Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
CORDON/Press Association Images Anders Iniesta features in our team.
# dream team
Do you agree with our best Barcelona and Real Madrid combined XI?
We pick the top current players from the two sides ahead of tonight’s Clasico.


CLAUDIO BRAVO ULTIMATELY makes it in, but it was a tough choice between the Chilean goalkeeper and Iker Casillas. If you were to base it on an entire career, the latter would get the nod, but Bravo has been the better goalkeeper this season and thus deserves his spot in the team.


Though Rafael Varane is highly promising, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos are undoubtedly the top centre-backs in La Liga right now, meaning they fill the two slots here. The role played by Barca’s full-backs in providing width and a threat down the flanks is vital and often underestimated, with praise invariably reserved for others, hence Jordi Alba and Dani Alves make it in at the expense of Marcelo and Fábio Coentrão among others.


Probably the toughest area from which to pick players with so many viable candidates, cases could be made for Ivan Rakitic, James Rodriguez and Javier Mascherano, while World Cup winner Toni Kroos is particularly unlucky to miss out. However, Luka Modric – whose recent absence through injury has unsurprisingly coincided with Real’s loss of form — and three-time Ballon d’Or nominee Andrés Iniesta have both been exceptional players in recent seasons, and while Sergio Busquets may not be as naturally talented as many players on the bench, the element of steel he adds to proceedings is invaluable to Barca.


Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are, without question, the first two names on the teamsheet. Picking the third attacker is more complex and while Neymar, Bale and Benzema could all consider themselves unlucky, Luis Suarez is the best out-and-out striker of the lot, as his phenomenal stats in recent years illustrate, and would complement the world’s two best players nicely.



Alves Ramos Pique Alba

Iniesta Busquets Modric

Messi Suarez Ronaldo

Subs: Rafael Varane, Javier Mascherano, Ivan Rakitic, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Neymar, Gareth Bale.

What would be your best combined XI? Let us know in the comments section below.

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