Two of Olympiakos' heroes make our selection along with a number of Barcelona and Bayern Munich starsAfter taking the Champions League group stage by storm, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo make an immediate return to the line-up in our team of the last-16 first legs - along with one or two fresh faces.
In goal, Thibaut Courtois gets
the nod ahead of Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer thanks to his heroics at
San Siro that set Atletico Madrid on their way to a valuable 1-0 win
over AC Milan.
was at his very best in Barcelona's 2-0 win over Manchester City,
marshalling his flank and scoring a priceless second goal despite Manuel
Pellegrini deploying two left-backs to contain him. At the heart of our
defence, Konstantinos Manolas was exemplary in keeping an abject Manchester United well away from the Olympiakos goal, while Barca's Javier Mascherano performed expertly against City's Alvaro Negredo and late substitute Edin Dzeko. At left-back, Galatasaray's Alex Telles had Petr Cech and Chelsea worried whilst keeping Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle quiet.
In midfield, the double-pivot is lifted straight from Bayern Munich: Toni Kroos
put in a masterful display against Arsenal, setting up the penalty that
led to Wojciech Szczesny's red card and rifling in a stunning goal in a
surpreme performance. Philipp Lahm,
meanwhile, once more underlined his versatility, putting in a fine
showing at full-back before pushing up into midfield in the second half,
where he teed up Thomas Muller for his side's second.
teased Man Utd's Patrice Evra constantly and scored a sublime second
goal for Olympiakos to earn a place in our selection for the first time,
while Gareth Bale's two goals and one assist for Madrid sees him line up alongside the Arsenal loanee. Cristiano Ronalo
destroyed Schalke in tandem with Bale and Karim Benzema, with his two
expertly taken goals enough to earn him another place in our XI.
In the striker's role, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
fends off competition from Benzema and Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski
thanks to his inspiring display in Paris Saint-Germain's thrashing of
Bayer Leverkusen - a performance that included a sensational left-footed
strike as well as a converted penalty.