By 90Min
May 06, 2019

Throughout Europe seasons are coming to a close and the vast majority of the thrills, spills, highs, lows, injustices and banters have all already been had for another campaign. What a ride it was.

Naturally, the only thing left (other than the last rounds of league fixtures, playoffs and cup finals) is to decide just who has been the best of the best in 2018/19.

Here's 90min's European team of the season from across the continent's major leagues...

GK: Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

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21 clean sheets and counting in La Liga this season, Oblak is the towering wall behind Atletico's Night's Watch.

Other world class keepers like Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ederson and Alisson are essential to their sides and may finish 2018/19 more decorated for their work, but the Slovenian is the best in the business right now and a shining light in a disappointing season for Los Colchoneros. 

He has made 100 saves in the league and is on course for a fourth consecutive Zamora Trophy. Since joining Atleti in 2014, the Slovenian has a frankly astonishing 117 clean sheets in little over 200 games.

Honourable mention: Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

RB: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

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The fact that it is no longer blasphemous to compare Kimmich to legendary predecessor Philipp Lahm tells you everything you need to know.

No defender in Europe's 'big five' leagues has more assists this season than the 24-year-old Bayern full back (12), while he made his 100th Bundesliga appearance back in February.

Kimmich's remarkable consistency and versatility have been particularly crucial in the second half of the season as Bayern hunted down Dortmund at the top of the table.  

Honourable mention: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

LB: Jordi Alba (Barcelona)


2018/19 has been a season in which several of Barça's veterans proved they very much still have it, few more so than 30-year-old Alba.

The left back has been a key performer in the big games this season as Barcelona remain odds on for their third ever treble, providing assists against Tottenham, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool.

His attacking threat is pretty much unparalleled in his position, but he has still made more interceptions than any other Barcelona star and is in the club's top three for clearances and tackles.

Honourable mention: Andy Robertson (Liverpool)

CB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

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Eyebrows were raised across the continent following Van Dijk's £75m move from Southampton back in January 2018. The post-Neymar environment for transfers had pushed spending to ridiculous levels and it seemed Liverpool had grossly overpaid for their target.

Well, a year and a bit on, Van Dijk has (as much as any player really can) justified his fee, earning the PFA Player of the Year award and helping Liverpool to an incredible points tally that could yet see them lift their first top-flight title since 1990.

However, even if 2018/19 ends trophy-less for Liverpool, Van Dijk has established himself as one of the globe's top defenders.

Honourable mention: Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)

CB: Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

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Much like Alba, Pique's season has seen him roll back the years and re-affirm his status as one of the very finest in world football, after what had begun to look like a couple of years of gradual decline.

While World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti, when fit, has often had to make do with a spot on the bench, Pique has remained consistent, forming a solid partnership with Clement Lenglet.

The 32-year-old has helped Barça keep 20 clean sheets in La Liga and Europe combined this season, as he looks set to appear in his fourth Champions League final.

Honourable mention: Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)

CM: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

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After a somewhat muted introduction to the first team at Manchester City by Pep Guardiola, Silva has flourished this season as one of the team's key men.

Partly helped by the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, the 24-year-old Portugal international has become the most creative playmaker in a team of creative playmakers.

His goal contribution tally of 21 in all competitions (13 goals and 8 assists), while impressive, underplays his overall importance to the team. In City's robotic drive to retain their Premier League title, few have been quite as consistently brilliant as Silva.

Honourable mention: Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)

CM: Frenkie de Jong (Ajax)

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There is little to say about Frenkie de Jong that can't be better understood by just watching that clip of him put Ballon d'Or incumbent Luka Modric on the floor with a casual swivel of the hips.

A superstar in the making, De Jong is an Ajax talent in the old mould, one who almost seems to redefine position and ideas about how the game is played.

Not many had seen him play (or even heard of him) prior to the start of 2018/19. Having already sealed a €75m move to Barcelona for the summer, he could well arrive at Camp Nou as a Champions League (and treble) winner. It's been quite the year.

Honourable mention: Fernandinho (Man City)

AM: Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

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While not many had heard of De Jong before this season, none would have expected his teammate Tadic to have enjoyed the season he has had in 2018/19.

The 30-year-old Serbian has 31 goals in all competitions this campaign and 15 assists - a combined total of 46 in just 47 games.

Only Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi have scored more than the former Southampton man in the Champions League this season, while his man of the match display to knock out Real Madrid was a watershed moment for European football.

Honourable mention: Bruno Fernandes (Sporting CP)

FW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

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Undoubtably the best player in the world and probably the best there has ever been. 

Messi leads the way in the goal charts for both the Champions League (12) and La Liga (34), as Barcelona fix their lasers on their third treble.

The Argentine will win a sixth European Golden Shoe, barring some freak scoring patterns in the last few games of the season, and (amazingly) will finish the season with more goals in La Liga than games played for the fifth time in his career.

Honourable mention: Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

FW: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)


Now crowned the PFA Young Player and FWA Footballer of the Year, 2018/19 has seen Sterling continue his trajectory to superstardom.

The England international both fits and augments Guardiola's system perfectly, while he needs just one more goal to achieve his best ever season's tally.

If Manchester City secure a domestic treble this season, few (if any) players will have been more integral to the remarkable achievement than Sterling.

Honourable mention: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

FW: Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria)

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At 36, Fabio Quagliarella is the oldest player in Serie A history to score 25 goals in a season and leads the race for the Capocannoniere ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

While Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero and Karim Benzema can all claim to be Europe's best number nine after fine performances in 2018/19, none have had quite the season individually that Quagliarella has had.

The veteran, who had never scored 20 in a league season prior, has bagged an incredible 44% of all Sampdoria's goals, including some of the most beautiful goals you are ever likely to witness (see his flying backheel against Napoli back in September).

His renaissance after a traumatic time earlier in his career is nothing short of a fairytale.

Honourable mention: Krzysztof Piątek (AC Milan)

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