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The top ten Champions League players this season according to WhoScored

Many fans view the Champions League as the pinnacle of club football.

The standard of the football in the knockout stages from the quarter-finals onward has been immensely high for years now so it stands to reason there’s an overlap between the players who perform best in the competition and those considered among the most elite in the world more generally.

Let’s take a look at who stats boffins (and Dream Team ratings providers) WhoScored rate as the ten best individuals on display in the Champions League this season…

Remember him, West Ham fans?

Remember him, West Ham fans?

Highest average WhoScored match rating – Champions League (2021/22):

  1. Sebastien Haller – 8.48
  2. Kingsley Coman – 8.13
  3. Riyad Mahrez – 8.06
  4. Robert Lewandowski – 8.02
  5. Cristiano Ronaldo – 7.95
  6. Christopher Nkunku – 7.94
  7. Antony – 7.93
  8. Leroy Sane – 7.92
  9. Alphonso Davies – 7.87
  10. Lionel Messi – 7.84

It’s no surprise to see the Ajax striker leading the way given he’s scored ten goals in six European appearances (five starts) this season.

Haller is leading the field in terms of goals and will hope to continue his prolific form when the Amsterdam side meet Benfica next week.

Coman leads a contingent of four Bayern Munich representatives – the Frenchman’s late goal on Wednesday night spared the Bavarian giants’ blushes away to Red Bull Salzburg.

As you would expect, Lewandowski is their leading scorer, he’s just one goal behind Haller at this stage.

Coman delivered for Bayern at the death in Salzburg

Coman delivered for Bayern at the death in Salzburg

Nkunku’s seven goals in the group stages wasn’t enough to propel RB Leipzig into the round of 16 – the German side were dealt a tough draw alongside Club Bruges, PSG and Man City in Group A.

The 24-year-old has scored 19 goals in all competitions this term is tipped for a big-money transfer in the summer.

Messi completes the top ten having scored five times in the group stages – he’s bagged 125 goals in the competition in his career.

But wait, most of these players aren’t Dream Team assets!

A Champions League specialist

A Champions League specialist

Let’s have a look at the top ten when we only include players eligible to score points for Dream Team gaffers…

  1. Riyad Mahrez – 8.06
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo – 7.95
  3. Joao Cancelo – 7.81
  4. Mohamed Salah – 7.71
  5. Reece James – 7.50
  6. Andy Robertson – 7.49
  7. Bruno Fernandes – 7.47
  8. Virgil van Dijk – 7.39
  9. Jorginho – 7.39
  10. Jack Grealish – 7.37

The fact this list reads like a who’s who of the best Dream Team assets this season underlines the importance of the additional competitions.

Mahrez’s performances in Europe are the main reason he’s the outright best midfielder in the game this term – he’s scored six goals and provided two assists already.

And of course Ronaldo has enjoyed himself in the Champions League, he always does.

The five-time Ballon d’Or has scored 141 goals in the prestigious competition, with six coming in just 432 minutes this season.

A familiar sight in the Champions League

A familiar sight in the Champions League

Elsewhere, it’s mostly the usual suspects though it’s notable Jorginho has made the cut – two converted penalties have helped his case as Chelsea seek to defend their continental crown.

Grealish’s inclusion suggests he’s saved his best form for midweek since his £100million transfer to the Etihad.

The slick-haired playmaker has underwhelmed some with his domestic returns but nearly a quarter of total points have come from just 397 minutes of European action.