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European Team of the Season 2020/21

18 year old football fanatic, with interests throughout the whole footballing world.

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My Team of the Season

Goalkeeper - Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

As an Arsenal fan, I may possibly be starting off the squad with a pinch of bias, however it's undeniable that Emi Martinez has had a stellar debut season at Villa Park. The 28 year-old stopper kept 15 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, with only Edouard Mendy of Chelsea and Ederson of Manchester City keeping more.

The reason Emi Martinez gets the nod in my Team of the Season is the quality of the defence in front of him, and the quantity of shots he faced over the course of the season. Compared with Ederson, Martinez has a higher save percentage (76% to 75%), whilst facing over double the number of shots (177 to 84), and has a better goals against to expected goals against ratio (6 goals less, to Ederson's 1). Other keepers could have been Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich and Ederson of Manchester City.


Right-Back - Achraf Hakimi (Interazionale)

There's one word to describe Hakimi's first year at Inter. Unstoppable. The player has helped bring Inter their first Scudetto in 11 years, ending the long-time reign of the previous year's Champions, Juventus.

15 goal contributions in the Serie A showed us that his time at Borussia Dortmund wasn't a fluke, and I'm sure with Dani Carvajal's injury, Real will be wishing they hadn't let the Moroccan go. A strong shout-out has to go to Joao Cancelo of Manchester City, finally showing why Pep Guardiola wanted him from Juventus. Other players for the right back spot could have been Joao Cancelo of Manchester City and Ridle Baku of Wolfsburg.


Centre-Back - Rúben Dias (Manchester City)

Continuing on the theme of debut seasons, I think this is the second easiest choice of the whole team. In my opinion Manchester City have finally found their replacement for Vincent Kompany. The 24-year-old has shown this season why he was so high on Guardiola's shopping list last Summer, with his leadership and willingness to leave it all out on the pitch lifting Manchester City in the second half of the season.

With 19 clean sheets and boasting the best defensive record this season, Manchester City have looked strong at the back whenever Dias has played, whether that's alongside the rejuvenated John Stones, Nathan Ake or Barcelona-bound Eric Garcia. For me he has to be the Premier League Player of the Season, and he can still win the Champions' League too, so for that reason he must get into my team.


Centre-Back - Maxence Lacroix (Wolfsburg)

Possibly a rogue shout in the defence, but I feel as if Maxence Lacroix has been exceptional this season. With the second best defensive record in the Bundesliga this season, Wolfsburg have earned themselves a Champions' League spot next season, and they need Lacroix to be on-from to be a real contender.

His partnership this season with John Brooks has created a wall of a defence, giving Mbabu and Paulo Otavio the freedom to join attacks and cross the ball into Weghorst. Wolfsburg couldn't do what they do without Lacroix. Strong contenders were also Wesley Fofana of Leicester, Harry Maguire of Manchester United and Sven Botman of Lille.


Left-Back - Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP)

Nuno Mendes is undoubtedly one of the best full-backs in world football, and he's only 18. Probably one of the hottest prospects in Portugal, he has helped Sporting earn their first Liga NOS title in 19 years. The last time they won a title, he wasn't even born!

Boasting the best defensive record in the Liga NOS, Sporting have only conceded 20 goals this term, and have 20 clean sheets to their name. With this strong defence, Mendes has been allowed to move further forward and show his range of passing and his pace. He's still a raw talent, but that didn't stop him from being, in my opinion, the best left back in the world this season. Close candidates were Luke Shaw and Alphonso Davies.


Defensive Midfielder - Franck Kessié (AC Milan)

The 23-year-old has been at the heart of Milan's squad this season, with the second most minutes played, only behind Gianluigi Donnarumma. Kessié has led his team to their best finish in 9 years, finally bringing them back to where they used to be. His build-up play alongside Bennacer has helped Milan play up the pitch, and his high pressing style helps with the ball back quickly.

Not only is he a defensive stalwart, he has bagged goals too with 13 goals this term, ending an impressive campaign with a brace in the final game of the season to leapfrog Atalanta in the Serie A. Players that deserve a shout-out are Boubakary Soumare of Lille and Tomas Soucek of West Ham.


Central Midfielder - Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid)

The key to Atleti's La Liga title alongside Luis Suarez, Marcos Llorente has wowed all La Liga fans with his renewed form after moving to Atleti 2 seasons ago. He has moved from strength to strength as he has been so versatile for Diego Simeone, playing as a CDM, CM, CAM and RM this season, but playing the majority of games at CM.

With 23 goal involvements in 37 games, Llorente has been incredibly important in both attack and defence, with this being his most prolific season so far, and getting 3.2 tackles and interceptions per 90. The ex-Real midfielder has merged perfectly with Koke and Suarez to create an enjoyable style of play. Close competitors for this spot were N'Golo Kante of Chelsea and Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund.

Attacking Midfielder - Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

Another quite simple pick for me here, Bruno has been nothing short of sensational for United in his first full season, continuing his incredible form from the second half of last season. Some may say he single-handedly carried United this season with 30 goal involvements in the Premier League, but it can't be understated just how much of a god-send he has been for United.

With 18 goals and 12 assists, only Harry Kane has a higher combined goals and assists count this season than Bruno. Yes, he has scored half of his goals from penalties, but that doesn't take away from this being an amazing goal-scoring season for Bruno, reminiscent of Frank Lampard. Other candidates were Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City, Mason Mount of Chelsea and Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich.


Right Wing - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Another great season for Salah. It's almost expected at this point, and anything less than a 20 goal season is a disappointment. But Salah has again proven just how good he is, with a stellar campaign for the Reds. Even with Liverpool's defensive catastrophe with their whole back line being struck with injury, Salah has maintained his goal-scoring form throughout the season.

27 goal involvements in the league, and a solid UCL run has shown us Salah's still got it, even as he approaches 30 years old. 34 goal involvements in 47 league and Champions' League has carried Liverpool even as Mané and Firmino haven't been as lethal as seasons past. Strong contenders were also Jadon Sancho of Dortmund and Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City.


Left Wing - Phil Foden (Manchester City)

The only club with more than one player in this X!, Manchester City's Phil Foden takes the left wing slot of my team. Playing in the middle of the park most of the time, I just couldn't leave Foden out. Possibly in the top 3 best under-21 players this season, Foden has proven his class with outstanding performances in the league and Champions' League.

22 goal involvements in 40 games, a league title and a possible Champions' League only exemplifies why Foden is being spoken about to be one of the world-class players of the next generation. His strong voice has helped lead a front line whilst Aguero has been out injured, and his agility has got him into incredible scoring positions. His finishing is lethal at times, but for now is still quite raw, and I'm certain over the coming years he will become one of Man City's leading goal-scorers. Other candidates for the left wing spot were Heung-Min Son of Spurs, Bukayo Saka of Arsenal and Kingsley Coman of Bayern Munich.



Centre Forward - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

The easiest decision of the whole XI, Robert Lewandowski's record-breaking season makes him a nailed-on starter in my team. 48 goal involvements in just 29 games in the Bundesliga with 41 goals breaking Gerd Muller's 49 year-old record, Lewandowski could have scored even more had he not picked up an injury late in the season.

The injury coincided with Bayern's quarter-final game against PSG, and had he been fit, Bayern's season may have been even more successful than it has been. He was involved in 47% of Bayern's Bundesliga goals this term and honestly, no one even came close to him in this team. However if Lewa didn't exist, other candidates would be Lionel Messi of Barcelona, Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund and Harry Kane of Spurs.


Bench -

GK - Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Def - Harry Maguire (Manchester United)

Def - Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

Mid - N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Mid - Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Att - Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Att - Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)



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