The Champions League round of 16 has come and gone, and the final eight teams have secured their spot in the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals matchups will not be unveiled until the official draw by Fifa on Friday March 17, as the remaining eight teams are AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester City, Napoli, and Real Madrid.
These teams have enjoyed their success due to many reasons, but they can mainly attribute it to the dominant play from their respective superstars. Below I’ve listed my picks for the five best players still in contention to win the Champions League.
1. Erling Haaland – Manchester City
Topping off our list is the Norwegian striker who is coming off of his record-tying 5 goal performance against RB Leipzig on Tuesday March 14. Erling Haaland has provided one of the most impressive seasons we’ve ever seen and has guided powerhouse Manchester City to new heights this season.
Haaland has scored 10 goals in only 6 matches, as he leads all players in that category. Manchester City remain as the sole favorites to win the Champions League, and if Erling can continue scoring at his current rate, few teams will be able to stop them.
2. Vinicius Junior – Real Madrid
There have been few players who have matched the quality of Brazilian footballer Vinicius Junior during the past two seasons. The Real Madrid winger has utilized his explosive and technical play to power his squad past Liverpool and continue Madrid’s success in the Champions League.
Vinicius has the second most goal contributions of any player in the Champions League, as he’s scored 6 goals and assisted on 3 more in 8 appearances. The winger’s dominant play has helped Real Madrid remain in the contender conversation throughout the past two campaigns.
3. Kvicha Kvaratskhelia – Napoli
The surprise of the season, Georgian Kvicha Kvaratskhelia has gone from a relatively unknown player to one of the best footballers in the world. After a $10 million transfer from his home club in Georgia to Napoli, Kvaratskehelia has proved to be a very smart investment and has established himself as one of the best players in the world.
The Georgian winger has been the most productive player on his highly talented team, as he’s contributed 4 assists and scored twice in seven appearances. Napoli have enjoyed their best Champions League campaign since their Maradona era, and Kvaratskehlia is definitely one of the main reasons.\
4. Leon Goretzka – Bayern Munich
Although Bayern Munich boast an extremely loaded squad filled with superstars, they’ve been led by midfielder Leon Goretzka. The German international has 6 goal contributions in 7 appearances, as he’s scored twice and assisted on the remaining four goals.
5. Joao Mario – Benfica
The final player on our list doesn’t play in one of the top five european leagues, as Benfica midfielder Joao Mario has emerged as the leader of the overall impressive Portuguese side. Mario has provided the 3rd most goal contributions out of any player in the competition, as he’s scored six times and assisted twice.
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