Mohamed Salah has been selected in UEFA’s Champions League fantasy team of the season despite Liverpool exiting the competition at the quarter-final stage.
The Reds’ forward did finish joint-third top scorer overall but was on six goals with six other players, two of whom – Karim Benzema and Neymar – both reached the semi-finals.
Both leading scorers for this season, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, featured alongside the Egyptian in attack, while Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud – who also scored six – was overlooked.
Four of his Blues teammates did earn a place in the lineup though, which is calculated by a points scoring system on UEFA’s fantasy football game.
Edouard Mendy, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Jorginho all feature, but there was no place for man of the moment N’Golo Kante despite his thrilling performance against Manchester City in the final.
City also had four entries in Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden.
It was actually Foden who finished with more points than any other outfield player on 65, one behind Chelsea keeper Mendy.
Salah was also the top scoring forward on 63 even though his goals tally was two and four fewer than Mbappe and Haaland respectively, as well as racking up less assists.
The inclusion of Rudiger is particularly impressive, given he looked to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge prior to Thomas Tuchel’s appointment as Frank Lampard’s successor.
Rudiger is now in line for a new contract while Tuchel is already setting his sights on further silverware.
“I don’t want to rest. I want the next one. I want the next success and I want the next title and I want the next process on the same level of quality of consistency,” he told Chelsea’s official website .
“I want to be a part of it and this is what comes next. Make no mistake about it.”
Those thoughts were echoed by Chelsea captain Azpilicueta, who said: “A few months ago, lots of people doubted the quality of the team and we created a special bond and we did it.’
“When you play for a club like Chelsea, you always think in the future.
“That’s done, we are very happy, we will celebrate, we are champions of Europe again after nine years, second time in our history.
“At Chelsea, I always learned that we go for every single game, fight for every single trophy and I’m pleased that I could get my hands on the trophy that I missed before.
“But that’s gone, we are part of the history of Chelsea and then we will go for the next challenge.”
UEFA Champions League fantasy team of the season: Mendy, Walker, Rudiger, Dias, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Gundogan, Foden, Salah, Mbappe, Haaland.
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