Real Madrid’s all-time best XI in the Champions League

Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CARAMEL/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CARAMEL/AFP via Getty Images) /

LB Marcelo

It was a very difficult decision to choose between Marcelo and Roberto Carlos – two of the greatest left-backs of all time. Roberto Carlos might have a slight edge over Marcelo when we look at their overall career, but Marcelo has the edge over Carlos in the Champions League, winning one title more. And there is a chance of Marcelo, who is already Real Madrid’s most decorated player, leading his team to victory this weekend, taking his tally to 5 Champions League titles.

Being an attack-minded full-back, Marcelo has registered 9 goals and 24 assists for Real Madrid in the Champions League, with a lot of them coming in the knockout stages. His contributions were so important and frequent that he scored a goal each in the round of 16, quarter-finals, and semi-finals of the 2017/18 season, with each goal being a decisive one in deciding the winner of the tie. His most memorable goal must be the one scored in the La Decima final and his best performance should be the one against Bayern Munich in the second leg of the 2016/17 quarter-finals, with the Brazilian proving himself at both ends of the pitch.

CB Sergio Ramos

We’re talking about Real Madrid’s greatest XI of the Champions League, was there ever any chance of Sergio Ramos missing out from this list? A player who has won four Champions League titles with Real Madrid, winning three of them as a captain, and has led by example, by scoring a lot of memorable goals for the team in the competition, including two match-winning goals in two finals, was always going to make the list.

He’s a player who has re-written the definition of leadership with his achievements at Real Madrid, as a captain. A charismatic leader and one of the greatest centre-backs of all time, his best moment in the Champions League must be his equalizing header in the La Decima final of 2014 when the clock read 92:48(+5). There just can’t be a moment better than that in the whole history of the Champions League.

CB Fernando Hierro

With time, we might be forgetting Fernando Hierro, but the legendary defender was one of a kind, and his name won’t be wiped off the history books. He was a highly versatile footballer, who could play both as a centre-back and a central midfielder. He also could score some amazing goals, being a perfect blend of technical finesse and athleticism, and scored 7 goals in the Champions League.

He won the ‘trophy with big ears’ thrice in his fourteen-year career with Real Madrid, and played a crucial role in the 1998 Champions League final, a game that Real Madrid won 1-0, with his defensive partnership with Manolo Sanchis being an important reason for a clean-sheet against a dangerous Juve side.

RB Dani Carvajal

Real Madrid has had a lot of great right-backs play for them in the Champions League era, but the best one has to be the team’s current right-back, Dani Carvajal. The Spaniard has been one of the team’s most hardworking players in the competition, playing a key role in Real’s last four Champions League titles.

He had won his first Champions League title in his first season as a first-team player, after returning from Bayer Leverkusen, and there is a chance that he might make it five titles this weekend. He still has a long career in front of him, and I see him making his legacy bigger and bigger with time.