Champions League Players of The Week Round of 16 #474

Roma Midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo 



After last night’s performance, it is quite clear that Nicolo Zaniolo is the Champions League’s breakout star. In one of the best transfer deals of the season, Nicolo Zaniolo cost Roma just 7 million in a deal that sent Radja Nainggolan to Inter Milan in exchange. Going into the season the perception was that he was a young player who would get a chance this season and be a big part of the future. Nicolo Zaniolo has put himself in the front foot of Italian football. He is one of Roma’s most important players and Roma are not going to let go of him at any price given his production and how well he has performed under the circumstances. I said this a thousand times but he really does remind me of Totti the incredible rise of this kid and the hype surrounding him we have not talked about a young player like this since Francesco Totti. He went from making his debut against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu to being one of the best young players in football. Nicolo Zaniolo is the face of Italian football their best talent with superstar potential he has been one of the best players in Italian football and last night he proved he is one of the best players in the Champions League. He was absolutely unbelievable last night at 19 years old he scored two goals in a round of 16 matchup against Porto. No moment is too big for this kid he just has everything he is Italian football’s crowning Jewel. He became the youngest Italian ever to score multiple goals in a Champions League match. Last night he was the biggest Factor he scored both goals within a 10 minute of each other. He showed and displayed his unbelievable ability. In terms of ball control intelligent passing and the ability to attack. His clinical finishing was perfect last night and he was without a doubt one of the best performers in the Champions League this week. Remember the name Nicolo Zaniolo this kid is going to create some real greatness for Roma. He is the future of this club and he is a player that I believe is good enough to wear Francesco Totti’s Iconic number 10 jersey. In the biggest games, he has delivered last night with high-pressure situations in a game where Roma could set the tone. Nicolo Zaniolo showed all the bit of a superstar that he is. He’s different than a lot of young players there is just something special about him. You could see after he scored the goals in front of his home fans in Rome how much it meant to him. His teammates and his coaches love this kid and his potential is Limitless. On Tuesday nights he was just quite simply the truth. This is only the beginning of what this kid can accomplish in the big moments he has delivered for Roma and he will only continue to do so at this competition progressives just an outstanding performance from Roma’s Sensational 19 year old he has the ability to become the world’s best that was on full display against Porto.






Spurs Center back Jan Vertonghen


Jan Vertonghen put together a very unpredictable performance against Borussia Dortmund team that has all but won the league title in Germany. Going into this game I saw Dortmund as slight favorites against a Spurs team that was going to be without Harry Kane one of the most dangerous scorers in football. Spurs are team that typically have a reputation for coming up too short and have a sum history of choking in big moments. That is why many speculated that Dortmund would get a result at Wembley. Spurs had completely and utterly dominating through the 90 minutes. This Spurs team has Christian Eriksen as well as Son the Korean mastermind. You would think that one of those two would have been the big difference maker but on this occasion, it was their Belgium center-back Jen Vertonghen. He scored a goal and supplied an assist being responsible two of the three goals Spurs scored in their 3-0 win against Dortmund. He posted an unbelievable 9.4 Match ratings. He was a big contributor in the attack with his goal and assist but on the other side, he played a superb with an unbelievable defensive display. Showing that he certainly is one of the best defenders in the world. In fact, I was so infatuated with how well he performed that I think he deserves more than one Spurs can offer him. He is a top-class player and he just showed it on the biggest stage. I do think the Dortmund will win at home because it is incredibly difficult to beat them in Dortmund. However, the individual’s performance of Jan Vertonghen probably was enough to completely prevent any chance of a comeback from Dortmund. If Dortmund is going to come back they need to win by at least three goals. That is such a huge task and the reason that is their fate is because of the unbelievable display from the Belgium Center back. He played both sides of the ball at an unbelievable level as single-handedly damaged Dortmund’s chances. It is not impossible that they can turn this around because as I mentioned Spurs have a reputation of choking but Jan Vertonghen put them in an unbelievable position to make the quarter-finals. For a team like Spurs that would be an unbelievable achievement they have not been to the quarter-final since Gareth Bale, he showed a defensive performance that supplied into the Spurs attack shows Jan Vertonghen, absolute class, as a Spurs put themselves in a great position to make the quarter-finals.








Paris Saint Germine Midfielder Angel Di Maria 


Paris Saint-Germain was without Eddison Cavani and Neymar for their trip to Old Trafford as they faced Manchester United in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Given the fact that PSG was without two of their most important players, everyone seemed to be betting against the French Giants. For whatever reason, the majority of people thought that Manchester United could actually beat a team as strong as PSG in the round of 16. The villain and the performer of the evening was former Manchester United midfielder, Angel Di Maria. After a scoreless first half, he responded to all the critics and the abuse he faced throughout the match. There were bottles thrown at him when he took Corner kicks and he got absolutely abused from the Manchester United faithful. However with all that being said Angel Di Maria got the last laugh. In the second half, his brilliance was on full display. He had not really made an impact on the game in the first half but in the second half, he took advantage of his moment. Di Maria flipped the game on its head supplying incredible vision and intelligent passing as he delivered two assists and what was a PSG 2-0 win. Securing two away goals practically killing off any chance of a comeback in the second leg. Manchester United now have to go to Paris and crush PSG which is quite clearly not going to happen. Di Maria was a magician in the second half being almost fully responsible for both goals he may not have scored them but he put his teammates in such a good position they couldn’t miss. After PSG took the lead the abuse only continued as somebody threw a beer can at him he pretended to drink it to mock the man united fans. Then after the goal in Celebration he allegedly told them to buzz off I’m paraphrasing because he uses explicit words that I will not write. It was a night that Angel Di Maria completely deserves and he delivered deserving recognition for one of the top players in the Champions League this week. The abuse that he got for Manchester United was completely uncalled for so, in the end, Di Maria came into Old Trafford and put them on the brink of elimination. Without Neymar and Cavani Di Maria changes the narrative that this team can’t win without them PSG looks to be a very dangerous team.



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