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Jun 3, 2014

Bale misses out on UCL top squad spot

UEFA have named seven Real Madrid players in their best squad of the 2013-14 Champions League season, but Gareth Bale has missed the cut.

UEFA have named seven Real Madrid players in their best squad of the 2013-14 Champions League season, but Gareth Bale has missed the cut despite his final heroics against Atletico Madrid.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Angel Di Maria, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Daniel Carvajal were all selected by the UEFA technical study group (TSG) based on their performances throughout the competition, which Los Blancos won with a 4-1 extra-time final victory over rivals Atletico Madrid, with Wales star Bale left out despite six goals and six assists.

UEFA coaching ambassador Sir Alex Ferguson and UEFA's chief technical officer Ioan Lupescu led a meeting after the May 24 final in Lisbon to decide on the final 18-man squad, with Mircea Lucescu, Thomas Schaaf, Fernando Hierro and England manager Roy Hodgson also involved.

Ronaldo set a new Champions League goalscoring record last season, with his late penalty against Atleti setting a new best total of 17 goals in a single campaign for one player.

Modric and Ramos, meanwhile, were influential in saving the final for Real, with the former's corner headed home by the defender to equalise in injury time.

Real netted 41 times altogether, four short of Barcelona's all-time high of 45 in the 1999-2000 season, but a record for a 13-game campaign.

Elsewhere, fellow finalists Atletico are represented by Thibaut Courtois, Diego Godin, Gabi and Diego Costa, who limped off just eight minutes into the clash against Carlo Ancelotti's side.

The 2012-13 holders and last season's semifinalists Bayern Munich also have four players in the squad: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos and Arjen Robben, while fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund have a solitary name in Marco Reus.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic makes the cut after scoring 10 goals in eight games before injury forced him to miss PSG's quarterfinal exit to Chelsea, while Andres Iniesta is the only representative from Barcelona, who also fell at the last-eight to Atletico.

The Catalan giants' exit brought a record-breaking run of six straight semifinal appearances to an end, while Bayern's defeat to Real saw them become the sixth reigning champions to fall at the semis, ensuring no side has ever retained the Champions League.

The TSG's full technical report on the competition will be published in September.

Full squad

Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich); Diego Godín (Atletico Madrid), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid); Gabi (Atletico Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Angel Di María (Real Madrid), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid); Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

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