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Champions League final - Combined XI

Saturday 3rd June 2017
Real Madrid and Juventus meet in a titanic Champions League final showdown on 3rd June. Both teams boast immense squad depth and an enviable talent circulating their ranks - it is set to be an enthralling final, where, truly, two of the best teams in Europe lock horns. 

BUT, which players would make the grade and be able to get into a combined XI? Let's find out...

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Whilst the 3-4-3 formation is in vogue, 4-2-3-1 offers a defensive solidity that does not inhibit attack. The personnel that will be chosen from suit this balanced tactical approach.

Manager: Zinedine Zidane

Zidane edges the managerial position on being there and doing it. Max Allegri's Juventus fell to Barcelona in 2015, but Zidane's Madrid saw off Athletico Madrid last season. The Frenchman is pragmatic, yet stylish and has the potential to become one of the all-time great managers.

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon

The Italian oozes class, composure and confidence. Buffon seldom makes a mistake and is a man for the big occasion; the pressure will not get to Buffon. More articulate writers have discussed Buffon's quality, and much more will, but Buffon is a country mile ahead of Madrid's Keylor Navas.

Left-Back: Marcelo 

The Brazilian has been outstanding for Los Blancos this season. Many foresaw Marcelo's exit at Madrid a few years ago - he just wasn't hitting the performances he was used to hitting. This turned out to be a simple blip, however. Marcelo is currently the best left-back in world football.

Centre-backs: Leonardo Bonucci & Giorgio Chiellini 

The pair normally play in a three with Andrea Barzagli, but it is Chiellini and Bonucci who make the difference - that is not to ignore Barzagli who is also a fantastic centre-back. Bonucci and Chiellini are rocks; it's a football cliche, but it is so true in this instance. Madrid's forward line will have an immensely difficult task in getting in behind the Juventus defence.

Right-back: Dani Alves

Alves left Barcelona last summer: in hindsight, Barca probably should have kept him. Alves has lost a little bit of his former pace but is still an exceptional defender and a fantastic addition to a mean Juve defence.

CDM: Toni Kroos & Luka Modric

The Madrid pair has formed a telepathic partnership this season, forming the foundation for a Madrid attack that has thrived. The vision and calmness both players possess belong to the very best of world football.

RAM: Cristiano Ronaldo

No justification is necessary here, Ronaldo is still electrifying, scoring consecutive hat-tricks in the last two knock-out rounds and might be the man to decide the final.

CAM: Isco

There has been talk, that if Gareth Bale is fit he will start over Isco, but Zidane would be folly to do so. The Spaniard has been scintillating for Madrid in recent months - it was his goal that extinguished a brief Athletic flame in the semi-final - and deserves a starting place.

LAM: Paulo Dybala

Argentina's best product since Lionel Messi, Dybala has a very bright future ahead of him and will surely thrive on the world's biggest stage come Saturday.

ST: Gonzalo Higuain 

A ruthless goal scorer - both poacher and deft finisher. He gets the nod over Karim Benzema.

Combined XI final count

Real Madrid 5 - Juventus 6. You would not want to play against this eleven; this shows that Saturday will be a fascinating battle of the elite in European football.

Michael Jones

Football & political writer with a predictable love of everything retro. English Literature undergraduate at the University of Exeter, looking to pursue a career in sports journalism. For a collection of my work, visit. http://mikejonesmedia.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @jonesmichael_97

Total articles: 276

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