Argentine genius Lionel Messi is one of several big name footballers not selected to an All-Star 2018 European Champions League team. Picked by readers of the BBC Sport online page, the selectees include five members of the victorious Real Madrid team including Portuguese World Cup captain Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Egyptian striker Mo Salah.
Salah was picked by 93 per cent of the voters who were invited online to pick from a comprehensive list of players who played in the Champions League. Real Madrid colleagues Ronaldo and Sergio Ramps were called to play on 77 per cent and 66 per cent of the teams selected. The full team was goalkeeper David deGea of Manchester United, Ramos and Marcelo of Real Madrid paired with the Liverpool duo of Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold in defence, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne in tandem with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos of Real Madrid in midfield and Salah, Ronaldo and Roberto Firmino of Liverpool up front.
The all-star aggregation was posted on the BBC Football website on May 26, the day the final was played between Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev.
Messi isn’t alone on the sidelines. Gareth Bale, whose wonderful overhead kick illuminated Real’s win over Liverpool in the final, was also ignored. In addition, no one was picked from Bayern Munich or Roma though those teams reached the semi-finals for Europe’s premier club competition. Also ignored was long serving Juventus goalie Gianluggi Buffon.