The official website for European football

Team of the Europa League group stage

Published: Friday 13 December 2013, 11.07CET
UEFA.com's team of reporters have put their heads together to select 11 players who have impressed, from an emerging centre-back to a midfielder enjoying an Indian summer.

rate galleryrate photo
1/0
counter
  • loading...
Published: Friday 13 December 2013, 11.07CET

Team of the Europa League group stage

UEFA.com's team of reporters have put their heads together to select 11 players who have impressed, from an emerging centre-back to a midfielder enjoying an Indian summer.

Goalkeeper
Vladislav Stoyanov (PFC Ludogorets Razgrad)
Stoyanov returned to his homeland in January 2013 after impressing while on loan at FC Sheriff. He was quick to fit in at Ludogorets, helping them to the Bulgarian league title in May. He then saved a penalty in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie against ŠK Slovan Bratislava and has not looked back, keeping four clean sheets in five UEFA Europa League Group B games.

Defenders
Gonzalo Rodríguez (ACF Fiorentina)
Many regard Fiorentina as the most entertaining side in Italy, and 29-year-old Rodríguez's ability to build from the back has much to do with that. Experienced, hard in the tackle and skilful, the Argentinian centre-half confirmed his huge importance for the Viola in the UEFA Europa League, scoring in consecutive victories against FC Paços de Ferreira and FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

Nick Viergever (AZ Alkmaar)
The 24-year-old defender prefers to play in the middle but has performed excellently at left-back this season. Coming forward, he also delivered the assist for the only goal in the away victory at Maccabi Haifa FC, while the Dutch international captained the club until the experienced Maarten Martens returned to the team.

Jordi Amat (Swansea City AFC)
Since his summer switch from RCD Espanyol, domestic opportunities have been limited for centre-back Amat, 21, but the UEFA Europa League has provided the perfect stage for the Spanish youth international to impress Swans manager Michael Laudrup. A defensive stalwart throughout the campaign, Amat has played a stand-out role with a string of solid performances.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
Equally adept in either his preferred centre-half position or at left-back, the Belgian international has been a mainstay in a Spurs defence which conceded just twice to end the group stage with the competition's joint best defence. The 26-year-old is as comfortable with the ball at his feet as he is in a physical, aerial duel and he is the only Tottenham defender to get his name on the scoresheet in Europe this term, heading in the opener in a 2-0 win at FC Sheriff.

Midfielders
Bebras Natcho (FC Rubin Kazan)
Probably Rubin's top performer over the last three years, the Israeli international dominates midfield, supplying assists and delivering great set pieces. The 25-year-old scored three times in this season's group stage and set up five more goals – one more assist than KRC Genk's Fabien Camus and FC Salzburg forward Alan. With his contract expiring late December, a raft of clubs could soon be battling for his signature.

Hans Henrik Andreasen (Esbjerg fB)
Club captain Andreasen, who joined from Odense BK last winter, proved to be an important part of Esbjerg's progress with two games to spare. The 34-year-old's experience, hard-working attitude and ability to read the game make him not only an example to the many young players in the team, but also someone they can lean on.

Fabien Camus (KRC Genk)
The 28-year-old Tunisian international returned to Genk in the summer after a season-long loan at ES Troyes AC in his country of birth, France. It has paid off for both Genk and the technically skilled left or central midfielder with great passing ability, who lies joint second in the UEFA Europa League assists table and also set up a goal in their play-off success against FH Hafnarfjördur.

Forwards
Andriy Yarmolenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv)
Yarmolenko is Dynamo's leader and top scorer in their European campaign. Initially a centre-forward, he subsequently switched to the left of attack before moving to the opposite flank under Oleh Blokhin. This change has enabled him to make full use of his powerful left foot. A tireless worker, the 24-year-old recently netted his 14th goal for Ukraine, moving him up to third on the country's all-time list, behind only Andriy Shevchenko (48) and Serhiy Rebrov (15).

Olcan Adın (Trabzonspor AŞ)
The versatile 28-year-old, who can be deployed on either wing, made a big contribution to Trabzonspor AŞ's progress with his tally of five goals and three assists. His pace and dangerous cuts inside are his key attributes, along with his free-kick prowess. Olcan is now hitting his full stride.

Alan (FC Salzburg)
Salzburg strike partners Alan and Jonatan Soriano both dazzled, but the Brazilian just about gained the edge in the battle for a spot in UEFA.com's XI with his elegant overhead effort in a 3-1 win at R. Standard de Liège on matchday four. Soriano is out of action with a groin injury, but the 24-year-old Alan has kept scoring, making tremendous progress under coach Roger Schmidt.

The team is based on the opinions of UEFA.com's reporters and not UEFA.

Last updated: 13/12/13 17.22CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=2034165.html#team+europa+league+group+stage

UEFA.com features

Profile highlights: Stars reveal their inspirations
  • Profile highlights: Stars reveal their inspirations
  • Messi's top UEFA Champions League goals
  • Ronaldo's top UEFA Champions League goals
  • Buffon hailed after 500th Juventus appearance
  • Malta's Hogg has a hand in Kalloni's success
  • The UEFA Youth League's top scorers
  • Barcelona prestige excites Bristol Academy
  • Madrid 'dominate' to get better of Barcelona
  • UEFA Europa League facts and figures
  • Goals galore: The best of matchday three
1 of 10
 
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.