The best players from the Champions League round of 16

8 Min Read
Champions League

The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League round of 16 showed great potential but in the end, the usual suspects moved on to the quarter-finals.

The draws have been conducted and the teams are getting their tactics ready. Tickets are already selling out on the clubs’ websites and, a trusted ticket reselling platform.

The top performers from the first knockout round are also gearing up to repeat their performances in the quarters. Let us take a look at how they fared against their round of 16 opponents and predict their performances in the upcoming quarter’s final fixtures.

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Kylian Mbappe

The best performer from the UEFA Champions League round of 16 was Kylian Mbappe.

The Frenchman continues to shine in Europe’s top competition in a manner that reminds fans of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe

Against Real Sociedad, he scored three goals as Paris Saint-Germain defeated the Spanish side 4 – 1 on aggregate. Two of his three goals came at the Anoeta, one of Spain’s toughest grounds.

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Mbappe has now added another stadium to the list of ones he has conquered in just 69 appearances in the competition. Anoeta joins a list that includes Camp Nou (Barcelona), Etihad (Manchester City), Westfalenstadion (Borussia Dortmund), Allianz Stadium (Juventus), Allianz Arena (Bayern Munich), Anfield (Liverpool), Old Trafford (Manchester United), Santiago Bernabeu (Real Madrid) and San Siro (AC Milan).

This season, he has scored six goals and is the joint-top scorer of the 2023/24 season alongside Antoine Griezmann, Erling Haaland and Harry Kane. This took his tally to 46 in the competition, which places him in 12th on the all-time list.

He will continue his journey to his second UCL final when PSG face Barcelona. Having dominated Barcelona once, many expect him to do it again in their quarter-final clash.

We predict he will find the back of the net but the jury is out on his progression to the next round.

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Andriy Lunin

Real Madrid’s backup goalkeeper has flourished in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, who is down with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The 25-year-old Ukrainian has been looking for more action for some time and even sought a way out of Real Madrid last summer for the same purpose.

When the Belgian got injured, he stepped up to the plate and has been great in the Belgian’s absence.

Against Red Bull Leipzig in the round of 16, he made 11 saves. Prior to that tie (two matches, home and away), he had six saves from his previous two. His total of 17 saves is the most of any goalkeeper that has played five matches or less out of the eight that have taken place in the ongoing season.

His next challenge is Manchester City, however.

The Cityzens have been a thorn in Madrid’s side for some time now. Their last four games have ended in a score line of 10 – 7 in favour of City. The 14-time winners could have conceded as much as 15 goals in this period.

Lunin needs to be at his absolute best to keep out the likes of Phil Foden, Erling Haaland (who averages the most shots in the competition since his debut), and other Man City attackers.

Tickets to Real Madrid vs Manchester City on 9 April 2024 are already on sale on

İlkay Gündoğan

The German put in a leader’s performance for Barcelona in their round of 16 outing against Napoli.

As the team’s deep-lying playmaker, İlkay Gündoğan started a lot of moves and coordinated every attack. Barcelona have not had a midfielder like him since their current manager, Xavi Hernandez.

His leadership helped to make things easier for the team who had struggled in the last two seasons to qualify for the knockouts. He was one of Barcelona’s best players over both legs despite not finding the back of the net or making a single assist.

ilkay gundogan
ilkay gundogan

Four of the six key passes he made in the game led to Barcelona’s goals. He also intercepted two Napoli attacks and made two shot blocks across both legs. Fans were nostalgic watching the German as he reminded everyone of Xavi’s playing days.

Many fans will hope he can keep up the required level that has made him one of Barcelona’s most consistent performers this season when the club travels to Paris for the quarter-final tie with Chelsea.

Fans are already purchasing their PSG vs Barcelona tickets in droves from, one of the easiest platforms to buy tickets from resellers.

Gündoğan will push his teammates to build on the momentum from Napoli in their La Liga games leading up to the PSG tie. We expect him to put in a midfield masterclass against the Parisiens.

Harry Kane

Experienced fans knew that Harry Kane and co would not let Lazio’s actions slide in the return leg of the Lazio vs Bayern Munich quarter-final tie at Allianz Arena.

Kane scored a brace in answer to his critics in the second leg. The second leg would end 3 – 0 in favor of Die Rekordmeister and Kane would take his tally to six goals to become the joint-top scorer of the ongoing competition.

harry kane
harry kane | Source: Matthias Schrader/AP

He was a constant threat to the Lazio defence even in the first leg that Bayern lost. Arsenal will be wary of that same threat when Bayern visit the Emirates for the first leg of their quarter-final clash.

Fans are purchasing their Arsenal vs Bayern Munich tickets on in preparation for a Harry Kane masterclass at the Emirates.

Arsenal have never beaten Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Their task is harder with Kane now on the German Bundesliga team.

The England national team captain has scored 14 goals in 19 games against them in all competitions with a less superior Spurs team. The Kane threat is now bigger with the machine of Bayern Munich and fans are gearing up to see it live.

This all depends on his fitness, however, as he has been reported to be out of commission for a while following his injury in the Bundesliga on 16 March 2024.