Fantasy Soccer 2009 – Champions League Review

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The UEFA Champions League tournament is regarded by some as being the biggest and best tournament in the world from any sport. Providing major excitement it might be more entertaining than the World Cup. The Champions League has almost ran its course for the ’08/’09 year and is about to crown its champion.

For those of us that have played Fantasy Champions League this season or plan on playing next season, here are a few tips and player recaps to keep in mind as we move ahead.

Keys to Success
Depending on where you play or what format you are in these tips may vary or be void altogether, however their core ideas remain the same.

– More successful the team the more successful the player –
A few places make you pick one specific roster and use it throughout the duration of the tournament. From a pure numbers standpoint, using this format greatly rewards those who make it deeper and end up playing the most games. If this is the situation you find yourself in, it may be more important to draft who is on the team you think will win rather than the best player on a lackluster team.

– Pay attention to ALL stats –
One fantasy killer in the soccer world is fouls. Fouls, yellow cards and the devious red cards can destroy your total points for a tournament. Some of the best offensive players are also the biggest committers of fouls which nullifies their positive stats. Drafting a weaker offensive player that commits fewer fouls may work out in your advantage when all is said and done. For example, Daniel Alves of Barcelona is a major threat from defense but take him with a grain of alt for he was second in fouls committed in the Champions League tournament with 26. That is a lot of negative points.

– The hidden star –
Fantasy tournaments can be won and lost by finding the gem that goes overlooked by most. Odds are, mostly everyone had Lionel Messi this tournament which nullified the 8 goals he has scored thus far. However, the managers that picked Miroslav Klose who netted 7 and Lisandro of Porto who scored 6 probably are amongst the leaders of their leagues. Find out who excels in tournament games and take a risk or two.

Recap
The Champions League is nearing an end but here is what has happened to some of the bigger names thus far.

– Lionel Messi (Barcelona) –
As mentioned before, he has scored 8 and had an extremely productive Champions League tournament. Barca has marched through their opponents and Messi has been a big factor as to why. He is a constant fantasy contributor and is worth the large price tag. No disappointments here.

– Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) –
Coming into the year Ronaldo was widely considered the best player in the world, however this view likely will switch to Messi following the results of the Champions League tournament. Ronaldo has not lived up to his enormous expectations and has only scored 2 with the tournament nearing an end. He leads all the competition with 26 shots on target, which has been a big fantasy contribution, yet the rarely heard of Lisandro of Porto has a second best 23 shots on target but also 6 goal tallies by his name. Ronaldo has not been his best and his numbers reflect it.

Looking Ahead
This season’s fantasy winner likely will have a roster of Barca players with a few of the hidden gems tossed in. Looking ahead to next year, the transfer of players will once again be an integral point to where a fantasy player’s value is at the start of the next tournament. One thing should be certain: Lionel Messi and Ronaldo will be the most sought players and rightfully so. However, it is the players like this season’s Klose and Lisandro that win it for fantasy managers.