Champions League Team of the Week: Kylian Mbappe and Jan Oblak included

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • Updated: 14 Mar 2024 12:16 GMT
  • 6 min read
Kylian Mbappe and Jan Oblak.

FootballTransfers runs through our Team of the Week from the last 16 second legs of the 2023/24 Champions League.

GK: Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

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Jan Oblak has long been regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in European football, and boasted a highest ETV of €75.3 million three short seasons ago per FootballTransfers' in-house algorithm.

And the 31-year-old Slovene can still do it when it matters, only conceding one of the 15 attempts on his goal as Atletico Madrid fought back from two goals down to secure a penalty shoot-out win over Inter Milan.

At 2-1 on the night and 2-2 on aggregate, the game ended with penalties. Oblak saved from Alexis Sanchez and Daby Klaassen in the shoot-out, and Atleti prevailed 3-2.

RB: Jules Kounde (Barcelona)

Barcelona's last 16 meeting with Napoli was on a knife-edge after the sides had drawn 1-1 in the first leg at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, and one of the great Argentine's successors was their key threat again.

With Victor Osimhen quiet in recent weeks, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia - nicknamed 'Kvaradona' has grown in influence of late, and Jules Kounde figured to have his work cut out.

The France international was unfazed, though, keeping the Georgian quiet throughout the 90 minutes as Barca prevailed 3-1 on the night, and 4-2 on aggregate.

RB: Pau Cubarsi (Barcelona)

Tucked inside Kounde was Pau Cubarsi, who orchestrated Barca's defence despite his tender 17 years. Indeed, just a month and a day past his 17th birthday, he became the youngest defender to play to the Blaugrana in the Champions League.

He wasn't the least bit fazed, denying Osimhen a gilt-edged goalscoring opportunity early on and finishing the game with more passes attempted and completed than any of his Barca colleagues. Top class.

Pau Cubarsi already looks like a first-choice Barca defender at 17.
© IMAGO - Pau Cubarsi already looks like a first-choice Barca defender at 17.

CB: Gabriel (Arsenal)

Gabriel missed a gilt-edged chance in injury time as Arsenal were beaten 1-0 by Porto in their first-leg meeting three weeks ago, but he made amends with an assured performance as the Gunners won by the same scoreline on Tuesday before winning out 4-2 on penalties.

David Raya may have matched the aforementioned Oblak in making two penalty saves, but it was the big Brazilian in front of him who held it together at the back for Arsenal in normal time, looking comfortable in possession on an unusual off day for William Saliba.

LB: David Raum (RB Leipzig)

The only player in this selection who didn't find himself on the winning team, David Raum assisted Willi Orban for RB Leipzig's goal in their 1-1 draw with Real Madrid and worked hard to keep Fede Valverde and the overlapping Dani Carvajal at bay all evening.

Previously linked with a move to Real before their interest in Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies became more concrete, Raum nonetheless figures to be Germany's first-choice left-back at Euro 2024 this summer.

RM: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Jadon Sancho put in his best performances yet since returning to Borussia Dortmund on loan from Manchester United, where his dream transfer had quickly turned into a nightmare.

BVB beat PSV Eindhoven 2-0 on Wednesday to prevail 30-1 on aggregate, and it was Sancho who got the ball rolling for them, with a beautiful low-driven shot that left Walter Benitez with no chance.

The former England international grew to lack both fitness and confidence and Old Trafford. Both look to be slowly returning.

Sancho is looking to get back to his best at Borussia Dortmund.
© IMAGO - Sancho is looking to get back to his best at Borussia Dortmund.

CM: Aleksandar Pavlovic (Bayern Munich)

Aleksandar Pavlovic's emergence is such that Joshua Kimmich has had to settled back into his former position as a right-back, while Bayern teammate Leon Goretzka will be left out of the latest Germany squad at his expense.

The 19-year-old was back at the heart of Bayern's midfield as they beat Lazio 3-0, recovering from the 1-0 first-leg reverse, and grew in influence as the game wore on, pulling the strings from deep.

LM: Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)

Leandro Trossard grabbed the headlines with his goal in Arsenal' 1- win over Porto, but it was laid on in expert fashion by Martin Odegaard, who looked the Gunners' best chance of creating a goal throughout.

Odegaard steered another effort narrowly wide himself, and converted his penalty with little fuss in the shoot-out. Has long since lived up to his promise in North London.

RW: Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)

Julian Alvarez has come in for some criticism in recent weeks, his goals drying up while his pass completion did likewise against Liverpool.

FC Copenhagen may have been significantly kinder opponents for Manchester City four days earlier, but there is no escaping the fact that Alvarez stole the show, setting up Manuel Akanji for the opener before grabbing his fifth goal of this season's competition for himself.

ST: Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)

Harry Kane was at his clinical best as Bayern beat Lazio, bringing his season haul in the competition to six from eight games.

Only Manuel Neuer touched the ball fewer times than the England captain in the first half but that didn't stop him from opening the scoring six minutes before the break.

He was similarly uninvolved in the second half, but his supreme positioning and technique helped him add another to draw level as this season's top scorer.

Nobody has more Champions League goals than Harry Kane this season.
© IMAGO - Nobody has more Champions League goals than Harry Kane this season.

LW: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Kylian Mbappe has been intermittently benched by Luis Enrique in recent weeks, with it now an open secret that he will join Real Madrid on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Sections of the PSG support didn't think he should start against Real Sociedad, but he soon silenced the doubters with an incredible opener before adding an equally ridiculous second soon after the restart. Only a fine Alex Remiro save away from a hat-trick.

For all the exit talk, he remains the undisputed star man in Paris… for now.

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