Lionel Messi, Virgil Van Dijk Lead 2018-19 Champions League Squad of the Season

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 1: Alisson Becker of Liverpool FC, Fabinho of Liverpool FC, Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool FC, Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool FC, Roberto Firmino of Liverpool FC, Sadio Mane of Liverpool FC, Mohamed Salah of Liverpool FC, Jordan Henderson of Liverpool FC, Andy Robertson of Liverpool FC, Joel Matip of Liverpool FC, Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool FC, Simon Mignolet of Liverpool FC, Dejan Lovren of Liverpool FC, James Milner of Liverpool FC, Joe Gomez of Liverpool FC, Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool FC, Alberto Moreno of Liverpool FC, Adam Lallana of Liverpool FC, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain of Liverpool FC, Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool FC, , Divock Origi of Liverpool FC assistent trainer Pepijn Lijnders of Liverpool FC, coach Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool FC, celebrates the championship with the Trophy  during the UEFA Champions League  match between Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano on June 1, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

UEFA confirmed the Champions League Squad of the Season on Sunday, with six players from winners Liverpool named in the 20-man selection.

The Reds beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 on Saturday to become European champions for the sixth time, with Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi on the scoresheet.

Neither player made it into UEFA's squad, although the work of a number of Liverpool's heroes was recognised, with Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane making the cut.

B/R Football @brfootball

The @ChampionsLeague Squad of the Season 🌟 https://t.co/Ru6WLRcWmV

Having performed tremendously in the buildup to the final, Spurs have three representatives in Jan Vertonghen, Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko. Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo are also included, as are Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne.

In addition to Salah, there was no place in the selection for PSG forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

After losing the final in Kiev to Real Madrid a year ago, Liverpool have enjoyed a remarkable campaign. They finished second to City in the Premier League with 97 points prior to their historic success in Madrid on Saturday.

Here is the moment Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson hoisted the trophy aloft:

Liverpool FC @LFC

A moment we'll never forget. #SixTimes https://t.co/7L5Xv1qstW

While their Champions League win was very much a team effort, Liverpool supporters have been treated to some exceptional individual displays from their players.

In Kiev, errors from goalkeeper Loris Karius proved to be the difference in the loss to Real Madrid. In the summer, Liverpool spent a then-world-record fee on Alisson, and he's excelled in his debut season at the club.

Not only did he make a key save against Napoli in the group stages to keep Liverpool in the competition, but he was also excellent at the base of the team against Spurs. BT Sport shared some of his best moments from the final:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Alisson made 8️⃣ saves vs Spurs last night ⛔️ No goalkeeper has made more in a #UCLFinal in 15 years (2003/04). Liverpool have found their number one 🙌 https://t.co/F1nMGk7DbU

Van Dijk, who was named PFA Player of the Year earlier this season, also enjoyed another excellent game and was asked after the match about the prospect of winning the Ballon d'Or:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Van Dijk: "I think Messi is the best player in the world. He should win the Ballon D'Or. So I'm not thinking of that. But if I win, I'll take it. Messi should win it though. He is the best in the world, whether he's in the final or not."

Aside from the players, the win also clearly meant a lot to manager Jurgen Klopp, who has transformed the Reds into regular challengers for major honours domestically and in Europe.

Roger Bennett from the Men In Blazers podcast was full of praise for the job done by the German since he was appointed at Anfield:

roger bennett @rogbennett

Klopp inherited middling squad filled with self-doubt and has transformed them, surviving the darkness of last year's galling Champions League final, and the breathless grind of a season spent chasing Man City to no avail. To go again and savor glory, a testament to his Tenacity

Lucas did not start against Liverpool in Madrid, but his hat-trick in the semi-final against Ajax was vital to Tottenham making it to the final. The Brazilian was left on the bench, with Harry Kane preferred up top.

Messi was exceptional again in the competition, although his side crumbled against Liverpool in the semi-finals. It was the first time in four seasons that Ronaldo didn't win the competition, as his Juventus side were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.