A combined XI for Real Madrid vs. PSG: Did Lionel Messi or Vinicius Jr. make the front three?

Real Madrid vs. PSG (Photo by Visionhaus)
Real Madrid vs. PSG (Photo by Visionhaus) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr.
Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Left Winger – Vinicius Jr

Vinicius Jr. has had an incredible season! Not that he was poor in past seasons; he was incredibly skilled and quick with the ball even then, but he lacked the numbers that have now begun to come in numerically. His partnership with Karim Benzema is unrivalled, as both have generated massive results and comfortably carried Real Madrid’s front row.

The Brazilian might have finished the act in Paris, but weariness took its toll on his young legs. It is evident that the athlete is fatigued, which is understandable and commendable at such a young age.

Who do you believe can outperform him, Lionel Messi? I don’t think so because, let’s face it, it’s been Vinicius’ moment all season, and there’s little chance any other winger (right or left) can take it away from him. Vinicius has definitely outperformed in both the domestic league and the UCL. Another statistical game? Let’s get started:

I don’t think there’s any need to compare goals and assists because we already know who has been superior in that category, so let’s get to the meat of the matter. SOT percent (Shots on target percentage) indicates that over 50% of Vinicius’ total shots are on target, whereas Messi’s is only 29 percent. In terms of successful dribbles that lead to a shot attempt, Vinicius leads the way with 16 SCA dribbles, while Messi has 9 SCA dribbles. The Brazilian has performed 83 successful dribbles while pacing past 94 players, whilst the Argentine superstar has accomplished 45 successful dribbles while pacing past 50 men.

With all respect to Messi, as I said before, it has been Vinicius’ time and no other winger can steal it away from him.

Centre Forward – Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

There should be no doubt that finding a better CF/striker than Benzema in the world right now, let alone at PSG, is impossible. The humiliatingly unjust placing in the Ballon d’Or could not bring Benzema down, but rather fueled his desire to score and contribute for his club. Also, you can’t put Vinicius in a team and ignore Benzema because they’ve been on a tear since the start of the 21/22 season.

In addition to the factors in favour of Benzema, Paris Saint-Germain have failed to find a natural striker (Mbappe is a winger by nature) since the departure of Edinson Cavani. The Frenchman is unquestionably the best choice to spearhead this imaginary XI’s offense.

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Right Winger – Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint Germain)

He scored, he bewildered, he demolished, he did all he could to beat Real Madrid and succeeded. Mbappe was too much for Real’s defence to handle, and restraining him appeared impossible. Although the player began the game on the other flank, his ability to play on either of the two allows me to quickly flip the wings for him. And, of course, Vinicius and Mbappe might switch positions at any time.

It’s ironic that the guy who is nearly certain to join Real Madrid to boost the squad is also the one who revealed its shortcomings and called many people’s careers into question. He surged all over the wing and pressured all four defenders, and I can’t think of a single Real Madrid player who could compete with him for this position.

Incidentally, it is also exhilarating to realize that this front three may not just exist in a fictional XI but become a reality next season where we could actually see Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema, and Kylian Mbappe play together!