The 7 best players in the Champions League semi-finals - ranked

  • Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich in the semi-finals
  • Dortmund's defence held off PSG to book their place in the final
  • The best players from the semi-final games
Vinicius Junior and Mats Hummels stood out for Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund
Vinicius Junior and Mats Hummels stood out for Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund / Eurasia Sport Images / Contributor and ANP / Contributor

The 2023/24 Champions League semi-finals were every bit as exciting, dramatic and shocking as we were hoping they would be.

Favourites Real Madrid left it late to secure their place in the showpiece event at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night, while underdogs Borussia Dortmund shockingly swept aside Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on aggregate, despite the Ligue 1 giants hitting the post 10 times over the two semi-final legs.

And after all that fun, here's the seven best performing players of the round.

7. Eric Dier

Eric Dier
Played well / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

If you had've told a Tottenham fan that Eric Dier was going to be one of the best performing players in this season's Champions League semi-finals their jaw probably would've hit the floor.

Partly because Tottenham didn't even qualify for the tournament, but mainly because Dier had been rather awful in recent months for the north London club.

In May 2024 in the Champions League semi-finals, however, the centre-back was actually bloody brilliant against Real Madrid. Dier put his body on the line on countless occasions across the two legs - his block to deny Brahim Diaz being particularly impressive - and was rather unfortunate to be on the losing side with Bayern.

6. Jadon Sancho

Nuno Mendes, Jadon Sancho
Starred in the first leg / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Another player who performed surprisingly well in the semi-finals this season was Jadon Sancho.

After being essentially kicked out of Manchester by Erik ten Hag, Sancho had actually continued to struggle for form since his loan move back to Borussia Dortmund up until last week.

Then 2020 Sancho returned.

The wide forward was in mesmeric form for BVB in the first leg against PSG, completing a ridiculous 12 dribbles in the win at the Signal Iduna Park.

5. Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos
Legendary midfielder / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

With 95% passing accuracy, and an inch perfect assist to his name, it's fair to say that Toni Kroos played quite well in this season's Champions League semi-finals.

The German was the metronome at the heart of Madrid's midfield against Bayern, keeping his team on top by retaining possession expertly throughout both legs.

4. Nico Schlotterbeck

Kylian Mbappé, Nico Schlotterbeck
Top class / Lionel Hahn/GettyImages

Keeping a clean sheet when up against Kylian Mbappe is pretty damn impressive.

Keeping two is also unheard.

That's exactly what Nico Schlotterbeck helped Borussia Dortmund do in the semi-finals, holding his own against some of the best forwards in world football throughout the 180 minutes of gruelling action.

3. Joselu

Surprise hero / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

From Stoke City flop to Real Madrid hero.

That is not a normal career path.

And yet, here's Joselu - the man who once played horribly for Stoke City now scoring a brace to see Real Madrid through to a UEFA Champions League final.

It's a strange world that we live in.

2. Mats Hummels

Mats Hummels
Match winner / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

At 35 years old, Mats Hummels may have just put in the two best performances of his long career.

Hummels was utterly exceptional at the heart of Dortmund's defence throughout the two legs, earning player of the match plaudits in both games.

He was also pretty effective in the final third too, netting the only goal of the second leg to secure Dortmund's place in the final.

1. Vinicius Junior

Vinicius Jr.
World class / David Ramos/GettyImages

Real Madrid's big game player.

Considering how good Real Madrid are and how many big games they play in, that's quite the tag to bestow on Vinicius Junior, but bah gawd has he earned it.

The wide forward once again came up trumps for Los Blancos when they needed him the most, provided two goals in the first leg and making mincemeat of Joshua Kimmich in the second leg to help his side through to yet another final.