Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Combined XI for Matchday 30

Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid CM Toni Kroos

Expect a clean sweep from Real Madrid’s midfield. Toni Kroos has been the best player in the world at the position this season, putting together passing statistics that will water your eyes due to their beauty. Yes, numbers can be beautiful.

Kroos’ midfield play is definitely “beautiful”, too. Look no further than his assist for Vinicius Junior for Real Madrid’s first goal against Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. The 31-year-old is untouchable right now, controlling matches and resisting the press impeccably. His touch on passes across the pitch is so perfect that it is getting hard to believe he is human.

Real Madrid DM Casemiro

A critical player in El Clasico against Lionel Messi and Co. due to the tireless defensive cover he provides Los Merengues, Casemiro had eight tackles against Liverpool on Tuesday night. The Brazilian defensive midfielder is the best in the world at his position, and his play since the calendar flipped to 2021 has been just as good as his MVP-caliber 2019-2020 campaign.

Sergio Busquets is still a good player and is honestly quite underrated, but I cannot place him over Casemiro. The latter’s energy and defensive quality put him at another level from his peers.

Real Madrid CM Luka Modric

Luka Modric bossed Barcelona at the Camp Nou earlier this season, and he looks set to have an encore performance in his own house this April. The Croatian international has played game after game for Los Blancos, running up and down the pitch and recovering balls at a rate of someone 10 years his junior.

We saw Modric put on a masterclass against Atalanta, and he was also quite good in his most recent Champions League match vs. Liverpool, picking Sadio Mane’s pocket twice when it seemed like the Senegalese superstar was sure to create danger.

Modric is right there with Kroos as one of the world’s best midfielders. Frenkie de Jong is fantastic, but he is not yet in the same area code as the magical 35-year-old.