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Bassey makes Europa League Team of the Season, Aribo misses out

CALVIN Bassey has been named as one of the best players in the 2021/2022 UEFA Europa League campaign in the end-of-the season awards.

The Super Eagles and Rangers defender was included in the competition’s Team of the Season announced today by UEFA, although his compatriot and club mate Joe Aribo, who also had a brilliant campaign, was left out.

Bassey is in the Europa League best XI as the left-sided centre-back in a back three, with West Ham’s Craig Dawson and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Martin Hinteregger the other central defenders.

Bassey, 22, is one of three Rangers players in the selection, which was made by UEFA’s Technical Observer Panel.

The other Rangers players in the XI are captain James Tavernier, deployed as the right wing-back, and Ryan Kent, who is one of the three forwards.

Cup winners Frankfurt have three other players in the selection along with Hinteregger: goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, midfielder Filip Kostic and forward Rafael Santos Borre.

The other players making up the best XI are West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer and Leipzig forward Christopher Nkuku.

Bassey played 15 games in the Europa League this season as Rangers reached their first European final since 2008, and the Nigeria international was consistently brilliant during the run.

In the final on Wednesday, with the attention of the football world focused on the big match in Seville, Spain, Bassey displayed his full array of qualities and left everyone raving about his talent, even as Rangers lost on penalties.

The towering defender posted a man-of-the-match performance, putting his strength, anticipation, pace and recovery powers on full display.

The young defender made his Nigeria debut in March, playing in both legs of the World Cup playoffs against Ghana.

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Naija Times