Who were the top UCL Fantasy Football ball-winners on Matchday 1?

With plenty of points to be picked up for ball recoveries, UEFA.com looks at who excelled on Matchday 1.

The return of #UCLFantasy means the return of the popular ball recovery points system implemented for the first time last season. UEFA.com rounds up who scored highest in this category on Matchday 1.

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Highlights: Salzburg 2-2 Lokomotiv Moskva
Highlights: Salzburg 2-2 Lokomotiv Moskva

Over the course of Matchday 1, a total of 25 players recorded ten or more completed ball recoveries in their respective fixtures. Topping the pile was Salzburg defender Maximilian Wöber, with an impressive 18 in his side's 2-2 draw with Lokomotiv Moskva. Wöber’s exploits earned him six ball recovery points, giving the centre-back a total of seven #UCLfantasy points despite his team conceding two goals. This once again proves the benefits of the ball recovery points system for defenders, who still have a chance of gaining a large proportion of Fantasy points even without a clean sheet.

Trailing just behind Wöber on ball recoveries was Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, another centre-back. The England international picked up 11 #UCLfantasy points on Matchday 1 after he recorded 16 ball recoveries as well as a clean sheet in a 1-0 win away at Ajax. Completing the top three was Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, the Brazilian making 15 ball recoveries even as his side slipped to a 3-2 home defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Highlights: Midtjylland 0-4 Atalanta
Highlights: Midtjylland 0-4 Atalanta

As we look towards Matchday 2, a couple of players stand out as potentially high-value #UCLfantasy assets when taking into account their respective fixtures along with their ball recovery totals on Matchday 1. Priced at just €4.5m, Cristian Romero is one such player who could prove a shrewd purchase, with the Atalanta defender completed 14 ball recoveries in their 0-4 win away at Midtjylland whilst also registering an assist, accruing 14 Fantasy points. With three #UCLfantasy point outlets at his disposal (attacking returns, clean sheets and ball recoveries), Romero represents great value ahead of the Serie A side’s home tie against Ajax on Matchday 2.

Also worth considering is Dortmund’s Thomas Meunier who, like Romero, has proved to be a threat in both attack and defence. With 11 individual ball recoveries on Matchday 1, his ceiling for #UCLfantasy points also looks to be high in the second round of matches as Dortmund welcome Zenit to Germany.

Matchday 1: Most ball recoveries

NameTeamPositionValueBalls recovered
Maximilian WöberSalzburgDefender€4.5m18
Joe GomezLiverpoolDefender€5.5m16
CasemiroReal MadridMidfielder€6.0m15
Cristian RomeroAtalantaDefender€4.5m14
Federico RiccaClub BruggeDefender€4.5m13