Real Madrid start their defense of the UEFA Champions League title for the third consecutive time on Thursday, with last year’s semi-finalists AS Roma visiting the Bernabeu for a Group G clash of the proverbial titans.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 19, 2018
Here, we pick the Combined XI from the stars of Real Madrid & AS Roma for their upcoming UEFA Champions League fixture.
Goalkeeper – Thibaut Courtois (Real)
— Thibaut Courtois (@thibautcourtois) September 8, 2018
Real Madrid’s Goalkeeper scenario is presumably stronger than any other side in Europe. With two world-class keepers in Keylor Navas, the UEFA Champions League Goalkeeper of the year, and Thibaut Courtois, FIFA World Cup 2018 Golden Glove winner. Both of them are considered leagues above the new Roma stopper Robin Olsen.
Right Back – Alessandro Florenzi (Roma)
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 16, 2018
Despite Roma performing below average in the start of this season, their wing-back Alessandro Florenzi has been excellent, registering a goal and an assist in just 3 matches this season. He gets the nod ahead of experienced Spanish fullback Dani Carvajal.
Centre Back – Kostas Manolas (Roma)
Ever wonder why Kostas Manolas picked the No.4⃣4⃣ jersey? 🐺
The Greek defender himself answers that question, and a few more… 🇬🇷😉
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 14, 2018
Greek veteran Kostas Manolas is considered as one of the best defenders in Europe since the last 5 years. The 27-year-old gets picked ahead of Raphael Varane simply due to his transcendent experience.
Centre Back – Sergio Ramos (Real)
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) September 18, 2018
The skipper has taken over penalty duties since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. The 32-year-old defender still retains his position as one of the best in Europe.
Left Back – Marcelo (Real)
— Marcelotwelve (@MarceloM12) September 18, 2018
Often considered the best left back in modern football, Marcelo is yet to find the net for Madrid this season and based on his attacking style of play, the Brazillian must be desperate for a goal.
Right Midfield – Gareth Bale (Real)
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) September 18, 2018
Gareth Bale has been in blistering form recently. The Wales international has scored 3 and assisted 2 in his opening four La Liga appearances this term.
Centre Midfield – Toni Kroos (Real)
Still some work left – but a good step in the right direction! pic.twitter.com/RjAJt50n5m
— Toni Kroos (@ToniKroos) September 10, 2018
Toni Kroos forms 1/2 of the best midfield in the World beside his Real Madrid partner Luka Modric.
Centre Midfield – Luka Modric (Real)
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 9, 2018
The other half of the best midfield duo in the World and the UEFA Midfielder & Player of the Year and FIFA World Cup 2018 Golden Ball winner, Luka Modric is key to Real Madrid’s success.
Left Midfield – Marco Asensio (Real)
The talented Spaniard is yet to open his account for Madrid this season. Marco Asensio will hope he can score when it matters, in the biggest competition in Europe.
Striker – Edin Dzeko (Roma)
Edin Dzeko will break Bosnia’s appearance record against Austria today.
He's up there with the best at international level. pic.twitter.com/NJDpnMuXRj
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 11, 2018
Edin Dzeko remains one of the star names in the Roma team sheet. An effective striker when provided adequate service, Dzeko will be key to finding the net against the Spanish giants.
Striker – Karim Benzema (Real)
— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) September 18, 2018
Karim Benzema seems to have found his feet early this season. The French striker has scored 4 goals in his 4 games in the La Liga this season.