An Antoine Griezmann inspired performance saw Atletico Madrid crowned Europa League champions for the third time in their history on Wednesday night. What’s more, a Spanish side has now won the Champions League or Europa League on eight of the last nine occasions, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla making up the Spanish contingent. Griezmann was rightly named man of the match in the victory over Marseille and features in our Europa League team of the tournament with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.91.
Last 9 Champions League & Europa League winners— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 16, 2018
2018 EL - Atleti 🇪🇸
2017 CL - Real Madrid 🇪🇸
2017 EL - Man Utd 🏴
2016 CL - Real Madrid 🇪🇸
2016 EL - Sevilla 🇪🇸
2015 CL - Barcelona 🇪🇸
2015 EL - Sevilla 🇪🇸
2014 CL - Real Madrid 🇪🇸
2014 EL - Sevilla 🇪🇸
That score was better than any other player of those to have featured in at least eight of the 15 games of the tournament, with the Atletico attacker netting six goals from an average of 4.1 shots per 90. With three WhoScored.com man of the match awards - only Aritz Aduriz (4) earned more - the Frenchman is a deserving winner of the accolade.
Griezmann is one of three French attackers to have made the cut, with Lyon star Nabil Fekir partnering the Atletico ace on the frontline. The 24-year-old scored three and assisted one for the Ligue 1 side, while returns of 2.3 key passes and four dribbles per game helped him gain a WhoScored.com rating of 7.73. Dimitri Payet was unfortunate to limp off with a thigh strain early on in Wednesday’s Europa League final, but he was vital in Marseille’s route to Lyon, making more key passes (37) and registering more assists (7) than any other player in the Europa League this term.
On the opposite flank, Ken Sema is the first of two Oestersunds players to feature in the XI having gained a WhoScored.com rating of 7.46. He scored one and assisted another and churned out returns of 2.3 key passes and three dribbles per game for the Swedish side. Serie A duo Remo Freuler and Luis Alberto complete the midfield with the pair impressing for Atalanta and Lazio, respectively. Freuler chipped in with commendable figures of 4.3 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game, while Alberto was on hand to register five assists from 2.3 key passes per game as the pair gained respective WhoScored.com ratings of 7.58 and 7.54.
Dropping into defence, Oestersunds centre-back Sotiris Papagiannopoulos makes the grade with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.63. His average of 6.1 clearances per game ranked highly at the Europa League, while 2.5 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per match were notable returns for the Greek defender. Partnering the 27-year-old at the heart of the defence is Red Star Belgrade’s Damien Le Tallec. An average of 6.3 clearances per game ensured the Serbian side safe progress to the knockout stages of the competition and saw the Frenchman earn a WhoScored.com rating of 7.28.
Salzburg full-back Stefan Lainer really made a name for himself across the continent with a series of fine showings from right-back for the Austrian side. Five assists from 1.6 key passes per game highlighted his attacking prowess, while Lainer also made 3.4 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per match as he demonstrated his impressive defensive qualities. Zenit St. Petersburg left-back Domenico Criscito rounds off the defence after a series of superb rearguard displays for the Russian side. The 31-year-old scored one and assisted two from full-back, while 5.2 tackles per game was the second most in the Europa League this season and helped the Zenit man gain a WhoScored.com rating of 7.81.
Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Milan Borjan completes the XI with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.20. The 30-year-old kept five clean sheets from his eight appearances in Europe this season, while 3.5 saves per game was a commendable return for the experienced shotstopper.