Lucio of Inter Milan celebrates in the sprinklers after victory in the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Barcelona and Inter Milan at Camp Nou on April 28, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Striker: Lionel Messi, Barcelona
The reigning World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi once again proved his greatness in this year's Champions League. Leading all players with eight goals in the competition, the defining moment of Messi's tournament was scoring four times in the second leg against Arsenal in the quarterfinals.
Striker: Ivica Olic, Bayern Munich
Olic capped a fantastic campaign with a hat trick in the second leg of Bayern's semifinal against Lyon. The 3-0 win in France put the German side in the final, while the three goals gave Olic seven goals in the competition, just one behind leader Lionel Messi.
Midfielder: Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich
Perhaps the player of the competition, Robben has twice saved Bayern from elimination late in the 2nd leg of a knockout round match. With his German side down 3-2 on aggregate against Fiorentina, Robben unleashed a furious strike into the upper left corner of the net. Bayern would advance on away goals. Against Manchester United, Bayern faced a similar predicament, trailing 4-3 on aggregate with less than 20 minutes left at Old Trafford. Robben took a long service off corner straight out of the air, a sent a punishing shot just inside the post to cut down the Red Devils.
Midfielder: Xavi, Barcelona
Xavi's true contributions are rarely found on the scoresheet. It's how he controls a game that separates Xavi from other midfielders. The engine that powers the world's most dynamic offense, Xavi once again proved himself to be the most influential player on the pitch, match in and match out.
Midfielder: Yoann Gourcuff, Bordeaux
At just 23 years old, Gourcuff has already emerged as a world-class midfielder. The dynamic player led Bordeaux to a quarterfinal appearance, registering two goals and two assists in the competition.
Midfielder: Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal
The Gunners captain gets himself on to this list for two reasons. First, his four goals and two assists -- combined with the rest of his stellar play -- led Arsenal into the quarterfinals before running into juggernaut Barcelona. But perhaps more important than that, the grit and determination he showed by trying to soldier on despite a broken leg against the Catalans inspired his teammates and soccer fans everywhere.
Defender: Lucio, Inter Milan
You don't shut down Barcelona's vaunted offense without a stalwart in the middle. You certainly don't do it with 10 men. And yet, that's exactly what Inter Milan did in the second leg of their semifinal clash. Lucio's performance against Barcelona was simply the latest in a string of tremendous efforts, including one that helped Inter shut out Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Round of 16.
Defender: Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal
Arsenal, known more for their fluid style of play than lock-down defending, showed up on both ends of the pitch during the Champions League. Vermaelen (foreground in photo) was the biggest reason why. Until the second leg of their quarterfinal in which Lionel Messi scored four goals for Barcelona, Arsenal did not give up more the two goals in any match during the competition.
Defender: Maicon, Inter Milan
While Inter Milan's defensive excellence is much-admired, Maicon provides a versatility that few right backs can. His ability to push forward and join the attack adds a dimension to Inter in the offensive third. Maicon scored a crucial goal in the first leg of Inter's semifinal match against Barcelona.
Defender: Patrice Evra, Manchester United
Perhaps the best left back in the world, Evra was United's most consistent defender during the length of the campaign. Tasked with marking some of the world's best wingers, Evra was consistently up to the task. United fans are probably still wondering what would have happened if Rafael had not been shown a second yellow card early in the second half of the return leg against Bayern.
Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar, Inter Milan
Cesar had enough great saves in the 2nd leg against Barcelona to constitute a highlight reel in and of itself. His leadership, positioning and phenomenal reaction time and leaping ability are probably the biggest reasons that Inter find themselves in the final.
Manager: Jose Mourinho, Inter Milan
The sight of Mourinho running around the field triumphantly at the Nou Camp may be the defining image of this competition. His Inter side knocked off Chelsea, his former team, with a tactical plan that can only be described as masterful. Once Inter went down to 10 men in the second leg against Barcelona, it was Mourinho's superlative coaching and strategy that led the Italian team into the final.