For the second time in the last three years, it’s an all-Madrid affair in the UEFA Champions League final as Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid prepare to meet once again. Both teams each have very talented players on their squad, but who would make it into a combined XI of both teams?
Goalkeeper: Oblak over Navas
Jan Oblak slightly edges out Keylor Navas here. You can’t go wrong with either keeper, but Oblak is part of the best defence in the league. The Slovenian has fantastic reflexes and is commanding in the air, which is impressive for someone as young as him.
Defenders: Carvajal, Godin, Ramos, Marcelo
Real Madrid players take three of the four defender spots. Just like the goalkeeper spot, the right back spot is a toss-up between Dani Carvajal and Juanfran. Carvajal just edges out Juanfran here as his consistent performances at right back were key for Los Blancos this season.
Sergio Ramos and Diego Godin earn the nods at centre-back without a question. Both men are considered the best in the world at the position, and it’s fair to say that taking either of them out of their respective clubs does more harm than good.
Marcelo then gets the berth at left back; another no-brainer. No knock on Filipe Luis, but Marcelo’s ability to both attack and defend at such high rates is phenomenal, plus his skill on and with the ball is second to none for a defender.
Midfielders: Bale, Modric, Koke, Ronaldo
Was there ever a doubt on the left wing? The league’s second top goal-scorer and solo top goal=scorer of the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo has been terrorising opponents all throughout the year.
Luka Modric and Koke run the central midfield. Both players pull the strings for their respective teams, and although Koke plays left midfield, you can’t pick him over Ronaldo. However, his ability to play in the central midfield gives him the nod.
Gareth Bale earns the final midfield spot on the right wing. Statistically, it wasn’t the best season for the Welsh winger, but the triple threat known as the BBC are always a force to be reckoned with.
Forwards: Griezmann and Benzema the front two
Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann gets the nod at the centre forward as the star striker of Los Rojiblancos. He’s joined by countryman and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
Griezmann is the perfect man to play center forward with his pace, ability to create, and ability to ability to be a threat on his own, the right complement to Benzema.
Manager: Simeone, the tactical genius
No knock on Zinedine Zidane on what he’s done so far with Los Blancos, but Diego Simeone has a massive edge in this category.
In his tenure so far, he’s transformed Atletico Madrid into a regular La Liga contender who regularly give Barcelona and Real Madrid headaches. Let’s not forget his defensive record of keeping a clean sheet in more than half the games he’s managed.
His infectious personality makes you either love him or love to hate him. He's one of the best managers in world football today without a doubt.