With Barcelona already champions of Spain and Real Madrid soon to enter their third consecutive Champions League final, there becomes little to play for in this Clasico other than bragging rights, as Barcelona play host to Real Madrid in the first game since the Catalan giants sealed their seventh La Liga title in the last decade.
For Barcelona, this tie is about getting closer to becoming the first team in La Liga history to go unbeaten. As for Madrid, a victory is important for them if they are to achieve second place behind Barcelona. Zinedine Zidane’s men currently sit in third, four points behind their city rivals Atletico Madrid.
As football fans, we fantasise what it would be like if Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were to join forces. Just imagine how ridiculously good (and expensive) it would be if Barcelona and Real Madrid were to combine their teams.
Let’s take a look:
1. GK: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
Starting with one of the harder positions to chose. You could pick either Ter Stegen or Keylor Navas between the sticks, as quite frankly, both are world class.
However, the German ‘keeper just about beats the Costa Rican this time, as Barcelona’s number one has been more consistent and important for his side as of late.
The German boasts exceptional reflexes and shot-stopping ability. Still only 26, he is starting to become one of Europe’s best.
2. RB: Sergi Roberto
If Dani Carvajal was injury-free, he would occupy this position. However the Madrid right-back came off in the first half of the mid-week clash against Bayern Munich, thus leaving the position open for Sergi Roberto.
Roberto boasts high levels of intelligence within the game. His knowledge stems from moving through the ranks at Barcelona over the last 10 years.
Initially deployed as a midfielder in his Barcelona career, the Spaniard has made that right-back position his own now, and has a tremendous passing ability down that right wing.
3. LB: Marcelo
Arguably the best in this position in world football today.
Now in his 11th year at the club, the Brazilian is putting him up there with some of the greats of the football club, including fellow left-back and compatriot Roberto Carlos.
Defensively sound, as well as creatively brilliant. Marcelo is a easy choice for this position.
4. CB: Gerard Pique
A key figure for Barcelona for the last 10 years.
Tall, strong, intelligent and now vastly experienced – Pique has turned himself into one of world football’s modern greats.
This man has been an integral part of this record-breaking Barcelona team once again this season.
5. CB: Sergio Ramos
Ramos is arguably the best defender in world football. The Madrid captain is one of the first names on this team-sheet no doubt.
Defensively superior to most, with a knack of scoring important goals. Ramos is a true footballing great.
Ramos and Pique may be rivals at club level, but these two have proven to be solid together also at inernational level.
6. CM: Toni Kroos
A pass master. Intelligent. Sensational technical ability. Toni Kroos has been vital in Real Madrid’s European dominance over the last five years.
Rarely have we ever seen Kroos have a bad game since he moved to the Spanish giants in 2014. And if he ever does, Madrid don’t perform well.
This man was only worth 30m euros from Bayern Munich. What. A. Bargain.
7. CM: Sergio Busquets
This man has to be one of the most underrated players in the history of football. A mainstay in the Barcelona set-up since he was 17, Busquets has been vital in the centre of the park for his side for almost a decade.
Defensively mature, unrivaled intelligence and an exceptional passing ability.
Busquets becomes important whenever he steps on the field – he is just one of those players who becomes necessary in winning titles with his knowledge of the game.
8. CM: Luka Modric
The 31-year old Croatian has become so important for Real Madrid over the last three seasons – a large contrast from his first two seasons at the club.
Not many, if any, in world football can match this mans technical ability. He’s not much of a goal-scorer, but a genius in his own right.
9. RW: Lionel Messi
The Argentine scored his 46th career hat-trick to seal the league title for Barcelona against Deportivo last week. That was just another day at the office, and he loves a Clasico…
10. ST: Luis Suarez
Suarez still remains one of the best strikers around. Although not his best goal-scoring season, the 31-year old still, quite easily, beats Karim Benzema to this position.
You just cannot rest with Suarez around – he’s a deadly number nine. The Uruguayan has five goals in nine appearances against Real Madrid since joining from Liverpool in 2014.
11. LW: Cristiano Ronaldo
He’s still as good as he’s ever been, but this year, he’s been making his mark in Europe a little more than domestically.
Ronaldo is on course for a record equalling fifth Champions League crown this season, but would love to take the spoils and Barca’s unbeaten run with them on Sunday.