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UEFA Youth League winners' profile: Salzburg

Salzburg defeated Benfica for a triumphant end to a campaign in which they overcame Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid and, in the semi-finals, Barcelona.

Salzburg eliminated a string of high-profile teams en route to the title
Salzburg eliminated a string of high-profile teams en route to the title ©Sportsfile

Last season, their first in the UEFA Youth League following the introduction of the Domestic Champions path, Salzburg made it to the play-offs, losing 4-0 to Roma.

2016/17 road to victory
With eight wins from nine unbeaten fixtures, a competition-high 29 goals scored and only five conceded, Salzburg were the UEFA Youth League's entertainers this term. They were the sole survivors from the Domestic Champions path among the final four and their effective high-pressing game was too much in the knockout stage for Manchester City – whom they defeated on penalties – Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Benfica.

Semi-final highlights: Barcelona 1-2 Salzburg

Coach: Marco Rose
The 40-year-old German is a former defender who began his career with VfB Leipzig and Hannover, before spending eight years at Mainz. He is now in his fourth season with the Salzburg youth setup.

Key players
Mergim Berisha: Forward Berisha scored seven times in his first two UEFA Youth League outings this term, against Vardar and Kairat Almaty, but did not find the back of the net thereafter. His four assists, however, proved there was more to his game than goals.

Hannes Wolf provided three assists in Nyon
Hannes Wolf provided three assists in Nyon©Sportsfile

Hannes Wolf: Part of a three-pronged strike force in Nyon with Berisha and Nicolas Meister, Wolf set up both goals in Salzburg's 2-1 final victory over Benfica. In the semi-finals he cancelled out Jordi Mboula's opener – the fifth successive UEFA Youth League fixture in which he had scored, seven goals in total – and laid on the clincher for Daka Patson.

Daka Patson: Success in Nyon was the culmination of a whirlwind few weeks for the speedy forward, who fired Zambia to glory at the Africa Cup of Nations Under-20 tournament in March. Patson swept in the winner against Barcelona 25 minutes into his UEFA Youth League debut – cue for an acrobatic celebration – and proved his value again three days later with the equaliser versus Benfica.

Xaver Schlager: Schlager, with five, was the joint-leading assist provider in the 2016/17 tournament, despite missing finals weekend through injury. The midfielder, a regular in Salzburg's first-team squad, scored on his full UEFA Europa League debut in December.