90min's UWCL team of the season - 2023/24

90min's UWCL team of the season - 2023/24
By: 90min.com Posted On: May 27, 2024 View: 107

The 2023/24 UEFA Women's Champions League campaign drew to a close on Saturday as Barcelona retained their title with a 2-0 win over eight-time winners Lyon in Bilbao.

After suffering heartbreak against the French club in 2019 and 2022, the Catalan giants finally got their revenge as Aitana Bonmati and Alexia Putellas scored in the second half to finally topple Lyon in a final of the competition.

Saturday's showpiece event was a fitting finale for what has been another enthralling European campaign. As the standard of the women's game improves year on year, so too does the competitiveness of the competition.

Here's 90min's UWCL team of the season.

Christiane Endler

Lyon's Endler was the UWCL's standout goalkeeper / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Despite Lyon's agonising defeat in the final, goalkeeper Christiane Endler has been one of the most consistent in her position this season. She made a handful of important stops in the final before Bonmati broke the deadlock.

While Barca recorded more clean sheets this season, Jonatan Giraldez rotated his goalkeeper in the early stages of the competition. Endler, on the other hand, has been an ever present for Lyon throughout their run to the final, missing just a single group game.

FC Barcelona v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Women's Champions League Final 2024

Bronze has now won the Champions League five times / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Five-time Champions League winner Lucy Bronze put on quite the display against Lyon in the final on Saturday. The defender's experience has been on display throughout this season's competition, but against Lyon she showed why she's one of the best in the world.

The England international may not have registered a goal or an assist as she previously had during the campaign, but her contributions defensively kept Barca in the game at times.

Keeping the likes of Delphine Cascarino quiet on the biggest stage is no mean feat and she did so with class.

Ingrid Engen

Ingrid Engen during the final against Lyon / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Ingrid Engen or Irene Paredes could be named in this team and it would be tough to argue against either. Engen, though, isn't even a defender - which makes her form this season even more impressive.

In the absence of Mapi Leon, the Norway international stepped into the role and struck up a solid partnership with Paredes at the back for Barca.

To say she is an unsung hero would be an understatement.

Chelsea FC  v Aston Villa - Barclays Women¥s Super League

Carter was a rock for Chelsea / Crystal Pix/MB Media/GettyImages

It's hard to overlook Chelsea's Jess Carter, who has had a fantastic year for both club and country. In the Champions League, she has been at the heart of some outstanding defensive displays, not least the narrow 1-0 win in the semi-final first leg against Barca.

Chelsea's journey may have cruelly ended in the second leg, but Carter is without a doubt one of the best defenders in Europe. In the absence of Millie Bright at times this term, the 26-year-old has established herself as a true leader for her club.

Selma Bacha

Bacha was on the losing side in the final / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Selma Bacha's quality was on full display in the final against Barca. Despite having plenty to think about defensively with Caroline Graham Hansen operating down her flank, she was still able to offer Lyon plenty going forward.

Even on what some described as an 'off day' for the defender, she still produced two goal-saving moments, including a clearance off the line. Her contributions were also evident in the earlier stages of the competition, with a goal in the second leg of the semi-final against Paris Saint Germain.

Aitana Bonmati

Bonmati scored the opener in the final / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Player of the match in the final and player of the season in the competition this term - Aitana Bonmati was the first name on this team sheet. It's no surprise the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner continued her incredible form this season as she cemented herself as the best player in the world.

Bonmati's second-half goal set Barca on their way to a historic victory, while she also bagged a crucial strike in the second leg of the semi-final against Chelsea. She tops the standings for the most goals and assists combined in the 2023/24 UWCL campaign.

Patricia Guijarro

Guijarro is a great foil for Bonmati / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Along with Bonmati, Patricia Guijarro has been integral to Barca's success in Europe this term. She signed a contract extension until 2027 at the end of last year, which only underlines her importance to the Catalan team.

The midfield partnership with Bonmati and Keira Walsh is one of the most formidable in women's football. It is arguably Guijarro, however, who flies under the radar. Her composure and authority was evident throughout their Champions League run.

Erin Cuthbert

Erin Cuthbert during the UWCL semi-final second leg against Barcelona / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Speaking of underrated players, Erin Cuthbert has been Chelsea's unsung hero of the 2023/24 season and even more so in the Champions League. It was her goal in the first leg of the semi-final against Barca that offered the Blues a glimmer of hope in reaching their second ever final in the competition.

It wasn't to be for Emma Hayes or Cuthbert, but it was a positive campaign nonetheless. Cuthbert was also among the goals for Chelsea in the group stage and started all four of their knockout games.

Caroline Hansen

Caroline Graham Hansen in action for Barcelona / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Caroline Graham Hansen finished joint-third top goalscorer and second for assists in this season's competition. She finished just two behind Barca teammate Bonmati for goals and assists combined.

The Norway international can instil fear in any opponent and was an absolute handful for Bacha in the final over the weekend. Her bursts of pace and tricky footwork make her a nightmare to defend and she's a prominent figure every time she takes to the pitch for Barca.

Marie Antoinette Katoto

Marie-Antoinette Katoto of Paris Saint-Germain / Franco Arland/GettyImages

Just one goal shy of Kadidiatou Diani's eight in this season's competition, PSG's Marie-Antoinette Katoto came in second with seven. The France international, only 25, played a pivotal role in her side's run to the semi-finals before they were beaten by Lyon.

Her two goals gave PSG what appeared to be a comfortable 2-0 lead in the first leg of their semi-final last month and it was after she left the pitch when Lyon scored three in quick succession to flip the tie on its head.

Kadidiatou Diani

Lyon's Kadidiatou Diani during the UWCL final / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Nobody scored more goals in this season’s competition than Lyon's Kadidiatou Diani. While the attacker wasn't able to make her mark in the final, her goals and contributions played an integral role in Lyon reaching the final.

While the 29-year-old technically plays on the right in the same position as Graham Hansen, it’s impossible to leave her out of this team.

READ THE LATEST WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE NEWS, PREVIEWS & RATINGS HERE

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