Ranking the best 15 players in the 2021/22 Champions League so far

Champions League (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)
Champions League (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Chelsea, Edouard Mendy
Chelsea, Edouard Mendy (Photo by ANP via Getty Images) /

13. Edouard Mendy

Chelsea were keen to reinforce the man between the sticks after repeated failures with Kepa Arrizabalaga, and now, after a battle, the club appears to have finally secured a trustworthy goalkeeper in Edouard Mendy. The Senegalese international is a significant improvement over Kepa, who is certainly developing but remains far below Mendy, whose contribution to the Champions League title in London last season was enormous. This season, he has done fairly well for a goalie as he appears simply unnavigable.

Mendy’s journey to the top flight of European football is inspiring, since he was discovered playing in the fourth tier of French football not less than a half-decade ago, and then getting picked up by a team as large as Chelsea, which is a huge step up.

The Champions League treated him well the first time he participated in the league, which he went on to win, but his performance has dipped this season, despite the fact that he is still recognised as one of the top goalkeepers in the world.

Mendy has saved 5 shots and conceded twice in around 7 UCL games. His save Ratio has decreased when compared to the previous season’s figures, but it still remains at 83, which, quite deservedly, puts him in this position on the list.

12. David Alaba

David Alaba of Real Madrid, who has played for big teams in Europe on several occasions, is another defender that reaches the top 15. The Austrian joined Real Madrid on a free transfer from Bayern Munich this season, and many believe the Spanish club has struck gold. Alaba seems to have been at Real for years, and he has already earned the reputation of “Captain without the armband” due to his fierce leadership traits and enthusiasm for the club.

Alaba’s arrival, however, was not welcomed by every Madridista, which could be chalked up to his wage demands, which were a subject of great debate at the time, supplemented with the fluctuating Sergio Ramos saga, but today, almost a season after his arrival, I am sure all those on the low end of it now recognise Alaba and all the qualities he has brought with him, which easily outnumber what he asks for.

He has competed in the Champions League for several years, but this was his first time in white, and the Austrian received nothing but appreciation. His leadership has been critical in keeping the squad together, and he is, as previously said, the captain without the armband. His mere presence boosts the supporters’ excitement and belief in this club.

Though he has mastered playing in a variety of positions, being a centre-back has earned him a lot of respect for covering for Real Madrid’s previous #4. Alaba was successful in giving shape to the back four, the benefits of which were immediately seen. The coupling with Militao has improved both of their qualities, while numbers are also increasing.