Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Combined XI: Who has the most starters?

Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /
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Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Barcelona LW Ansu Fati

This is where Barcelona starts to wipe the floor. Vinicius Junior vs. Ansu Fati is the closest battle at the forward positions, because Vinicius is the inspiration for Real Madrid. As we saw against Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Valladolid, and Levante this season, Vini is often the player taking on the responsibility. He’s quietly becoming a more effective goal-scorer, which is huge news for Los Blancos. Vinicius is the future.

But Ansu Fati is already a prolific goal-scorer for Barcelona. His eye for goal, cool head, and technical quality are simply sensational for a player of his age. It is often hard to believe that Fati is only 17, because he takes his chances like a veteran. Fati already has three goals in La Liga and one goal in the Champions League. He had seven league goals in just 1,027 minutes last season, too.

Barcelona RW Antoine Griezmann

Ronald Koeman seems to dislike Antoine Griezmann, which is a travesty since the French star is one of the best players we have seen in La Liga in this era. Griezmann is a weapon on counterattacks with sublime technical quality and finishing. Because he is left-footed and favors the right side of the pitch, he can come into conflict with Lionel Messi’s preferred areas, though I strongly believe both players can co-exist.

Real Madrid have a talented young right winger in Marco Asensio, who is becoming very important to Los Blancos in 2020. But Asensio is not in the same bracket as Griezmann in terms of individual quality or accomplishments at a club or international level. Griezmann is still world-class.

Barcelona CF Lionel Messi

Just as Real Madrid swept the midfield, Barcelona sweep the attack, but their “win” may be more decisive. Karim Benzema is a great striker despite his struggles this season, but his downturn in form has severely hurt Los Blancos.

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Furthermore, Benzema, like Asensio vs. Griezmann, is not in the same bracket as Lionel Messi. The Argentine forward is one of the greatest of all-time. Benzema is a club legend, but he is not in that Messi tier. Against literally any other center-forward in La Liga, Benzema would get the nod. But against Messi, he must take second place.