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, Thiago Silva
Chelsea, Thiago Silva (Photo by ANP via Getty Images) /

11. Thiago Silva

Just one-off from making to the top 10 in the Champions League this season, we now have Chelsea defender Thiago Silva on the list. Silva is a natural leader who has given Chelsea’s defence a form and voice that connects the back four together. His contribution was emphasized last season when he won the Champions League with the Blues after losing out of a previous final with Paris Saint-Germain.

Along with leadership, Silva’s knowledge to grasp the game is packed in his backpack. The Brazilian is a full package and a sure bet for Chelsea FC, with the ability to foresee a development coming on him and the skills to instruct his teammates to do what he wants them to accomplish.

The defender’s awareness of placement and intercepting at the right time is underappreciated. His incredible model to assess danger and respond or cause others to behave accordingly is what gives the management and team faith in him as a leader.

Silva has performed admirably in the Champions League, as evidenced by his statistics. He had over a dozen tackles and interceptions in 550 minutes played, but as previously noted, there is much more to these rankings than numbers, and his effect on Chelsea cannot be discounted, thus the rank.

10. Cristiano Ronaldo

Many players shockingly moved from one club to another during the previous transfer window, and one of the most surprising was Cristiano Ronaldo returning to where it all began for his younger self.

Manchester United greeted Ronaldo with a present full of anticipation, nostalgia, and déjà vu. Back at Old Trafford, the attacker made his presence felt in his debut game, seizing the game with a brace to his credit, and so, his return to Old Trafford was etched in the books.

Mr. Champions League, as they call him, has done well at Manchester United but has fallen short of the standards he set at Real Madrid. Although age is an issue, the sport does not excuse it.

It may sting many, but despite the statistics, Cristiano Ronaldo does not address any problems. At Manchester United, goals were not a concern, but the defence was, and this is clearly not the Portuguese’s strong suit.

The Champions League has also been unkind to the 37-year-old, as he was ousted at the hands of his ostensibly favourite team, Atletico de Madrid. Is that what I’m blaming him for? Yes, to a certain extent. The forward’s creation has been a major concern, and unlike past seasons, it has been accompanied by inconsistency, as has his colleague Bruno Fernandes.

These little factors have collectively kept him at the brim of the top ten in the Champions League this season.