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Europa League breakthrough team of 2020

Players from Leverkusen, PSV and Villarreal are among those who feature in our UEFA Europa League breakthrough XI.

Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz in action for Germany Under-21s
Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz in action for Germany Under-21s Getty Images

UEFA.com picks out a team of young players who have broken through in the UEFA Europa League this calendar year

In order to narrow the field, we set the following strict criteria:
i) aged 24 or under;
ii) UEFA Europa League debut in 2020, or only limited prior experience and made a major leap this year.

This team was selected by UEFA.com reporters and editors and is not intended to rival more established awards.

Goalkeeper

Ivan Nevistić
Ivan Nevistić

Ivan Nevistić, 22 (Rijeka)
The young custodian played every minute of Rijeka's group stage campaign, making a competition-high 28 saves in the process.

Defenders

Joško Gvardiol, 18 (Dinamo Zagreb)
The prototype of a modern-day centre-back, Gvardiol was key to Dinamo conceding just one goal in the entire group stage.

David Carmo, 21 (Braga)
A centre-back in the mould of Virgil van Dijk, Carmo only made his Braga debut in January but is now well established.

Wesley Fofana, 19 (Leicester)
A centre-back with pace to burn, Fofana has been an excellent acquisition by the Foxes; already one of the first names on the team-sheet.

Sven Botman
Sven Botman

Sven Botman, 20 (LOSC Lille)
A product of Ajax's revered academy, Botman is already a mainstay for Lille who are among the Ligue 1 pacesetters.

Midfielders

Florian Wirtz, 17 (Leverkusen)
The youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history until Youssoufa Moukoko came along, Wirtz racked up two group stage goals as well as an assist.

Takefusa Kubo, 19 (Villarreal)
Kubo is a Japanese international on loan from Real Madrid who has been dubbed the 'Japanese Messi'. A goal and three assists in the group phase. Joined Getafe in January.

Lovro Majer, 22 (Dinamo Zagreb)
An important cog in the Dinamo machine that performed so well in the group stage, Majer is technically proficient, fast and agile with an eye for goal.

Forwards

Highlights: Nice 1-0 Hapoel Beer-Sheva
Highlights: Nice 1-0 Hapoel Beer-Sheva

Amine Gouiri, 20 (Nice)
Gouiri is a French Under-21 international who came to the fore with four goals during Nice's group campaign.

Darwin Nuñez, 21 (Benfica)
Already a regular in the senior Uruguay set-up, Nuñez's five group stage goals have singled him out as one to watch.

Donyell Malen, 21 (PSV)
Already proven to be a clinical striker in the Eredivisie, Malen added five group stage goals to his tally this season. Established in the Netherlands squad.