Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez and defender Joshua Kimmich have been named in UEFA’s ’17-18 Champions League squad of the season.
Despite their overwhelming success in the Bundesliga, it was a bit of a disappointing season for Bayern Munich. They finished runners-up in the DFB Pokal, losing the final to Niko Kovac’s Eintracht Frankfurt, and were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals.
Even though their season did not end exactly as planned, Bayern nevertheless had several players make huge strides this campaign. Perhaps the most impressive performers for die Roten were James Rodriguez and Joshua Kimmich.
The pair was recently named in UEFA’s ’17-18 Champions League squad of the season. The 18-man squad was chosen by a panel of “technical observers” that consisted of former players and coaches. The selection was strictly based on the performance of individuals in Champions League play.
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Joshua Kimmich ended the season with four goals and three assists in 10 Champions League starts with one substitute appearance. He played a massive role in helping Bayern reach the semi-finals and almost pushed his squad past Real Madrid into the final. Here’s what the observers had to say about the right-back:
"“Energetic full-back helped Bayern’s run to the semi-finals, and an excellent goal in the semis gave his team belief.”"
As for James Rodriguez, the Colombian playmaker only had one goal and two assists, but really stepped up in the latter two-thirds of the season for Bayern. Each of his goal contributions came in an important match. The observers said this of James:
"“Performed excellently in the knockout stages, particularly in the second leg against Real Madrid.”"
These awards really mean very little in the grand scheme of things. Both James and Kimmich would undoubtedly trade their place in the squad for a Champions League winner’s medal. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see that both players were handed recognition for their excellent displays.
Kingsley Coman, who had two goals and assists in six Champions League matches, surely would have made the squad had he not missed the final third of the season with injury. The French winger could very well have proven the difference maker for Bayern Munich in their clash against Real Madrid.