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Champions League Fantasy Football: Popular Picks

Thibaut Courtois, João Cancelo, Jorginho and Karim Benzema are proving the most-selected players across the four positions ahead of Matchday 1.

With the UEFA Champions League group stage just around the corner, UEFA.com assesses a number of players in all four positions courting heavy interest among managers on #UCLfantasy, presented by Playstation.

Pick your Fantasy side

Fantasy Football: All you need to know


Thibaut Courtois (€6.0m) was the standout goalkeeper during last season's competition, so it is no surprise to see him not only the highest owned goalkeeper, but also the second most popular player in all positions as it stands (44%). The Belgian keeper recorded 69 Fantasy points in 2021/22, including five clean sheets and 61 saves.

Under the management of Diego Simeone, Atlético are always seen as a team capable of shutting out their opponents and providing #UCLfantasy managers clean sheet points. Jan Oblak (€5.5m) has already gained two clean sheets from three Liga games this season and boasts an ownership percentage bettered only by Courtois.

The only other goalkeeper whose ownership currently stands at over 10% at the time of writing is the ever-reliable Manuel Neuer (€6.0m). The experienced German kept four clean sheets across last season's group stage for Bayern and a similar story here would bring in plenty of Fantasy points, although with Bayern drawn in a tough group, Neuer is likely to be a busy man.

Other popular choices: Gianluigi Donnarumma (9%), Alisson Becker (8%), Marc-André ten Stegen (8%)

Champions League Fantasy Football: Who will you pick?


Given the attacking threat of João Cancelo (€6.5m) for Manchester City, not to mention his numbers in the UEFA Champions League last season, many managers have acted quickly in securing the premium-priced full-back, with a whopping 41% owning the Portuguese international as it stands. Cancelo's 65 points was the most by a defender across last year's competition and this was thanks largely to the 28-year-old's offensive potency, combined with his defensive skills. Not only did Cancelo gain two goals and three assists, but he also accumulated 55 ball recoveries.

Another flying full-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold (€6.5m) is also proving extremely popular. Like Cancelo, Alexander-Arnold's licence to attack makes him the ideal Fantasy defender despite his expensive price tag. Expect the Liverpool star to be a regular set-piece taker as his 33% ownership look for him to increase on his four assists in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League campaign.

Alexander-Arnold is not the only Liverpool defender courting plenty of #UCLfantasy attention, with 29%-owned Virgil Van Dijk (€5.5m) currently the third most popular player in this position. The towering centre-back has been priced cheaper in 2022/23 compared to previous seasons which is likely the key factor in his current popularity. Van Dijk offers multiple avenues towards Fantasy points: clean sheets, ball recoveries or attacking returns through his aerial threat from set pieces.

Other popular choices: Reinildo (23%), Alphonso Davies (20%), Achraf Hakimi (14%)

Champions League season review 2021/22


Jorginho (€5.5m) being the most popular midfielder at the time of writing may surprise a few people, but he has proved a useful Fantasy asset over the years. His price tag is extremely cheap for a midfielder likely to feature regularly for Chelsea over the course of the group stage, and he is expected to once again be the regular penalty taker for Thomas Tuchel's side. Two goals and two assists last season prove that the Italian international is more than capable of attacking returns and he is certainly capable of justifying his 28% ownership.

Trailing just behind Jorginho on the ownership front is fellow central midfielder Luka Modrić (€7.0m), fresh from lifting his fifth UEFA Champions League trophy last season with Real Madrid. The timeless 36-year-old – currently in 26% of teams – continues to show why he remains one of the best players in Europe and Fantasy managers are sensing a bargain. In 2021/22 Modrić provided four assists, but also picked up 39 ball recoveries and two Player of the Match awards.

A new addition to the #UCLfantasy midfield ranks is Vinícius Júnior (€10.0m). The 2021/22 UEFA Champions League Young Player of the Season played a key role in Real Madrid's European triumph, recording four goals and six assists, most notably scoring the winner in the final against Liverpool. Having been listed as a forward last season, #UCLfantasy managers have acted quickly following his move to midfield, with 23% having already snapped up the 22-year-old.

Other popular choices: Joshua Kimmich (20%), Kevin De Bruyne (18%), Mohamed Salah (16%)

Karim Benzema reflects on memorable 2021/22 campaign


On the back of a stellar UEFA Champions League campaign last time around, over half of active #UCLfantasy managers are banking on Karim Benzema (€11.0m) to repeat his remarkable goalscoring exploits of 2021/22. The experienced French striker is the only player in all positions to claim an ownership of over 50% heading into this season's group stage, having contributed 15 goals last season and also managed to acquire a triple-figure fantasy score of 102 points, unmatched by any other player. Having started the domestic season well, it would take a brave #UCLfantasy manager to ignore Benzema.

He may no longer be at Bayern, but Robert Lewandowski (€11.0m) has continued to score goals with almost monotonous regularity. The Barcelona forward will be looking to make a big UEFA Champions League impact at his new club, and as the joint-third highest all-time goalscorer in the history of the competition, it would be no surprise to see Lewandowski racking up significant Fantasy points once again. With a current ownership of 25%, a quarter of managers agree.

Also owned by a quarter of Fantasy bosses is Erling Haaland (€11.0m), who has begun the new campaign in emphatic fashion at new club Manchester City, already finding the net with regularity. Kylian Mbappé (€11.0m) is in 23% of teams at the time of writing, thanks to four goals in his first three Ligue 1 outings in 2022/23 – and five goals in his last four UEFA Champions League appearances.

Other popular choices: Lionel Messi (14%), Neymar (14%), Darwin Núñez (14%)