The Champions League group stage Ultimate Team - Who makes the starting XI?

Ronaldo Strikes

While no Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City players have made it into the XI there are still plenty of stars from Malaga, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Celtic, Schalke 04, Galatasaray, CFR Cluj and Shakhtar Donetsk to feast your eyes on.

As the Group Stage of the Champions League has drawn to a close we take a look at the players who have been most in form throughout to bring you a Champions League group stage XI.

Here is our winning team.

GK: Willy Caballero - Malaga

The Anchovies have conceded just five goals in their six games and while that is not the best total on offer it is astounding from a team nobody expected to advance after a summer of turmoil. Just like at Villarreal on his last Champions League run coach Manuel Pellegrini can rely on a solid and commanding goalkeeper in Argentine stopper Willy Caballero. His three clean sheets against Zenit, Anderlecht and Milan have helped Malaga to the top of Group C and into the knockout stages for the first time.

Unlucky to miss out: Salvatore Sirigu - Paris Saint-Germain

DC: Thiago Silva - Paris Saint-Germain

Thiago Silva has become an instant hero at PSG and the captain has been an ever present in their solid backline. PSG have the best defence in the competition, conceding just three goals and while much is made of their firepower it is the organised defence that is their true secret weapon.

Unlucky to miss out: Leonardo Bonucci - Juventus

DC: Efe Ambrose - Celtic

While not of the prestige of the many players who could have been considered for this berth the Nigerian, signed in the summer from Israeli side Ashdod, has been imperious in the heart of The Bhoys defence as they secured a memorable Champions League knockout place ahead of Benfica.

Unlucky to miss out - Mats Hummels - Borussia Dortmund

DL: Marcel Schmelzer - Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund have fast become the neutrals favourites in this year’s Champions League and their delightful football relies heavily on support from the full-backs. Schmelzer gets up and down the pitch better than many of the worlds best and can now consider himself among that very category.

Unlucky to miss out - Jordi Alba - Barcelona

DR: Phillip Lahm - Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich are having a sensational season and bar a shock defeat to BATE Borisov have been replicating their Dortmund-nullifying Bundesliga form in Europe. As always German international Lahm has been integral to the success of the team and has also chipped in with three assists to his credit.

Unlucky to miss out - Darijo Srna - Shakhtar Donetsk

MC: Lewis Holtby - Schalke 04

No wonder all the Premier League heavyweights are chasing this potential Bosman signing. He has shown real class in the centre of the German sides midfield slicing defences open at will to merit his place in the XI.

Unlucky to miss out: Victor Wanyama - Celtic

MC: Fernandinho - Shakhtar Donetsk

Simply the pendulum that makes Shakhtar tick the Brazilian has been a powerful and technically gifted force from match day one. The Ukrainian side have done wonders to overcome Chelsea and qualify for the next round and there is no doubt; Fernandinho is the star of this show.

Unlucky to miss out: Siem De Jong - Ajax

MC: Andrea Pirlo - Juventus

While Fernandinho may be the pendulum Pirlo seems to be ignoring it by rolling back the years once again for Juventus in the Champions League. Like he once did for the AC Milan team of old the Italian international has simply outclassed all other midfielders in the competition with his poise, elegance and masterful passing ability.

Unlucky to miss out: Isco - Malaga

FW: Modou Sougou - CFR Cluj

Cluj deserve recognition for almost making it through to the Group Stages and the electric winger Modou Sougou has been integral to their success. Four assists and a dishevelled Manchester United left-back department can be added to his burgeoning CV.

Unlucky to miss out: Marco Reus - Borussia Dortmund

FW: Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid

Do I really need to explain this one? The Portuguese has been sensational in the competition so far and thoroughly deserves his place in the team.

Unlucky to miss out: Lionel Messi - Barcelona

FW: Burak Yilmaz - Galatasaray

A lot of people will be mesmerised by the fact I have left Zlatan out of the starting XI and while yes, he has been exceptional, Galatasaray would not be near the knockout stage without Yilmaz. Out of seven goals scored by Gala six have come via the striker who has been the Champions League’s most formidable talisman.

Unlucky to miss out: Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Paris Saint-Germain

Who would feature in your team of the Group Stage?

images: © Jan S0L0, © Jan S0L0

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