Champions League

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UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 Review the best action images from Champions League Round of 16 /foxsoccer/championsleague/gallery/round-of-16-first-leg-matches-players-managers-clubs-action-shots-images-021814
UEFA Champions League - Group Stage Review the best images from the UEFA Champions League group stage /foxsoccer/championsleague/gallery/group-stage-december-10-11-teams-players-managers-matchday-six-121013 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/10/121013-UCL-United-FACING-UP-DG-PI_20131210092359398_136_102.JPG
UEFA Champions League - Group Stage Review the best images from the UEFA Champions League group stage /foxsoccer/championsleague/gallery/group-stage-november-26-27-teams-players-managers-matchday-five-112613 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/11/26/112613-Soccer-Celtic-vs-AC-Milan-PI-AA_20131126163805375_136_102.JPG
UEFA Champions League - Group Stage Review the best images from the UEFA Champions League group stage /foxsoccer/championsleague/gallery/group-stage-november-5-6-teams-players-managers-matchday-four-110513 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/11/05/Reaching-out-PI_20131105104213199_136_102.JPG
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Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485010 Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG Zlatan+Ibrahimovic%2C+PSG Champions League

Who should you be paying attention to in the knockout stage of the Champions League?

Let's start with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He is crucial for PSG’s attack. So far in the Champions League, the Sweden international has two goals and five assists. Not too shabby. The big man with an even bigger personality is a great leader for this relatively young side, and if he gets hot – watch out.

Want to know who else is worth keeping your eye on? Read on to find out.

Benoit Tessier - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G1_20121219231530198_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G1_20121219231530198_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485063 Jonas, Valencia Jonas%2C+Valencia Champions League

The Brazilian forward scored four goals for Valencia in the group stages, and will be crucial moving forward. His partnership with Roberto Soldado will be crucial to Valencia's hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals.

REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/20/Valencia-Jonas-GI_20121220011810254_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/20/Valencia-Jonas-GI_20121220011810254_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485027 Burak Yilmaz, Galatasaray Burak+Yilmaz%2C+Galatasaray Champions League

Yilmaz is the joint top goal-scorer in the group stage with Cristiano Ronaldo, both having scored six goals. He will be key to Galatasaray's chances of getting into the last eight. The Turks have landed a favorable draw in Schalke but will still need Yilmaz to be in top form.

Osman Orsal - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G16_20121219232307227_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G16_20121219232307227_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485026 Fraser Forster, Celtic Fraser+Forster%2C+Celtic Champions League

If you watched Celtic’s epic win over Barcelona, then you saw the heroic effort put in by Forster. He made save after save to keep the Spanish giants at bay. If he can put in another incredible performance in the knockout stage, Celtic will have a fighting chance to move on to the next round.

Steven Paston - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G15_20121219232307226_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G15_20121219232307226_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485021 Willian, Shakhtar Donetsk Willian%2C+Shakhtar+Donetsk Champions League

The Brazilian has been a key component in Shakhtar’s success in the Champions League thus far. And his pairing with fellow Brazilian Fernandinho has created a strong midfield – and one that many big clubs across Europe have been eyeing. Reports have both Brazilians linked with teams like Manchester United and Chelsea.

Jed Leicester - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G13_20121219232158220_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G13_20121219232158220_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485019 Stephan El Shaarawy, AC Milan Stephan+El+Shaarawy%2C+AC+Milan Champions League

The young Italian striker has been turning heads over the last few months and is a hot transfer market target for a reason. Not only does he score goals, but he is relentless all over the pitch – his constant hard work on defense paired with his offensive talents make El Shaarawy one to keep an eye on in this round of play.

Alessandro Garofalo - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G11_20121219232016215_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G11_20121219232016215_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485017 Santi Cazorla, Arsenal Santi+Cazorla%2C+Arsenal Champions League

Yes, Arsenal have had their ups and downs across all competitions this season, but one general consistency has been Cazorla. The Spanish midfielder has all the ability in the world, and can both create goals and score some magnificent ones. If he can jump-start the Gunners’ offense in the knockout stage, the midfield magician will help lead Arsenal deep in the competition.

Tony O'Brien - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G10_20121219232016213_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G10_20121219232016213_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485018 Jackson Martinez, Porto Jackson+Martinez%2C+Porto Champions League

The young, talented Colombian got off to a bit of a slow start in the Champions League, not scoring his first goal until match day three, but scored a total of three goals in the group stage. If he can continue to find the back of the net for Porto, their hopes of making it out of the knockout round could become a reality.

Miguel Vidal - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G9_20121219232016212_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G9_20121219232016212_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485014 Javi Martinez, Bayern Munich Javi+Martinez%2C+Bayern+Munich Champions League

Center back Jerome Boateng is suspended for the next round and with Holger Badstuber sidelined for the year, it may be up to Martinez to step in alongside Dante. The defensive midfielder will be critical in shoring up the backline and protecting Bayerns' aggresive attack until Boateng gets back.

Michaela Rehle - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G6_20121219231755205_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G6_20121219231755205_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485015 Arturo Vidal, Juventus Arturo+Vidal%2C+Juventus Champions League

It’s easy to point to veteran Andrea Pirlo or Claudio Marchisio as the key to this Juventus side, but it’s the performance of Vidal that could really top the balance in Juve’s favor in the knockout stages. He had three goals and two assists in the group stage, and should he continue his form while surrounded by the previously mentioned midfield maestros, Juventus could make a strong push through the knockout round.

Alessandro Garofalo - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G5_20121219231755206_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G5_20121219231755206_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485013 Ilkay Gündogan, Borussia Dortmund Ilkay+G%26uuml%3Bndogan%2C+Borussia+Dortmund Champions League

We all know Dortmund’s attack is lethal (See Reus, Gotze and Lewandowski) and the defense is stout (Hummels, Subotic), so it will come down to the midfield play to see how far BVB can go. Gundogan was brought in to replace Nuri Sahin and after a so-so first season with the club, he has enjoyed a great 2012, starting nearly every match and earning national team call-ups. He is the link between the two strong points in Dortmund’s game.

Kai Pfaffenbach - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G4_20121219231755204_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G4_20121219231755204_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485012 Isco, Malaga Isco%2C+Malaga Champions League

The 20-year old midfielder has two goals and three assists so far in this Champions League campaign. Even at a young age, he has shown maturity and composure that Malaga will need in their round of 16 clash with Porto.

Jon Nazca - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G3_20121219231531199_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G3_20121219231531199_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485011 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke 04 Klaas-Jan+Huntelaar%2C+Schalke+04 Champions League

The Dutch striker will be critical in scoring for Schalke in the next round of the Champions League. Right now, the team is in a bit of a crisis that has cost Schalke coaching leged Huub Stevens his job. Huntelaar has also reportedly agreed to an extension, which could provide extra motivation to lift the club out of its funk.

Wolfgang Rattay - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G2_20121219231530197_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G2_20121219231530197_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485020 Robin van Persie, Manchester United Robin+van+Persie%2C+Manchester+United Champions League

Manchester United’s defense still lacks consistency, but Robin van Persie has been the opposite: United can always count on him to get the job done offensively. As long as he can stay hot alongside Wayne Rooney, United will have a shot at getting into the next round – they may give up a few goals, but they’ll have no trouble scoring more than they let in.

Darren Staples - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G8_20121219232016214_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G8_20121219232016214_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485023 Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid Cristiano+Ronaldo%2C+Real+Madrid Champions League

The Portuguese forward will need to show up and have a strong performance to help lift Madrid out of its slump. The club has struggled during a season in which Barcelona is running away with La Liga. Could their league woes help motivate Ronaldo and Madrid in the Champions League? Probably, and that’s why no one wants to face the Spanish giants in the knockout stages. Despite their poor form as of late, this team is stacked with talent.

Enrique Calvo - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G12_20121219232158222_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G12_20121219232158222_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 2100 Champions League players to watch in knockout stage 31485016 Lionel Messi, Barcelona Lionel+Messi%2C+Barcelona Champions League

The goal-scoring machine will lead Barcelona’s offensive efforts in the knockout stages. It is almost a guarantee that Messi will show up and score (or at least assist), so you won’t want to take your eyes off the little genius in the next round.

Albert Gea - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G7_20121219231755207_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/12/19/121912-Soccer-UCL-TV-G7_20121219231755207_107_80.JPG
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