Champions League quarter-finals 2023/24: Combined XI

After a rather drab round of 16, we’re into the real business end of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League season.

The draw has kindly given us plenty of mouth-watering ties to get excited about, with Real Madrid facing Manchester City and Bayern Munich going head-to-head with Arsenal this week.

So ahead of all of that fun, we at 90min have decided to pick a combined XI of all the best players set to feature in this week’s UEFA Champions League action…

Marc-Andre ter StegenMarc-Andre ter Stegen

Top class / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

While Marc-Andre ter Stegen was out injured during the first half of the season, Barcelona were genuinely quite bad.

Now that he’s back to full fitness, Barcelona are genuinely quite again.

That isn’t a coincidence.

The Barca number has been outstanding in recent months, helping his team to an 11-game unbeaten run by keeping six clean sheets. Nice one.

Achraf HakimiAchraf Hakimi

Consistent performer / Franco Arland/GettyImages

We’re not exactly awash with top class options at right-back to be brutally honest, with Achraf Hakimi rather comfortably being the best of the bunch.

The full-back has been considered to be one of the best around ever since he burst onto the scene while on the books at Borussia Dortmund.

Now in his third season at PSG, Hakimi is as effective as ever, providing solidity at the back and genuine quality in the final third.

William SalibaWilliam Saliba

One of the best in the business / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

There’s a very good reason why Arsenal have the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, and that reason is William Saliba.

The young France international has established himself as arguably the best centre-back in the world over the last 18 months thanks to his defensive dominance and class with the ball at his feet.

Antonio RudigerAntonio Rudiger

Real Madrid’s leader in defence / Diego Souto/GettyImages

As the only Real Madrid centre-back who hasn’t suffered an ACL injury this season, it’s fair to say that Antonio Rudiger has been a vital part of Carlo Ancelotti’s plans recently.

The German has grown into his role as the leader of Madrid’s backline, becoming one of the most reliable centre-backs in Europe as a result.

Joao CanceloJoao Cancelo

On loan from Man City / David Ramos/GettyImages

Every season Joao Cancelo randomly flicks between being one of the best full-backs in the world and being an average one who can’t defend to save his life.

Luckily for Barcelona, during his season on loan at the club Cancelo has managed to be the former.

The Portugal international has been fantastic on left of Barca’s back four, and even popped up with a crucial goal in the quarter-finals against Napoli recently too.

Kevin De BruyneKevin De Bruyne

Fully fit again / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

When fit, Kevin De Bruyne might just be the best footballer in the world.

And, worryingly for the other teams in the UEFA Champions League (especially Real Madrid), De Bruyne is currently fully fit.

His goal against Crystal Palace at the weekend was a sign of things to come from KDB on the domestic and continental front for the rest of the season.


The best around? / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

The game-winner in the Champions League final, and pretty much every other Man City game last season too, Rodri is the most important player for the best team in the world.

Praise doesn’t get too much bigger than that.

Jude BellinghamJude Bellingham

Bellingham has gone from strength to strength in Madrid / Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

It is utterly ridiculous that Jude Bellingham is still only 20 years old.

The attacking midfielder has become the leader and face of Ancelotti’s Real Madrid team, scoring a rather astonishing 20 goals and bagging eight assists for his new club since joining the summer.

He’s big time.

Kylian MbappeKylian Mbappe

Superstar / Franco Arland/GettyImages

From a current Real Madrid superstar to a potential future one, Kylian Mbappe is seemingly entering the final few months of his illustrious PSG career.

The one thing missing from his record-shattering spell at his boyhood club is a UEFA Champions League triumph, so expect the forward to be hellbent on winning Europe’s elite competition this season.

PSG aren’t a great team right now, but if any footballer can single-handedly win a competition right now, it’s Mbappe.

Erling HaalandErling Haaland

Prolific / Richard Pelham/GettyImages

The ‘League Two’ player’ according to Roy Keane is also good enough to be in the a UEFA Champions League quarter-final teams combined XI.

That doesn’t add up, does it?

And it doesn’t because, despite Keane’s jibe, Haaland is bloody brilliant. The fact that he’s already scored more European Cup goals than Gerd Muller, Ferenc Puskas, and Wayen Rooney tells you all you need to know about Haaland’s footballing ability.

Harry KaneHarry Kane

Still scoring plenty of goals / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

Amazingly, despite joining a club who had won 11 straight Bundesliga titles, Harry Kane may be set to end his first season at Bayern Munich without a winners’ medal.

Despite his team’s rather hideous form domestically, Kane has continued to do his job at least by bagging 48 goal contributions in all competitions – proving that he’s still one the best around.


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