Real Madrid Greatest XI vs Barcelona Greatest XI: Who Wins?

As the world braces itself for 'El Clasico' we run the rule over the best ever players to play for Real Madrid and Barcelona to see which club really is the greatest...
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"I might take the odd dive, but at least I'm not named after one of the Mr Men"

As the world braces itself for 'El Clasico' we run the rule over the best ever players to play for Real Madrid and Barcelona to see which club really is the greatest...


GK: Iker Casillas – Made his debut at 18 and has been No. 1 ever since. From his vantage point between the sticks Casillas has played behind some true greats but the World Cup winner can now rightly consider himself their equal. 8

RB: Miguel Porlan Noguera – Chendo spent 16 years at Madrid, the right-back was an integral part of the Real Madrid side that won 5 straight titles in the late 80’s. 7

CB: Fernando Hierro – The central-defender/ defensive midfielder was as good at the back as he was going forward scoring over 100 goals during his time at the club, helping the side to win just the three Champions League titles. 8

CB: Jose Santamaria – The Uruguayan was the rock at the back of the all conquering Madrid side in the late 50s. The likes of Di Stefano and Puskas could bomb forward knowing that Sanatamaria and co would hold the fort. 8

LB: Jose Antonio Camacho – The tough left-back played over 600 games for Madrid. Miles better than the massively over rated free kick 'specialist' Roberto Carlos. 8

RM: Francisco "Paco" Gento – The only player to win six European Cups. Enough said. 9

CM: Zinedine Zidane – Arguably the best player of his generation. His outrageous volley in the 2002 Champions League final was a snapshot of the unbelievable skill the Frenchman possessed. 9

CM: Alfredo di Stefano – The Argentine (who later also played for Spain) was on the verge of joining Barcelona before Franco intervened and he signed for Madrid. Pele once described him as the ‘best player ever’ 10

LM: Raul – Like Di Stefano history could’ve been so different if the Atletico Madrid youth side he was with wasn’t scrapped by notorious chairman Jesus Gil. As it was he spent 16 years becoming record league appearance holder and scoring goals for fun. 8

CF: Cristiano Ronaldo – Whatever you think about Ronaldo the man, when Cristiano has the ball at his feet they are few more entertaining players in the current game. If only he had a little humility and didn’t roll around like massive twat he could go on to be one of the all-time greats. 8

ST: Ferenc Puskas –Arrived at Madrid overweight, but soon won over the fans with a mercurial left foot. The only player to score a hat-trick in two different European Cup finals. 9

Manager: Miguel Munoz – Won the European Cup as a player three year before becoming the Manger and steering them to a further two European Cups. As if that wasn’t enough led them to nine La Liga titles winning five on the trot between 1960-65. 9

Total Score: 101


GK: Andoni Zubizarreta – The Basque goalkeeper spent eight years at the Camp Nou, and was the number one when Barca won their first ever European Cup in 1992. 7

RB: Carles Puyol – The leader and Captain of the current Barca side, his wholehearted commitment and strength is invaluable and an inspiration to his team mates. The Catalan hero is 32 but few would bet against him lifting even more trophies before he retires. 7

CB: Miguel Angel Nadal – Nadal like Puyol was as tough as they come hence his nickname ‘The Beast'. Played just under 500 games for Barca and would certainly relish the opportunity of looking after the flair players. 7

CB: Ronald Koeman – Prior to the recent triumphs in 2006 and 2009, Barca's finest achievement was on a balmy night at Wembley in 1992 when they finally got their hands on the European Cup. It was the Dutchman who scored the only goal of the game with a trademark free-kick. Added craft to Nadal's guile in the heart of defence. 8

LB: Sergi Barjuan – The attacking full-back was a regular for nearly a decade winning three La Liga medals in the process. 7

RM: Johann Cruyff – In his first season led Barcelona to their first league title since 1960 , scoring in the famous 5-0 victory over their arch enemy at the Bernabeau along the way. That, aside from a Copa Del Rey triumph in 1978, was the only honour he won at Barca, but his spell as player saw him win the hearts of the Barca faithful. 10

LM: Lionel Messi – Finally a true heir to Diego Maradona’s throne, a genius number 10. Only 23 but has done so much already - unbelievable. 9

CM: DiegoMaradona – Diego’s time at Barca may well have been brief, but then the best ever player to play the game is an automatic choice in any side. 10

CM: MichaelLaudrup – The conductor of the dream team managed by Johan Cruyff in the early 90s. Would create something out of nothing and feed the likes of Stoichkov and Romario, the latter calling him the best player he ever played with. He was so good he can just, but only just, be excused for moving to Real Madrid 9

ST: Ronaldo – Sadly now known as the ‘fat Ronaldo’. ‘El Fenomeno’ is a more appropriate moniker and whilst he only spent one season at the Camp Nou but it was an unbelievable season for the lightning quick goal machine. 9

CF: Romario – Recently described himself as the best ever Brazilian player with the exception of Pele. Whilst Garrincha or Zico may not agree, the diminutive and temperamental striker could certainly stake a claim. One-on-one he's had few peers. 9

Manager: Cruyff (player-manager) – The former player returned to the Nou Camp in 1988 and built a side that would become known as the ‘Dream Team’. Led them to four straight titles, but more importantly masterminded the clubs first ever European Cup win. 8

Total Score: 100

Real Madrid shade it by a single point but we imagine it would be a hell of a game. For fans of fantasy, here's how we reckon it would have panned out.

Real Madrid 5: Di Stefano 2 (4,43) C Ronaldo (63) Zidane (88) Puskas (90+4)
Barcelona 4: Maradona (5) Cruyff (17) Romario (58) Ronaldo (90+1)

Ronaldo, Raul, Michael Laudrup, Zidane, Di Stefano, Cruyff, Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Romario, Sanchez, Messi, all feature in the DVD box set 50 Greatest Footballers produced by Pitch International.

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