27 November 2019 14:35
UEFA have named their all-time Champions League XI and there's room for one Liverpool legend. Having shared the Ballon d'Or for some many years, the icon duo start in a three-pronged attack, with nine Champions League titles between them. Whilst Messi's have all come with Barcelona, one of Ronaldo's came with Manchester United and the other four at Real Madrid. Gerrard was selected in the Team of the Year on three separate occasions throughout his time with Liverpool. To round off the team, there are five current or former Barcelona stars in the selection, Messi joined by Andreas Iniesta, Xavi, Gerard Pique, who also won the trophy once with Manchester United and three times with the Catalans, plus Carles Puyol.
Uefa.com Ultimate Fans Team of the Year: Casillas; Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Lahm; Gerrard, Xavi, Iniesta; Ronaldo, Messi, Henry. 'I had to leave' - Former Liverpool goalkeeper Mignolet opens up on Alisson and Anfield exit So, when people ask him if he regrets leaving in the summer, and if it is hard to watch from afar as Jurgen Klopp's team works its way towards that elusive Premier League title, his answer is simple. On Friday, he kept his 13th clean sheet of the season as his new club, Brugge, beat Oostende to move six points clear of second-placed Standard Liege with a game in hand. "At Liverpool, we won the Champions League last season, and I know I played a part in that success even if I didn't play the games. "But if you ask me honestly, I will say I prefer to win the Belgian League by playing every game.
Club-wise, Brugge look well set to regain the Belgian league crown and Mignolet can enjoy the routine of regular football once more. "I think a lot of people in Belgium maybe thought I was happy to sit on the bench, that I wasn't prepared to challenge myself and compete," he says. Simon Mignolet has labelled Alisson Becker a "special" goalkeeper as he reflects on his Liverpool exit. Mignolet ended his six-year stay at Anfield in the summer, joining Club Brugge after losing the No.1 jersey to Alisson. Mignolet admits a desire for more regular first-team football was the key reason behind his departure, but he insists he remains a Liverpool fan. "No, I'm really pleased for them!" Mignolet told Goal when asked whether he was jealous of Jurgen Klopp's side's lofty position a few months after his exit. If you ask me honestly, I will say I prefer to win the Belgian League by playing every game. "I had been sitting on the [Liverpool] bench for a year and a half, and with Euro 2020 coming up I knew that I needed to be playing regularly if I wanted to be part of the Belgian squad. "The more time you spend on the bench, as a No.2 goalkeeper, the harder it is to come back and play at a high level. Liverpool will qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League with victory over Napoli on Wednesday. UEFA has announced its all-time Champions League XI - and there's only one Englishman in the team. European football bosses have compiled an 'Ultimate XI' from the players who have made the fans' Team of the Year the most times since the vote began in 2001. The team of course features five-times winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who lifted the European Cup four times with Real Madrid and once with Manchester United. There are five current or former Nou Camp stars in the selection, with four-times Barcelona winners Lionel Messi, Andreas Iniesta and Xavi joined by Gerard Pique (who won it once with United and three times with the Catalans) and Carles Puyol. The only English player in the team is Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, who helped inspire the Reds' remarkable comeback from 3-0 down to win the 2005 Champions League final on penalties against AC Milan in Istanbul. Ronaldo has been selected in the team of the Year a record 13 times, with Messi behind him on 10 selections, while Henry was selected five times including in the first four teams consecutively. Casillas is in goal thanks to six selections in the Team of the Year, while Ramos is the most selected defender with eight. Gerrard, picked three times, is joined in midfield by Barcelona legends Iniesta (six times) and Xavi (five). UEFA - All time Champions League XI: Casillas; Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Lahm; Gerrard, Xavi, Iniesta; Ronaldo, Messi Henry. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has spoken about the "scary" experience of playing at Anfield for Roma, but also twice inflicting shock comebacks on Barcelona. "It was scary [talking about Roma's 5-2 defeat to Liverpool in April 2018], you play against a really good team and then the fans lift them even higher," Alisson told The Independent ahead of Liverpool's clash against Napoli tonight. He also spoke about Liverpool's famous comeback victory against Barcelona in last season's semi-final, saying that Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez had the previous season's defeat to Roma in their heads. "I think in that moment, they were remembering that Roma game because when I looked at Messi and Luis Suarez, they had their heads down with their hands on their hair like they were feeling it's coming again." Roma famously beat Barcelona 3-0 at home in the quarter final second leg after losing the first leg 4-1 at the Camp Nou to qualify for the semi-final of the Champions League in 2017-18.