The beautiful thing about Champions League is watching so much diverse talent on the field. Clubs feature a mix of cultures and playing styles from around the globe, athletes who have gone from dirt fields to the most prestigious pitches. And with the coveted league title on the line, these are the games where you see athletes play with big hearts, leaving everything on the field. To celebrate the most exciting of competitions, and with the semifinals around the corner, we put together a list of some of the most insane tekkers displayed in this year’s Champions League. It’s good to be alive!
10. Kylian Mbappé Keepin’ It Fresh For Monaco
Mbappé has been one of the biggest surprises in this season’s Champions League posting five goals for the club. With slick tekkers like these, the Frenchman has helped bring his team through to the the semifinals where they’ll next face off against Juventus.
9. Neymar Stays the Course
Neymar has time and time again proved he’s the prince of the pitch. As one of the most targeted players on the field, he’s taken more than a few hits, but continues to impress with his agility, speed, and unparalleled creativity. Sadly, Barcelona was facing an uphill battle against Juventus, falling 3-0 in their first match against the Italian squad and ultimately coming up short. RIP Barcelona, we’ll miss watching the Brazilian phenom. Better luck next year.
8. The Miracle at Camp Nou
It seems like ages ago, but we couldn’t make a list of the greatest Champions League moments without highlighting this Neymar chip that ushered Barca through to the next leg. This game was one of the most historic matches in football, with the Spanish team coming off a previous 4-0 loss to PSG and facing immeasurable odds to advance. Neymar scored two goals in this match, along with this epic last-minute assist.
7. Neuer is a Freakish, Super Human Machine
Behold the world’s greatest sweeper keeper. Neuer’s unreal performance goes down as one for the books as the keeper gave a masterful performance in the goal, blocking shot after shot and frustrating Real’s top strikers. Unfortunately, Bayern Munich’s strong start in the quarterfinals crumbled with questionable calls and a red card that left the Germans down a player.
6. Brazilians Do It Better
Leave it to the Brazilians to breed some of the greatest ballers in the world. Watch as 22-year-old Otávio humiliates three Leicester City defenders. Unfortunately, FC Porto did not advance, but we can still enjoy these incredible moves.
5. Ronaldo vs. Bayern
Love him or hate him, it’s hard to argue that Cristiano Ronaldo has played a decisive role in Real Madrid’s success in the Champions League. He’s shown incredible control and impeccable finishing when it counts the most. Although the latest match against Bayern Munich was fraught with controversy and accusations of referee bias, Ronaldo’s performance was historic, not least for the fact that he’s now broken a record with 100 Champions League goals.
4. The Future is Dybala
Dybala, the much-lauded Argentinian, showed why he’s been dubbed Messi’s successor. He’s posted four goals in the league and punished the Spanish powerhouse with this incredible turn and missile to the lower left. It’s probably safe to say there will only be one Messi during this lifetime, but Dybala is looking to become one of the next top players in the world.
3. El Tigre Strikes Again
Monaco’s other powerful leg and team captain, Radamel Falcao, has been a rock for his team, leading the underdogs farther than many would have expected. Composure like this is why he’s one of the most experienced and important players on the team. Monaco next face off against Juventus in the Champions League semis.
2. Hit ‘Em with that 1-2
Atlético Madrid shows why they’re the squad that keeps the best clubs awake at night. Last year’s Champions League runners-up boast outstanding performances from teammates Griezmann and Gameiro, and the French duo will continue to bring their game to shame their competitors.
1. The Boy Wonder
El Nino Maravilla, aka Alexis Sanchez, is one of the most dynamic, entertaining players in the world. The Chilean who grew up playing street ball put up a great fight for Arsenal and broke several ankles along the way (check out this slick elastico). Although his club’s chances at a Champions League title were cut short, Boy Wonder continues to prove he belongs in the same breath as today’s greats, and is only getting better with time.