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UEFA Champions League

Champions League Team of the Quarter-Finals: Messi, Ronaldo and Son dominate

12:20 EAT 18/04/2019
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Heung-min Son split
With only four teams left standing for Europe's biggest prize, Goal picks out its top performers from this season's quarter-finals

  • Marc-Andre ter Stegen Barcelona 2018-19

    Marc-Andre ter Stegen | Barcelona

    The German was the only goalkeeper not to concede a goal across the two legs as Barcelona comfortably eliminated Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate.

    While Ter Stegen didn't have a huge number of saves to make across the two matches, he marshalled the Barca defence well and stood tall when Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford bared down on goal in the first minute of the second game.

    His presence forced Rashford to lift the shot and it clipped the top of the crossbar instead of giving the Red Devils a lifeline.

  • Matthijs de Ligt Ajax 2018-19

    Matthijs de Ligt | Ajax

    The 19-year-old Ajax captain has been a revelation this season and again stood tall in the heat of battle against Juventus talents such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Moise Kean.

    De Ligt even showed his attacking prowess by getting forward to score the tie's winner, rising above Daniele Rugani and Alex Sandro to head a corner past Wojciech Szczesny.

  • Daley Blind Ajax 2018-19

    Daley Blind | Ajax

    Less than two years ago, Blind was part of Manchester United's Europa League triumph against Ajax, who brought young stars Frenkie de Jong, David Neres and Donny van de Beek on as substitutes during the final.

    Now having returned to the club where he began his career, Blind has formed a formidable part of the Ajax defence alongside 19-year-old skipper De Ligt.

    His performance in helping to limit one of Europe's strongest attacks to only two goals in two legs was simply outstanding.

  • Gerard Pique Barcelona 2018-19

    Gerard Pique | Barcelona

    Despite returning to Old Trafford and coming up against his former club Manchester United, Pique put in an imperious performance across both legs as Barcelona kept two clean sheets.

    He comfortably dealt with the English club's threats, which included Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial.

  • Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2018-19

    Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool

    Does Van Dijk ever have a bad match?

    The Dutch defender barely got out of second gear as Liverpool strolled through their tie 6-1 on aggregate against Porto.

    He even got on the scoresheet in the dying stages of the second leg, standing tall in the six-yard box to head home Sadio Mane's flick.


  • Christian Eriksen Tottenham 2018-19

    Christian Eriksen | Tottenham

    While the Danish playmaker might not be as dominant as in past years, he still managed to make two crucial contributions as Tottenham stunned Manchester City on away goals.

    In the first leg, Eriksen lifted a wonderful ball over the top of City's defence to get Son Heung-min in behind, with the South Korean coming inside to score the only goal of the match. 

    With the tie poised at 2-1 in Spurs favour in the second match, Eriksen played a simple ball to Son, who again cut inside to lash home another strike.

  • Donny van de Beek Ajax 2018-19

    Donny van de Beek | Ajax

    The 22-year-old may not get the plaudits that Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt receive, but his match-winning performance in the second leg against Juventus was simply brilliant.

    With Ajax 2-1 down on aggregate in the second leg, the playmaker excellently controlled Hakim Ziyech's shot, before slotting the finish past Wojciech Szczesny.

    He also went close with a lovely curling shot in the second half.

  • Roberto Firmino Liverpool 2018-19

    Roberto Firmino | Liverpool

    Often criticised for not making as many goal and assist contributions as team-mates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Firmino came up trumps in both matches against Porto by finding the back of the net in each leg.

    He also played the pass for Naby Keita's opener in the first match at Anfield, giving the Reds a lead in the opening five minutes.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus 2018-19

    Cristiano Ronaldo | Juventus

    While Ronaldo's Juventus were stunned by underdogs Ajax, the Portuguese superstar couldn't be faulted for his performance across both legs.

    The Champions League expert scored a crucial away goal in the opening tie, brilliantly heading in Joao Cancelo's cross, but it was eventually cancelled out by David Neres.

    He then put Juventus ahead on aggregate in the second leg with a clinical header from a corner but was then denied progression by two Ajax goals in Turin.

  • Lionel Messi Barcelona 2018-19

    Lionel Messi | Barcelona

    The little Argentine genius was at his legendary best in the second leg against Manchester United at the Nou Camp, scoring a brace, and was unlucky not to get a couple more.

    His first strike was quintessential Messi, cutting inside after Ashley Young's mistake to curl home a trademark low shot in the bottom corner, and while his second goal was a howler from David De Gea, it was certainly deserved out of his overall performance.

    Messi very nearly secured his hat-trick with an unbelievable bicycle kick attempt that drifted just wide of the post.

  • Son Heung-min Tottenham 2018-19

    Son Heung-min | Tottenham

    Critics wondered if Tottenham could get past Manchester City in the second leg without talisman Harry Kane and South Korean star Son Heung-min emphatically answered the question with two clinical finishes in the opening 10 minutes flipping the tie on its head.

    He also got the only goal of the match in the first leg at Tottenham's new stadium.

    Surely Son is on his way to becoming one of the greatest Asian players of all time - if not the best.

    Champions League Team of the Quarter Finals