Real Madrid vs Liverpool combined XI for Champions League final

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images) /
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Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold
Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images) /

LB Andy Robertson

The left-back position has to be occupied by Andy Robertson, who’s the best left-back in the world in my opinion. He’s the perfect example for a two-way full-back though he’s mostly found attacking, and his work rate is unbelievable. His contribution in the final third has been invaluable to the English club, with 2 goals and 15 assists to his name. Real Madrid does have a defensively solid left-back in Ferland Mendy, but he has to make way for a more well-rounded full-back.

CB David Alaba

A leader, an elite ball-progressor, a master at reading the game, a versatile and calculated player, the inventor of new celebrations, and I am running out of adjectives to describe David Alaba. He has to be there in this lineup comprising the best players from both teams. I had picked Militao over Alaba in my combined XI of Real Madrid and Manchester City, but Alaba’s growing influence with each game and Militao’s recent struggles have made this choice easier.

CB Virgil van Dijk

Yet another obvious choice, and this time it’s Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman is having a great comeback season after missing the majority of last season due to an ACL injury and is reminding people why he’s considered to be one of the best defenders currently (though sometimes pundits like Michael Owen take the praise too far). He’s in the 99th percentile for dribbled past per 90, with just one player managing to dribble past him once in 900 minutes. And his ball-playing abilities make him an unmissable choice

RB Trent Alexander-Arnold

If this was 2018, a year in which the finalists were these two teams, Dani Carvajal in his prime would have walked his way into the lineup, against a young inexperienced Trent Alexander-Arnold. Even now the choice is an easy one, but it’s the opposite one. Alexander-Arnold is the best attacking full-back in the world at this moment, and there’s no way we can leave him out. He’s simply inevitable in attack, with 2 goals and 19 assists to his name. Carvajal hasn’t had the best of the times in the last two years with various fitness issues and has to miss out.