Two of the most exciting attacking sides in world football will go head to head in the Champions League on Friday night. We’ve put together a Barcelona – Bayern Munich combined XI. Who would make yours?
Barcelona – Bayern Munich combined XI
GK – Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
There was a time when Manuel Neuer was widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world. Unfortunately for him, that time was around 2015 and, although he’s still clearly a very capable goalkeeper, ter Stegen is in the conversation for best in the world at the moment so definitely makes our Barcelona – Bayern Munich combined XI.
RB – Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Third on our list of the best right-backs in the world right now. As far as we’re concerned there’s only two players who would get in this team above Joshua Kimmich and neither of them are Nelson Semedo.
LB – Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
The Spaniard might slightly be on the decline now but his performances and, in particular, attacking output this season just keep him ahead of Alphonso Davies who looks to have a huge future. Ask again in a year and you’d probably get a different answer. Both made our list of the best left-backs in world football.
CB – Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
There are four centre-backs in contention here; Gerard Pique, Jerome Boateng, Clement Lenglet and David Alaba. The first to get in has to be Gerard Pique who remains a class act. His wealth of experience will prove invaluable in our Barcelona – Bayern Munich combined XI.
CB – Clement Lenglet (Barcelona)
Frenchman Lenglet gets the second spot ahead of David Alaba. Lenglet has had a fantastic season and has contributed more tackles per game (1.6), interceptions per game (1.3), clearances per game (2.6) and blocks per game (0.5) than the Austrian so has to get the nod.
DM – Sergio Busquets
A bit of a default selection as Bayern don’t play with a specialist defensive midfielder. However, even if they did, they’d have to pull a pretty special one out of the bag to keep out Sergio Busquets who is one of the greatest midfielders of the century so far.
CM – Frenkie De Jong
From one of the best midfielders of the last ten years to one of the best of the next ten. Frenkie De Jong has been arguably the most successful exponent of the Ajax side that did so well to reach the Champions League semi-finals last season before, inevitably, being picked apart. He has established himself in the heart of the Barca midfield, making 41 appearances across all competitions in his debut season, and looks set to stay there for a long time.
CM – Thiago Alcantara
The Spaniard, a product of the famous La Masia academy, could return to haunt his old side for Bayern. The diminutive midfielder has turned down a new contract at Bayern though and has been linked to Liverpool and Manchester City. Can he leave the Bavarian giants on a high?
RW – Leo Messi
No real explanation needed. Considered by most to be the greatest player of all time. He scored pretty much all of the goals. Never mind our Barcelona – Bayern Munich combined XI, he gets in any XI you can think of including an all time one.
LW – Ansu Fati
Ivan Perisic and Kingsley Coman tend to share left-wing duties for Bayern which leads us to include 17-year-old Ansu Fati, who many at Barcelona hope will take over from Messi and inherit the title of world’s best player.
In a time when plenty of supposedly generational talents such as Kylian Mbappe, Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and others are emerging, there is a suspicious that at a club who know how to build a superstar like no other, Fati could become the best of the lot and dominate world football in the years to come.
CF – Robert Lewandowski
After a frankly incredible season in which he has become the Bundesliga’s third highest scorer all time, Robert Lewandowski has left Harry Kane in his dust to become the best natural striker in world football.
34 goals and 4 assists in 31 Bundesliga games, 13 goals and 4 assists in 7 Champions League matches. In total Lewandowski has 53 goals and 8 assists in 44 matches in all competitions, a goal contribution every 63 minutes. He is ridiculous and not even Luis Suarez can keep him out.
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