The 2012-13 Champions League has just one more match remaining – so ahead of the final, we are naming our Team of the Season.
Players from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are bound to feature heavily, but with Italy having had Juventus and AC Milan in the knockout stage we have selected a couple of players each from those clubs too.
There may be one very obvious omission in the shape of a certain little Argentinian magician, but there are grounds for making sure it doesn’t get too Messi this time.
Here is our Champions League XI for this year:
Goalkeeper: Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund)
The 32-year-old was not widely known outside Germany before this term, but has enhanced his reputation and was brilliant in the semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.
Right Back: Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)
Along with Bastian Schweinsteiger, he epitomises what Bayern are all about. An ultra-reliable presence who is a large part of what makes the Bundesliga champions tick.
Left Back: David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
Only 20 and yet he is an automatic choice in the Bayern defence, even if it’s not his natural position. A big threat going forward and his early goal against Juventus set the tone for the quarter-final.
Centre Half: Philippe Mexes (AC Milan)
The 31-year-old Frenchman has collected a massive 16 yellow cards this season but remains a key part of the Milan defence. Scored in the excellent 3-2 group win away to Zenit St Petersburg.
Centre Half: Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund)
The bigger the opposition’s reputation, the better the American-raised Serb seems to play. Part of a formidable central defensive double act with Mats Hummels that is envied across Europe.
Midfield: Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
A much-admired player whose versatility means he can feature anywhere across the middle, although he is generally best in the centre. Scored in the last-16 victory away to Celtic.
Midfield: Arturo Vidal (Juventus)
A similar type of player to Marchisio but arguably more mobile, the Chilean is a real box-to-box midfielder who pops up with more than his fair share of goals including three in the Champions League this season.
Midfield: Sulley Muntari (AC Milan)
It seems a big leap these days from Portsmouth to AC Milan, but it’s one that both Muntari and his Milan team-mate Kevin-Prince Boateng have made. Both have had fine seasons.
Midfield: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
How can you leave out the top scorer in the Champions League this season? It’s been another brilliant campaign for the Portuguese superstar, even though it ended disappointingly for his team
Striker: Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)
His four-goal haul in the semi-final first leg against Real Madrid is enough on its own for the Pole to be included, but he has been superb all season and is now one of the continent’s top marksmen
Striker: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Despite usually being played on the right rather than in his natural central position up front, the Germany international has starred for Bayern and created all sorts of trouble for Barcelona in the semi-finals.
Written by Jon Wilde from Bettingpro.com.