UCL Team of the Group Stage: Bellingham the best as veterans make up core of defence


UCL Team of the Group Stage: Bellingham the best as veterans make up core of defence

Jude Bellingham recorded the highest average rating throughout the group stage
Jude Bellingham recorded the highest average rating throughout the group stageProfimedia, Flashscore
The group stage of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League has wrapped up so it's time to name our team of the tournament so far. Our selection is based on our internal rating system, which takes into account numerous individual match statistics - such as goals, shots on goal, successful passes and tackles won.

To be eligible for the team, players had to play a minimum of 271 minutes in the group stage - that is, more than half of the regulation game time. Their total match ratings were averaged over the number of appearances they made.

Team of the Group Stage
Team of the Group StageFlashscore


Yann Sommer (Inter) - 7.6

In Group D, both Inter and Real Sociedad finished the stage on 12 points and unbeaten to qualify for the last 16. Defensively, both teams were exceptional and Inter's Swiss keeper Yann Sommer shone more than anyone between the sticks in the group stages. He played in five of the six matches - the one he missed, Inter conceded three first-half goals to Benfica. Across the others, Sommer conceded just twice.

Inter Milan's Yann Sommer
Inter Milan's Yann SommerProfimedia


Joao Cancelo (Barcelona) - 7.7

Barcelona comfortably qualified for the last-16 from Group H yet still managed to lose twice in what was an unconvincing run. What wasn’t unconvincing though was the form of Joao Concelo at right-back for the Catalans. He scored a crucial goal and notched an assist in their 2-1 win over Porto - in the end, perhaps the difference between finishing first and second.

Pepe (FC Porto) - 7.5

Like a fine Port Wine, Porto’s Pepe just keeps on getting better with age! Well, maybe not better but the fact that, at 40, he’s still crucial at the heart of defence in a Champions League last-16 side is incredible. Not only was he instrumental as Porto got past Shakhtar and into the knock-out phase, but he scored two goals across his five games.

Pepe against Shakhtar
Pepe against ShakhtarStatsPerfrom

Sergio Ramos (Sevilla) - 7.6

Another veteran in the heart of our defence and the reforming of an iconic Real Madrid pairing from a bygone era - Sergio Ramos partners Pepe at centre-back. Things didn’t go to plan for Sevilla in the competition as they finished rock-bottom in Group B and thus missed out on their beloved Europa League. Ramos, however, did his bit for his boyhood club scoring twice and adding an assist. Plus, he didn’t get sent off!

Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid) - 7.6

Injury meant that Eduardo Camavinga missed the final two group-stage matches for Real Madrid but he appeared in the first four and added to his considerable reputation with assured performances in midfield and at left-back. A truly world-class talent, Real will be desperate to have Camavinga back in shape for the last-16.


Rodri (Manchester City) - 8.2

Name a better defensive midfielder in the world than Rodri! That’s right, you can’t. And ‘defensive’ sort of undersells him. Rodri is a truly box-to-box operator and has goals in his locker as he proved against Crvena Zvezda in the group stages. It’s no coincidence that City is a different beast without him.

Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid) - 8.7

One day, we will look back on the history of the Champions League and think of it in two periods of time - before Jude and after Jude. Bellingham has been a revelation since moving to Madrid in the summer and he has made a real statement in Europe this season with four goals and three assists in five games. The best players stand up in top competitions and Bellingham just keeps doing that - he recorded the highest average rating of any player in the group stage.

Jude Bellingham has been immense this season
Jude Bellingham has been immense this seasonProfimedia


Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) - 8.1

Aside from one loss away to Lens, Arsenal were impressive in the group stage, scoring 16 goals and conceding just four in Group B. Bukayo Saka was the only player from the club to make this XI and he makes it deservedly so having scored three goals and provided four assists to lead his side to the knock-out stage for the first time since 2016/17.

Phil Foden (Manchester City) - 8.1

In a season where Manchester City have sold Ikay Gundogan and lost Kevin De Bruyne to injury, Phil Foden has been asked to step up a level like never before in his career. Admittedly, they didn’t have the hardest group to get through but regardless, City sparkled. Key to that success was Foden's form as the creative fulcrum of the side. He returned three goals and two assists as City went six wins from six in the group stage - only the second English club to do so.

Galeno (FC Porto) - 8.0

Brazilian forward Galeno forced his way into this team with a 10/10 rating in Porto’s critical win over Shakhtar that saw them qualify for the last 16. In that match, he scored two and assisted two as they won an eight-goal thriller 5-3 to progress in second place from Group H. With Galeno in that kind of form, Porto could be a dark horse in the knock-out rounds.

Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) - 8.0

One club that is quietly going about their business this season is Atletico Madrid. They have a funny way of going unnoticed both in LaLiga and the Champions League, where they topped Group E with ease. Similarly underrated and understated is their star man Antoine Griezmann who leads them with a brilliant combination of industry and Gallic guile. With five goals in the group stage, he is the tournament’s equal top scorer.

Top scorers in the Champions League
Top scorers in the Champions LeagueStatsPerform



France gouvernement

Les jeux d’argent et de hasard peuvent être dangereux : pertes d’argent, conflits familiaux, addiction…

Retrouvez nos conseils sur joueurs-info-service.fr (09-74-75-13-13, appel non surtaxé)

Do you want to withdraw your consent to display betting ads?
Yes, change settings