The draw for the Champions League quarter-finals set up some big ties. With Juventus facing Luis Enrique’s Barcelona and Leicester City continuing their European venture against Atletico Madrid, there are some huge games to enjoy, not to mention Borussia Dortmund versus Monaco.
However, the biggest fixture has got to be Real Madrid’s clash with fellow European heavyweights Bayern Munich. The two clubs both started the season with ambitions of winning the Champions League but one side’s dream is to be cut short early.
Both teams are full of talent and the game is set to be a close affair, but who would make the starting eleven if their squads were combined?
One of the easiest decisions while creating this team was the choice of goalkeeper. While Keylor Navas is an accomplished shot-stopper, he isn’t anywhere near the level of Bayern’s Manuel Neuer. The German number one is world class and he would make it into every team on the planet.
To start the back four, Phillip Lahm gets the nod over Dani Carvajal at right-back. The Spaniard is a quality player but Lahm’s composure and class sets him apart. The German has been performing to the highest level for a long time yet he still produces for his side.
Another Bayern representative in this back four is Jerome Boateng, he partners Real’s Sergio Ramos at centre-back. Both men are leaders and they can also pass the ball progressively from the back.
At left-back, choosing between Marcelo and David Alaba was hard but the Bayern defender just pips the Brazilian to a spot in the side. David Alaba possesses all the qualities that Marcelo has and the Austrian is superb from dead-ball situations, not that he’s likely to get a chance to show this off with the other specialists that are in this side.
With both teams possessing such talent in the middle of the park, this is possibly the hardest area to decide upon. Honourable mentions have to go to Thiago Alcantara, a talented Spaniard that controls games, and Casemiro, a player who has made the holding midfield role at Madrid his own. Isco and James Rodriguez have also become more integral to Zinedine Zidane recently as well.
But, the three men who form this midfield are Xabi Alonso, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Alonso makes the side because of the experience and composure he brings while Modric provides the creative spark and industrious work-rate that is needed in the middle of the park. Kroos then combines the two, with his passing ability on par with Alonso’s and his positioning enabling him to be of use both offensively and defensively.
Starting with the left-winger, Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa all feature out wide for Bayern Munich, but they all lose their position when their squad is combined with Real’s. Cristiano Ronaldo tops the lot and claims the left-wing spot in this combined side. The EURO 2016 winner is one of the best in the world and is the current Ballon D’or holder.
On the right, Gareth Bale pips Arjen Robben to the first-team spot. The Welshman’s has various traits that make him more suitable than Robben. His heading ability, set-pieces and speed, not that the Bayern winger is slow, make him the first-choice right winger.
Up front, both Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowksi would be able to lead the line but the Polish striker claims the striker position. Lewandowski has 26 Bundesliga goals to his name, while Benzema only has nine. The Bayern hitman would replace the Frenchman if he was to join Real Madrid, but if Benzema was to join Bayern, hypothetically, it’s difficult to see him being the starting striker.
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