Manchester City v Real Madrid combined XI

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You probably couldn't find a more expensive line-up in world football. When Manchester City take on Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final, the wages on that pitch will be astronomical. 

City surprisingly knocked out Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals with Kevin De Bruyne scoring the winner at the Etihad. 

While Real Madrid had to come from two goals behind in the first leg to defeat Wolfsburg 3-2 on aggregate thanks to, who else, but Cristiano Ronaldo.


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Here's the combined XI in a 4-2-3-1 formation. 


The City keeper hasn't had the best of campaigns this season, but he gets the nod over Keylor Navas because he is capable of special performances. 

He had to be on inspiring form to keep the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic out at the Etihad, and if it wasn't for him they might not be in the semi-finals right now. 

Even though he made silly errors this season, he has made key saves at big moments in matches. The game against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light was just one match in which the England goalkeeper was imperious. 


The full-back position is certainly the weak link for both sides and will be the weakness both teams will be looking to exploit. 

Bacary Sagna and Paulo Zabaleta have been incredible in the past but now look past their best. That means due to a process of elimination, Daniel Carvajal is in at right-back.

The Real Madrid defender has rotated with Brazilian Danilo this season, but the former Bayer Leverkusen full-back is more defensively solid than his colleague and that will be key when facing some of the best forwards in world football. 


The only problem with Vincent Kompany is getting him on the pitch. Arguably the best defender in the world on his day, the Belgian is quick, reads the game superbly and dominant in the air. 

He doesn't just make his side more resolute but his leadership is vital in organising the defence. Despite spending over a reported £70 million for Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi - Kompany is by far City's strongest central defender. 


Another player that struggles with injury, but again on his day, there aren't many better defenders around. 

The French International is currently out of the side due to injury, but may make a return for the semi-final. With the pace of Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navas, Varane's electric speed will be crucial in keeping Real Madrid in the tie. 

Sergio Ramos and Pepe miss out because they're both often reckless and out of position. They're ticking time bombs waiting to be sent off and in the latter stages of the competition, you need cool heads.


As already mentioned the full-back positions are a vulnerability for both sides. Marcelo is far from defensively sound, but his technical ability often gets him out of trouble. 

Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov are both in their thirties now and have always been susceptible defensively even in their peak days. 

With all of the full-backs in these two squads a liability defensively, you have to judge them on the attacking ability. Marcelo scored in the Champions League final just under two years ago and will be looking to take them to another final again. 


Since his move from Tottenham, he has often been the unsung hero at Real Madrid. While Luka Modric goes about his business quietly, his impact on the team is indispensable.

He often decides the tempo of the match in Real Madrid's favour. If they need a goal you can guarantee the Croatian will ramp up the speed of the passing, and in turn, slow it down when holding onto a lead. 

Yaya Toure, Fernando, and Fernandinho have all struggled this season in the holding midfield role and none of them possess the passing ability that Modric does. 


Linked with a move away from the Bernabeu many Premier League clubs will be interested in Toni Kroos. 

With many teams frequently playing a 4-2-3-1 formation these days, it's very difficult to find a player who is versatile enough to play as one of the deeper defensive midfield roles. 

You have to be able to read the game well, start attacks and win the ball back as quickly as possible. Kroos can do just that and that's why this guy has won the World Cup. 


Another former Tottenham player in the side, this time, the most expensive player in the world. Even though Cristiano Ronaldo won't like me saying that. 

The Welsh winger has hit back at his critics last season and had another excellent season. Scoring 15 goals and 11 assists already, despite being injured for large chunks of the season is a phenomenal achievement. 

City lack wingers, Jesus Navas doesn't have the end product needed to win big trophies, while Raheem Sterling still has much to prove at 21-years-old. 


You wonder where Manchester City would be in the league if it wasn't for Kevin De Bruyne getting injured at the start of 2016. 

Since his return to the side, he has scored three goals in the last four games, with Pellegrini's side undefeated in those matches. 

The former Wolfsburg player has set up 46 goals in the last two seasons, that's nine more than Ronaldo and only five fewer than Lionel Messi. 


You all knew this guy was going to be on the list and he doesn't really need much of an introduction. 

Ronaldo has received heavy criticism this year for not scoring big goals in big moments but has fought back in the last week. He scored the winner in the El Classico and scored a hat-trick to take Real Madrid to the semi-finals. 

This guy might be 31 now, but he is far from past his best. After all, he has more league and Champions League goals than Messi this season.


Now this was one of the toughest calls in the selection. Do you go for Sergio Aguero or Karim Benzema? 

It wasn't easy but the Argentine just pips the Real Madrid forward. The reason being that Benzema often needs a few chances to put the ball in the back of the net, whereas Aguero, tends to be more ruthless in front of goal. 

Benzema has the two most expensive players in world football around him so is bound to have scored a few more than Aguero, but his goal tally should be higher with those players around him. 

The City forward might not be in the best of form at the moment, but it's the big matches that he usually steps up and performs, so don't bet against Aguero being the match winner. 

Which team do you think will qualify for the Champions League final? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!

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UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero

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