2022 Champions League Round of 16 Best Players
Some of the most dominant clubs blazed past the Round of 16 and we are set for fiery encounters in the quarter-finals. Read on to find out more about the 2022 Champions League Round of 16 best players.
After six dramatic group stage weeks in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League and then being over 2 months away, the most prestigious European football club tournament returned with its round of 16, where the group winners and runner – ups battled to get into the last 8.
There have been plenty of surprises and talking points being thrown up within the staggering home – and – away matches of this round. England giants Man City crushed the Portuguese side Sporting CP 5 – 0 on aggregate, and were joined by their Premier League tough rivalLiverpool
who eliminated Inter 2 – 1 on aggregate.
The defending Champions Chelsea also found their way to the quarter finals after a 4 – 1 victory over the French side Lille, and Villareal knocked out Juventus 4 – 1 as well. Bayern Munich destroyed the RB Salzburg after an 8 – 2 win on aggregate against the Austrian side, and Real Madrid stayed alive following a sensational comeback against the French giants Paris – Saint Germain which ended with Los Blancos snatching a quarter final spot fromMauricio Pochettino
These teams were joined by Atletico Madrid and the Portuguese side SL Benfica, which knocked out Manchester United and Ajax, respectively.
2022 Champions League Round of 16 Best Players:
Who were the leading actors in the spectacular round of 16 matches? The players who made the first knockout round of the tournament provide some surprises alongside excitement for football fans are listed below. Read on to learn more about the
2022 Champions League Round of 16 best players
Full name: Karim Mostafa Benzema
Date of birth: 19 December 1987 (age 34)
Place of birth: Lyon, France
Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Current team: Real Madrid
The French hitman,Karim Benzema
, undoubtedly showcased the most luminous performance among all players in the first knockout round of 2021 – 22 UEFA Champions League. Benzema scored an astonishing second – half hat – trick against Paris – Saint Germain as the Spanish side pulled off one of the great Champions League comebacks and eliminated the French side 3 – 2 on aggregate.
The Whites of Madrid had lost the first leg fixture 1 – 0 in Parc dec Princes stadium where their performance was a genuine disappointment for their fans. In the second leg match, Madrid was set to be the latest victim of another Mbappe masterclass, after the 23 – year – old superstar ran the Spanish giant ragged for the better part of an hour and scored the match's first goal in the 39th minute to put his team ahead 1 – 0 on the night and 2-0 on aggregate.
However, the Los Blancos was to strike back as Benzema capitalized on PSG goalkeeperGianluigi Donnarumma
's mistake and leveled the match in the 61st minute of the game.
Yet Madrid was 2 – 1 down on aggregate. PSG were feeling all at sea now, and fifteen minutes later, the aggregate tie was leveled as the opportunistic Benzema netted Luka Modric's assist, and then within only 10.6 second after PSG kicked off, after the goal was confirmed after a check from VAR., incredibly, Madrid were ahead.
PSG squandered possession from kick-off, Rodrygo released Vinicius and Marquinhos's attempted clearance found Benzema, who shot the ball into the corner, completing his hat -trick – and the stunning comeback – as he sent his team to the quarter finals in a the most dramatic way possible, having stunned all PSG players as they had found another epic collapse to add to a growing list of Champions League disappointments.
Real Madrid fans, that had started the evening by applaudingKylian Mbappe
, ended the night by cheering their beloved frontman Karim Benzema and celebrating another marvelous Champions League night the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. According to Ian Holyman, Paris reporter:" Paris will be wondering what happened.
The first 45 minutes were almost certainly the best they have played this season, withLionel Messi
, Neymar and Mbappé functioning fluidly. They still looked comfortable enough until Donnarumma's error, and their confidence frittered away. Benzema's display played a role, but Paris will be aware they contributed greatly to their own downfall."
The treble took his tally to 8 goals within 7 matches in the
2021–22 UEFA Champions League
. Moreover, at the age of 34 years and 80 days, Benzema became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League.
However, the specialness of the night doesn't stop there for the Frenchman. He was making his 500th ever appearance for Real Madrid, and also surpassed Alfredo di Stefano to become Real Madrid's 3rd all – time top scorer of all time.
Real Madrid has drawn the defending champions Chelsea in the quarter finals, and then – if they can make it into the semi – finals – they will be meeting either Manchester City or Atletico Madrid.
Since they are on the hard half of the draw, they must perform at their best if they are to achieve their 14th European Cup trophy.
Full name: Kylian Mbappé Lottin
Date of birth: 20 December 1998 (age 23)
Place of birth: Paris, France
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Current team: Paris Saint-Germain
Although the French giants were knocked out of the tournament byReal Madrid
in the round of 16, the electric 23 – year – old Kylian Mbappe shined through both first and second leg matches against the Los Blancos.
During the first leg match PSG was in full control of the game due to the defensive set – upsCarlo Ancelotti
was utilizing. However, Paris Saint – Germain couldn't open scoring until the 90 + 4th minute of the game when Mbappe cut into the penalty area and netted the match – winning goal for his team. He had also won a penalty earlier in that match.
However, Thibaut Courtois saved Lionel Messi's penalty. In addition, Mbappe's astonishing performance during the match – including 4 successful dribbles, 7 total shots, and 6 ground duels won – had drew praise from across the continent. In the second leg fixture, PSG were taking advantage of the confidence boost that the home – victory had given them, and Mbappe once again opened the scoring in the 39th minute of the game to double PSG's aggregate lead.
He had been cheered by Real Madrid fans before the start of the match, due to him being widely linked with a transfer to the Spanish capital. Despite what happened next in that match and the outstanding comeback Real Madrid pulled off, Mbappe was again one of the best players on the field.
He completed 2 dribbles, sent a key pass, had 4 shots toward the goal, and won 4 ground duels. Alongside Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, Mbappe were the only players to score in both leg fixtures of the last – 16 round.
Moreover, he had scored a total of 6 goals and provided 4 assists within matches in the competition, and was one not only one of the
2022 Champions League round of 16 best players
, but also one of the bests in the group stage as well.
Full name: Robert Lewandowski
Date of birth: 21 August 1988 (age 33)
Place of birth: Warsaw, Poland
Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Current team: Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich match against RB Salzburg on Austrian soil ended with a 1 – 1 tie, giving Salzburg some hope for knocking out the Bundesliga giants. However, they were punished for having false hopes after an 8 – 2 on aggregate defeat after the second match in Germany.
Recently, it seems that there cannot be a list of best players of a competition without the name of the Polish striker shining in it. Bayern Munich crushed RB Salzburg 7 – 1 in the second leg fixture asRobert Lewandowski
netted his 5th – ever hat – trick in the history of the tournament, and also assisted Leroy Sane's goal.
Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with have managed to score more trebles than the 33 – year – old prolific striker in the history of the tournament – having scored 8 hat- tricks each.
Moreover, Lewa is currently the top scorer of the 2021 – 22 UEFA Champions League upon scoring 12 goals within only 8 appearances so far. Having also recorded 3 assists in throughout the competition so far, no other player has been involved in more goals than the Polish star.
His astonishing form have given the Bavarian fans high hopes as Julian Nagelsmann's men aims for a second European Cup in three seasons, and their 7th UEFA Champions League title ever.
Lewandowski is currently the 3rd – highest goal scorer in the history of the competition behind CR7 and Lionel Messi. It feels like nothing can stop him from being in the list of
UEFA Champions league best players 2022
at the end of the year.
Full name: Bernardo Mota Veiga de Carvalho e Silva
Date of birth: 10 August 1994 (age 27)
Place of birth: Lisbon, Portugal
Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Position(s): Midfielder, winger
Current team: Manchester City
The Citizens did the hard work in the first leg match against the Portuguese side Sporting CP and beat them 5 – 0 in Lisbon. They took it easy in the second match on home turf which ended with a scoreless draw and the English giants sailed through the quarter finals 5 – 0 on aggregate.
was the star of the first match where he scored 2 goals and also set up an assist for Raheem Sterling. He was undoubtedly the best player of the match.
In addition to scoring a brace and providing an assist, the Portuguese midfielder managed to send 2 further key passes for his teammates, recover 4 balls, and win 4 ground duels. The 27 – year – old will most certainly be a dependable presence for Pep Guardiola if they are to achieve their first ever UEFA Champions League title this year.
Full name: Jan Oblak
Date of birth: 7 January 1993 (age 29)
Place of birth: Škofja Loka, Slovenia
Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Current team: Atlético Madrid
Atletico Madrid eliminated Manchester United 2 – 1 on aggregate, having drawn the first match in Madrid 1 – 1 and then beating the Red Devils 1 – 0 in Old Trafford. After the 1 – 1 tie in the first leg match, many would assume Man United is going to proceed to the last 8.
However, if there is one team that can cause any upset in the tournament that is the one managed by Diego Simeone. The Slovenian goalkeeper produced a bright performance in the second leg 1 – 0 win in front of Man United fans.
faced 5 shots and saved them all, 3 of which from inside the penalty area. He also recorded 4 high claims and 11 ball recoveries. The 29 – year – old keeper will be a vital player for his team in the upcoming round where they have to face Manchester City in the quarter finals.
Full name: Christian Mate Pulisic
Date of birth: September 18, 1998 (age 23)
Place of birth: Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.77 m)
Position(s): Winger, attacking midfielder
Current team: Chelsea
The American attacker scored in both leg matches for Chelsea against the French side Lille. The Blues beat their opponent 2 – 0 in the first leg match on home turf in London asChristian Pulisic
scored the second goal, sent 2 further key passes, had 3 successful dribbles, and won 7 ground duels.
He was arguably the best player in the pitch. Chelsea was down 1 – 0 in the second leg match in Stade Piere – Mauroy until the first half stoppage time when the 23 – year – old Pulisic leveled the tie, and Azpilicueta scored the winning goal in the 71st minute later.
Pulisic was the only player alongside Kylian Mbappe to have scored in both leg fixtures of 2021–22 UEFA Champions League round of 16.
Chelsea have drawn Real Madrid for the quarter finals, and they are also on the more difficult half of the draw as they will face the winner of Man City – Atletico Madrid combat in the semi – finals, provided the fact they first knockout the most decorated team in the history of the tournament, Real Madrid.
Trent Alexander – Arnold
Full name: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Date of birth: 7 October 1998 (age 23)
Place of birth: Liverpool, England
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Current team: Liverpool
The battle between Liverpool and Inter was seen as the most appealing one among round of 16 games. The teams faced each other in Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in the first leg match, and the Reds managed to beat Nerazzurri 2- 0. The 23 – year – old right back showcased a great performance in the match where he touched the ball 8 times, had 9 ball recoveries and won 3 ground duels.
However, his astounding performance came in the second leg match despite the 1 – 0 loss against the Italian side on home turf. The young attacking – minded defender played a pivotal role in Liverpool's progressing to the quarter finals:Trent Alexander – Arnold
sent 5 key passes in the second match, had the amazing number of 127 touches, 6 accurate long balls (40% accuracy), 9 ball recoveries, and also managed to win 5 out of his 6 ground duels.
He excels in both attacking and defending facets of his play. Regarded as one of the best right backs in the world, he has shown to have the potential to immortalize his name in the history of football if he can maintain his form for several years.
Full name: Alejandro Grimaldo García
Date of birth: 20 September 1995 (age 26)
Place of birth: Valencia, Spain
Height: 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Current team: Benfica
While so many football fans would have been expecting Ajax to sail through the last 8, Benfica stunned them and knocked out Erik ten Hag's men 3 – 2 on aggregate, with a 1 – 0 away win in Amsterdam.
The first leg match ended with a 2 – 2 draw on Portuguese soil, giving the Dutch team a boost of confidence for the second game. However, Ajax – that had won all of their 6 group stage matches – found themselves falling in the first knockout round as Darwin Nunez fired Alex Grimaldo's assist in the back of the net.
The Spanish left – back showcased an ast6ounding performance in both of the matches. His pass accuracy in the first leg match was 93%, and sent the stunning number of 6 key passes during the match.
Moreover, he had 7 ball recoveries and also won 6 ground duels. In the second leg match, the 26 – year – old was arguably the brightest presence on the field among the players. In addition to setting up Darwin Nunez with an assist for the tie – breaking match – winning goal, he managed to record3 further key passes, win 4 ground and 3 aerial duels, make 6 clearances and record 3 ball recoveries.
His recent astonishing performances have drawn interest from his former club FC Barcelona to bring him back to Camp Nou.
Full name: Pau Francisco Torres
Date of birth: 16 January 1997 (age 25)
Place of birth: Villarreal, Spain
Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Current team: Villarreal
was unquestionably one of the
2022 Champions League round of 16 best players
. Villareal remained alive as they eliminated Juventus 4 – 1 on aggregate. Unai Emery's men have shown that they possess what it takes to proceed in the knockout rounds.
The Spanish national team's center back Pau Torres played a vital as the 'Yellow Submarine" beat Bianconeri. The first leg match in de la Ceramica Stadium, Spain, ended with a 1 – 1 draw, taking the fate of the proceeding team to be determined in Allianz Stadium in Italy.
The 25 – year – old defender was one of the best players of the match with 90% accuracy in passing, 2 won tackles, 7 ball recoveries, and 2 clearances. However, his outstanding performance in the second leg 3 – 0 win against Bianconeri was significantly more impressive: He scored his team's second goal in the 85th minute of the game.
Moreover, he had 7 clearances, and won 100% (4 of 4) his ground duels. Villareal is going to face Bayern Munich in the quarter fianls, which is perhaps one of the least wanted draws they could have asked for.
Yet, we must wait and see how they can take advantage of the confidence boost eliminating Juventus has given them against Bundesliga champions.
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