Barcelona beat their fierce rivals Real Madrid in La Liga this past weekend, but which players would make an ultimate El Clasico XI?
Let's take a look:
Goalkeeper - Diego Lopez: Since joining Real Madrid in 2013, Diego Lopez has been a model of consistency for Los Blancos, and his fantastic performances in-between the posts have forced the legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas out of the team.
Right-back - Dani Alves: The Brazilian's marauding runs up and down the right flank create so many opportunities for his teammates, and his delivery in the final third is as good as any winger's. However, sometimes his defensive positioning can be called into question
Centre-back: Sergio Ramos: The Spanish centre back has been a loyal servant to Real Madrid since joining them eight years ago, and his performances throughout the last few years have solidified his title as one of the world's best defenders- it's hard to believe that he is still only 27.
Centre-back - Raphael Varane: The young centre back has been so impressive for Real Madrid, and his performances have been praised by many pundits and critics throughout the last year. Boasting good pace, a fantastic reading of the game, and excellent aerial ability, Raphael Varane is already one of the best centre backs in the world at the exceptionally young age of 20, and is already well on the way to becoming the world's best.
Left-back - Jordi Alba: Like his fellow Brazillian, Jordi Alba's surging runs up and down the left flank create numerous opportunities for his team, and also allows him to score an impressive amount of goals for a left back. Alba possesses incredible pace and seemingly relentless energy, along with a good passing ability for a full back - no other left back covers as much ground as the little Spaniard, and for this reason, he gets the nod to start in this team, ahead of Marcelo. His conversion from a winger to a full back looks to have been an incredibly insightful move, however, like Alves, his defensive positioning is not always efficient.
Centre defensive-midfield - Sergio Busquets: Pep Guardiola moulded the young Sergio Busquets into the perfect CDM, with a fantastic passing ability and ability to retain possession, along with strong defensive positioning. Guardiola's training seems to have paid off, as Busquets has developed into a pivotal player for both Spain and Barcelona, whilst his performances have been praised by Del Bosque, who claimed "If I were a player, I would like to be like Busquets." Busquets faced very tough competition from Xabi Alonso, but due to the latter's recent injury problems, Busquets starts in this team.
Centre-midfield - Xavi: The legendary Spaniard is one of the biggest reasons for Barcelona's dominance. His pinpoint passing and ability to control a game is among the best in history, and allows Barcelona to dominate possession, which they do so effortlessly. Finding a replacement for Xavi is going to be one of Barcelona's biggest challenges, as very few players have the ability to control the tempo of a game quite like Xavi can.
Centre-midfield - Andres Iniesta: Like Xavi, Iniesta has been an important factor in Barcelona's recent dominance. His passing, vision, first touch, dribbling and skill is matched by only a select few the planet, and at the age of 29, Iniesta is in the peak years of his career as a footballer,and also enjoying some of his best football.
Left-winger - Ronaldo: The left wing spot in this team was only ever going to be occupied by one player, Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is seemingly the complete player- strong in the air, quick, skilful, with an eye for goal and a ferocious long shot that can trouble even the best goalkeepers. Ronaldo already has an impressive record in El Clasico, and is second in the world only to Lionel Messi.
Centre-forward - Lionel Messi: There is nothing that can be said about the best player in the world, that hasn't already been said. No other player has dribbling, ball control, first touch and finishing ability quite like Leo. After an unbelievable return of 91 goals in 2012, it was only fair that Messi won his fourth consecutive Ballon D'or, and it was inevitable that he secures the striking role in this team.
Right-winger - Angel Di Maria: There was very tough competition for the right wing spot in this team, with both teams boasting a plethora of talented wingers, including Pedro, Neymar, Tello, Bale, and Sanchez, but over the last two years, Angel Di Maria has been arguably the right winger in La Liga, and therefore gets his spot in this team. The Argentine international is one of the best crossers of the ball in the world, and is also one of the most skilful players; his return of 14 goals and 15 assists last season is very impressive for a winger.
Substitutes: Bale, Pedro, Pique, Isco, Alonso, Modric, Neymar
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