Football fans can rejoice as Europe’s elite competition, the UEFA Champions League, returns tonight starting with the group stages.
While fantasy football fans have already built their Premier League squads, the Champions League is offering a chance for you to complete the double.
You may have failed last year, but now’s your time to make the comeback and show those closest to you that, when it comes to football, you are the real expert and you will secure that coveted virtual Champions League trophy this coming May.
How do I play?
Easy. Get yourself over the the official UEFA Champions League Fantasy site log in – or register via if you haven’t got an account – to start creating a team, and from there you can pick and manage your own dream team throughout the campaign, and you’ll receive points based on your players' real-life performances in the Champions League.
What is my budget and how do I pick my squad?
Choose a squad of 15 players from the Premier League with a budget of €100 million.
You can pick two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards then, each match Champions League week, you must pick a starting XI in any formation, from your squad of 15.
You can only select a maximum of three players from a single team while the competition is in the group stage, however, this does increase as the Champions League progresses. Don’t forget to chose a team name that will bring plenty of laughs – it’s an unwritten rule.
A full list of the rules are available here.
Which players are a ‘must pick’ for your side?
Erling Haaland – Forward, Borussia Dortmund (€11 million)
Despite being just 21-years-old, it’s fair to say the Norwegian striker is already one of the best strikers in the world – if not the best.
The German side are frequent visitors to the latter stage of the competition and, with Besiktas, Ajax and Sporting among their group, they should progress with relevant ease – and Haaland is almost certain the be the man to fire them there.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Forward, Manchester United (€11 million)
CR7 is top of the pile when it comes to goals scored in the UEFA Champions League with an all-time record of 135 goals – that’s 15 more than Lionel Messi.
He’s won the competition an astonishing five times and, if his brace on is second United debut didn’t already prove it, he’s quite simply the greatest goalscorer of his generation. He will score goals, and thus, you will gain points.
Kylian Mbappe – Forward, Paris St Germain (€10.5 million)
Subject of a £125 million bid from Real Madrid in the summer, the French superstar is quite simply the most exciting talent in the universe.
At just 22, Mbappe has scored a total 27 goals in 43 Champions League matches between his time at Monaco and PSG, while striker winner has also weighed in with 15 assists during the same period. With Club Brugge at home in their first game, you can bank on the World Cup winner to add to his tally to.
Ridle Baku – Defender, Wolfsburg (€5.5 million)
Listed as a defender, the German is most likely to play a more advanced role for his side this season, meaning he is likely to be a high-point scorer in the early weeks of the Champions League campaign.
He’s already had a solid start to the Bundesliga season and was involved in 12 goals for Wolfsburg during 2020/21, so you can look to the 23-year-old as a must-buy for your squad – at least during the group stages.
Who are our top tips and bargains for UEFA Champions League fantasy teams?
Jorginho – Midfielder, Chelsea (€6 million)
The Italian had a season to remember last year, winning the Champions League before adding the European Championship trophy to his list of honours only weeks later.
While he isn’t the most fashionable of names, the Blues look to mean business this year and the 29-year-old should play a huge part in any success they achieve. Expect him to wrack up points from dead ball situations and penalty duties, which he shares with Romelu Lukaku.
Giovanni Reyna – Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund (€7 million)
Son of former Rangers captain Claudio is an emerging talent who looks set to stamp his arrival on the European stage following an impressive start to his Bundesliga campaign saw him hit two goals in the opening three games.
Dortmund will be an attack to be reckoned with this season, and the Sunderland-born youngster will be part of a team which should progress through the group stages with reletive ease.
Diego Jota – Forward, Liverpool (€8 million)
The Portuguese striker has enjoyed an impressive first year at Anfield, scoring 13 goals in just 28 games and he has already started this campaign in a similar vein.
Formerly of Wolves, the 24-year-old looks at home on the big stage and should be a focal point for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who face the likes of AC Milan, Porto and Atletico Madrid in the group stages.
Geronimo Rulli – Goalkeeper, Villarreal (€4.5 million)
He may not have lasted long at Arsenal, but Unai Emery is doing a fine job in La Liga with Villarreal, winning last season’s UEFA Europa League for the first time thanks to a sturdy back four and an exciting frontline.
And they’ve continued that form into the new season, and the bedrock of that solid form is former Dortmund stopper Rulli who has a solid chance of scoring points during the group stages of the campaign and is very well priced at under the €5 million mark.