Combined XI: What Would A Joint Juventus And Real Madrid Look Like?
Juventus and Real Madrid lock horns in the Champions League final tomorrow in what promises to be a cracker of a game.
Undeniably, part of the build-up going into a game of this magnitude comprises of comparing the two sides and their players, and so naturally, we've together a combined Juventus-Real Madrid XI.
GK: Gianluigi Buffon:
The 39-year old just gets better with age, doesn't he? Gigi is having another fine season with the Bianconeri, winning a six consecutive Scudetto as well as lifting the Coppa Italia. Seeing him finally get his hands on the Champions League trophy - the only prize that has evaded him, on Saturday, would be quite special.
RB: Dani Alves:
What were Barcelona thinking in getting rid of him? While the Blaugrana have had great difficulty on the right side of their backline this term, with Douglas, Aleix Vidal and makeshift right-back Sergi Roberto all struggling, Alves has been phenomenal in Turin, and churned in two sensational performances over the two legs against Monaco in the semi-finals, where he grabbed two assists in the first leg and bagged a stunning volley in the second.
CB: Leonardo Bonucci:
If you are looking for the complete defender, Leonardo Bonucci is not a bad place to start at all. An excellent reader of the game with a knack for an inspired block or last-ditch challenge, the former Bari man is also frighteningly comfortable on the ball - that outrageous solo goal against Genoa last month a perfect example.
CB: Giorgio Chiellini:
Completing the all-Italian, all Juventus centre-back partnership is Giorgio Chiellini, who has again been instrumental in another Serie A success, and Champions League final appearance. Adopting a more no-nonsense and less flashy style of defending, Chiellini is the perfect foil for Bonucci and it shows on the pitch.
Left-back is one of the toughest positions to pick, with it being a toss-up between two Brazilians. Alex Sandro has been brilliant for Juventus this season, but his compatriot Marcelo just edges it. The 29-year old is uber consistent and as well as being devastating going forward, he is much better defensively than people give him credit for.
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CM: Luka Modric:
The diminutive Croatian is another Real player who exudes consistency and regularly produces the goods. With his range of passing, he's absolutely fundamental to Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid side and Juventus will need to stop him running the game in Cardiff.
CM: Toni Kroos:
Max Allegri will also be aware that even if his side are able to nullify the threat of Modric and press him quickly, they'll have to try and replicate the same duty on his midfield colleague Toni Kroos. Xavi paid the German the ultimate compliment by touting him as his successor and considering the manner in which Kroos is able to dictate the tempo of a game, it's a comparison that one can definitely make.
The Argentinian has played a deeper role this season for Juventus this season, often dropping off and playing behind Gonzalo Higuain but it's suited him perfectly. The 23-year old has scored 19 goals in all competitions this term, including the deadly double that helped knock out Barcelona at the quarter final stage.
Earlier in the season, the former Malaga midfielder was subject to exit talk after being unhappy with the lack of game-time he was receiving. But over the course of the season, particularly in the absence of Gareth Bale where he deputised superbly, he's proved to be a vital cog in the Real Madrid side. A joy to watch, Isco should get the nod ahead of Bale on Saturday.
The man of the moment. If you want big goals, you call upon your big players and they don't come much bigger than Cristiano Ronaldo. He has become more of a 'moment player' in recent times, but boy has he been delivering the goods - scoring 36 goals in all competitions for Madrid and breaking numerous records in the process. 'CR7' has eight goals in his past four Champions League games and is vying to win Europe's premier competition for the fourth time in Cardiff.
Juventus forked out huge money when they paid £75m to recruit Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli in the summer, but he's justified that price tag with his goalscoring exploits in Turin this term. As it stands, the Argentine has 32 goals to his name in all competitions - including a brace against Monaco in the semi-final first leg. He'll no doubt he out to get one over his former employers Real Madrid at the Principality Stadium.
What would be your combined XI? And what is your prediction for Saturday's final?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports
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