was originally benched for Real Madrid's demolition of Schalke, but a cruel anterior cruciate ligament tear brought Jese's game to an end after just eight minutes.

    The Welshman came on in his place and had a major impact, squaring an easy ball for Cristiano Ronaldo to score and squaring another for Alvaro Morata to grab a deserved goal.

    He moves up to second place as a result.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    Last Week: 1

    Differential: None

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 12th and 13th Champions League goals on Tuesday night as Real Madrid dispatched Schalke 3-1.

    He also hit the woodwork twice, denying him the chance to move onto 15 goals for the campaign and truly leave Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the dust.

    He's basically an unstoppable, elite athlete. His second goal was absolutely breathtaking.

     

    Please note: Our rankings are split into Week 1 and Week 2. The corresponding ranking for this piece can be found here, while the other set—featuring Barcelona and Bayern Munich—can be found here

    All statistics are from WhoScored.com.