Tomorrow evening we will witness the biggest game in club football. The UEFA Champions League Final will emanate live from Kiev. In that final we’ll witness defending champions Real Madrid take on the daring pretenders Liverpool. It’s a clash that sees the two top scoring teams in the tournament go head to head in a winner takes all duel.
If that weren’t enough, we’ll see the two best players in the world today, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohammed Salah on the same pitch at the same time. They’re a dream team duo but in their respective teams, who would join them in a combined XI?
Here’s a 2018 UEFA Champions League Final combined XI.
The Costa Rican may be prone to an error or two, but on his day, he’s up there with the best in the world. The 31-year-old has made 28 saves on the road to the final, against Liverpool he’ll be hoping for a few more.
The Spaniard is everything a modern-day full-back should be. He’s vital to attacks and virtually unbeatable in defence.
There’s no doubt about it, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos is one of the greatest center-backs of all time. Sometimes people cite his rashness as a weakness but it’s that passion that has allowed him to lead Real Madrid to 17 trophies. Including three UCL titles, will a fourth be added in Kiev?
There are not many better in 1v1 situations than Raphael Varane. The Frenchman is quick, strong, good in the air and positionally astute. He is the future of Real Madrid and world defending.
Some say he may not be able to defend, but Marcelo is, without doubt, the best left-back on the planet. Year after year his exploits down the flank leave fans astounded as he regularly decides games through his brilliance. However, up against Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah, the Brazilian will face his toughest and most exciting test of the season.
The fact that the German may be moving to Juventus from Liverpool in the summer only further reiterates how much of a talent he is. On the ball he’s dominant, off it he’s incredibly disciplined.
The Croatian may be 33-years old but there still aren’t many who can do what he does on the ball. It’s almost as if he effortlessly turns defence into attack with just one or two touches. In a counter-attacking side like Real Madrid, Modrić is the key to Zinedine Zidane’s tactics.
Alongside Modrić is the dictating Toni Kroos. As the conductor of the team, Kroos is responsible for ensuring Madrid can maintain possession in times of the game where they need to slow the pace down. Without Kroos, there is no control in the middle of the pitch for Los Blancos.
This wouldn’t be a combined XI without the Premier League’s golden boot winner. This season, the 25-year-old has taken his stock to new heights by netting an astounding 43 goals for Liverpool, 10 of them in the Champions League. It’s this form that has put him in the upper echelon of footballing talents worldwide.
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t just the best player in the world because of marketability, he’s the best because he delivers when his club needs him most. On the route to Kiev, the 33-year-old has scored 15 goals, making him the top scorer once again.
He already boasts the record for most goals in a single UCL campaign, whilst simultaneously being the all-time top scorer in the tournament. This is Cristiano Ronaldo’s tournament and against Liverpool, he’ll prove that again.
Because of the exploits of Mohammed Salah, Roberto Firmino’s form has gone under the radar. Let it be known that the 26-year-old has directly contributed to 40 goals this season. By deploying himself as a false 9, Firmino has sacrificed his goal scoring capabilities for the greater good of the team.