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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 22 August, 2019
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Do you agree with our best combined Barca-Bayern XI ?

We pick out the cream of the crop from these two exceptional sides.

Xabi Alonso makes the cut.
Xabi Alonso makes the cut.

Goalkeeper

AS GOOD AS both Claudio Bravo and Marc-André ter Stegen are at Barca, Manuel Neuer is generally regarded as the world’s best goalkeeper and therefore deserves his place in the side.

Defence

The versatile Holger Badstuber is an accomplished defender but simply too injury-prone to justify selecting in the team. There is a case to be made for Javier Mascherano, but we’ve gone for the more physical Jerome Boateng as well as Gerard Pique — someone who’s won virtually everything in the game. There is plenty of competition at full-back too. David Alaba is set to miss tonight’s match but himself and Philipp Lahm are arguably better all-round defenders than their Barca counterparts.

Midfield

Sergio Busquets is one big name that has to be content with a place on the bench. The Spaniard is just as accomplished defensively as Bastian Schweinsteiger but doesn’t bring quite as much going forward. The same cannot be said for Xabi Alonso and Anders Iniesta however, both of whose creativity would complement the more physical World Cup winner nicely.

Attack

An embarrassment of riches can be summed up by the fact that a player as talented as Thiago can’t even get on the bench. Leaving out Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Neymar was extremely difficult, but Thomas Müller’s less obvious but equally effective footballing intelligence gets him the nod, while picking Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez needs little justification.

Team

Neuer

Lahm Boateng Pique Alaba

Schweinsteiger Alonso Iniesta

Müller

Messi Suarez

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Subs: Bravo, Busquets, Mascherano, Ribery, Robben, Lewandowski, Neymar.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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