The task for UEFA's team of technical observers, when they met on the morning after the final in Cardiff, was to select a squad of 18 from a shortlist of 47 players who had caught their eyes along the road to Wales.
Inevitably, it had to be a ruthless selection process in which, in particular, players from semi-finalists Barcelona could understandably feel hard-done-by. Seven of their players had been shortlisted but, in the final judgement, none was rewarded. No fewer than eight of the 2017 squad (Sarah Bouhaddi, Griedge M'Bock Bathy, Wendie Renard, Saki Kumagai, Camille Abily, Eugénie Le Sommer, Cristiane and Dzsenifer Marozsán) had also been named the previous season – Marozsán as an attacker at Frankfurt in 2016, here as the occupant of a more withdrawn role with Olympique Lyonnais.
The two finalists inevitably provided the lion's share of the names on the team sheet at the end of a season dominated by French clubs. That does not prevent the list from having a cosmopolitan character, with exactly half of the squad playing their football outside their native countries.