Real Madrid vs. Manchester City Combined XI for Champions League Semifinal

Real Madrid vs. Manchester City (Photo by Visionhaus)
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City (Photo by Visionhaus) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Modric
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

CM Luka Modric

If there’s any name on this list whose inclusion deserves the least justification, it’s Luka Modric. A Ballon d’Or winner, a four-time Champions League winner, the epitome of consistency and longevity, a player who’s balling at the age of 36, one of the best clutch players in Europe, what else should I call him? People usually tend to forget him, but he keeps reminding people that he’s the best midfielder of this generation by producing magical moments like Tuesday’s incredible trivela assist to Rodrygo.

Speaking of his current form, he has 4 assists in the Champions League, with three of them coming in knockout stage masterclasses against Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. I think this stat is enough to talk about his form in Europe, and his thirst for success.

DM Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos’ inclusion might surprise some people due to two reasons: the position in which he’s selected, and his current form. Toni Kroos hasn’t really been a DM at Real Madrid, with his team-mate Casemiro being a definite starter in that position. But he has the experience of playing as a DM, and in a lineup like this, which is filled with technically sound and hard-working players, I’m sure that the technically perfect Toni Kroos deserves a spot in this team and I can see him excelling in a team like this.

And regarding Toni Kroos’ current form, it is true that the German hasn’t reached the level of performance that is expected from him in recent weeks. But this is where we should remember something. Toni Kroos’ standards are so high that a below-average game from him can be an excellent game for some other midfielders. He’s just adapting to a new role in his life under Carlo Ancelotti, and I’m sure this is something he can shake off.

CM Kevin De Bruyne

While making a combined XI of players from Real Madrid and Manchester City, it would be a crime to leave Kevin De Bruyne out of this list. He’s one of the best midfielders in the world, and he has always proved his worth from time to time. I usually describe him as a perfect blend of technical prowess and athleticism, but looking at his performances this season, I think I should add the word clutch player too.

The 30-year-old has 14 goals and 8 assists in all competitions this season, with 7 of those goals coming against Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Leicester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United. And he has won the most number of Man of the Match awards in the Champions League in the last two seasons, which is simply an unbelievable stat.