The Champions League returned in sumptuous style this week, and faces both new and familiar have forced their way into Goal's XI for the first round of group-stage fixtures.
In goal, Johan Wiland was in sensational form as Copenhagen secured a memorable point against Juventus. A back three sits in front of the Swede: David Alaba fired Bayern Munich into the lead against CSKA Moscow before ensuring another European clean sheet for the holders; meanwhile, Schalke's Atsuto Uchida may have been fortunate to find himself on the scoresheet, but there was nothing lucky about his tireless exertions up and down the wing in the win over Steaua Bucharest. In the middle, young Fabian Schar of Basel gets the nod after leading his side to a quite incredible win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
In the centre of the park, Shakhtar's Alex Teixeira finds himself included after two sublime goals against Real Sociedad, while the opposite flank is manned by Mohamed Salah, who gave Ashley Cole a torrid evening on Wednesday before firing a brilliant goal for Basel at the Bridge. Thiago Motta headed in a rare double to cap a commanding display in Paris Saint-Germain's win at Olympiakos, and he is partnered in the centre by Koke, whose masterful display in Atletico Madrid's victory over Zenit belied his tender years.
In attack, there is little room for debate. Wayne Rooney was back to his best for Manchester United, scoring twice and creating another in the 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen. He sits just behind hat-trick heroes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who began their scrap for the top of the Champions League podium by putting Galatasaray and Ajax to the sword in their respective fixtures.