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Goal.com's panel of experts select the best players from the current Real Madrid and Barcelona team to form a combined XI...

The Clasico blockbusters between Real Madrid and Barcelona have reached stratospheric levels over the past few years as both clubs make it their mission to parade the best players in the world on the field.

The money, time and effort spent signing and nurturing the superstars have allowed the two Spanish behemoths to boast some of the most high-profile footballers on the planet today in every position.

As such, selecting a combined current XI from two outrageously talented squads was never going to be easy, but Goal.com's panel of six football experts have individually pencilled in their team sheet, and the players with the most votes have made it into the best Real Madrid-Barcelona XI.

Formation: 4-3-1-2


Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 6/6


There's an argument that Victor Valdes has become more than a match for Casillas in recent years, but Goal.com's six editors unanimously picked the World Cup-winning captain ahead of his Barcelona counterpart.


Right-back: Dani Alves (Barcelona)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 6/6

The Brazilian has long had a see-saw battle with Sergio Ramos in the fight to be recognised as the best right-back in Spain, and indeed the world. And the votes are in, as far as Goal.com's select six are concerned - it's a comprehensive win for Dani.


Centre-back: Carles Puyol (Barcelona)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 5/6

The Catalan icon was never in doubt of being in the team, although he did not win a clean sweep of votes. Puyol isn't just one of the best defenders in the world today, he's also the backbone of one of the greatest club sides in history.


Centre-back: Pepe (Real Madrid)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 3/6

Only half of Goal.com's six-man panel selected Pepe, but it was enough for him to be placed alongside Puyol in the combined XI. The Portuguese just edged out Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, who both got two votes each.


Left-back: Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 6/6

He has often been criticised for his slipshod defending, but the improvements he has made under Jose Mourinho has certainly impressed Goal.com's six editors. Marcelo has become more assured at the back, but he has also been one of the most important attacking figures for Madrid this season.

Midfielder: Xavi (Barcelona)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 6/6

No surprises here. One of the greatest passers of the football ever in the game, Xavi is the beating heart of his Barca side. Everyone needs a maestro, a conductor in their team, and no one does it better than the 31-year-old.


Defensive midfielder: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 4/6

The surprise inclusion in the combined XI, not because he is undeserving, but because he beat out Xabi Alonso for this position. Young Busquets' has become one of the most vital components in the Barca midfield and his importance is recognised by Goal.com's panel.


Midfielder: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 6/6

If Xavi is a dead-certainty in any team, so is Iniesta. The two midfield geniuses go hand in hand, and it's little wonder that all six Goal.com editors unanimously wanted the pair in their XI. Even on his own, Don Andres would waltz into any team.

Attacking midfielder: Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 5/6

The only 'newbie' in the combined XI. Ozil has been a revelation at Madrid this season following his summer move from Werder Bremen, and his exploits has been rewarded with a spot in a team brimming with the best players in the world.

Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 6/6

No further explanation needed as to why the best player in the world today got all six votes. Messi would be the first name on any team-sheet and you just have to wonder how many of Goal.com's six specialists had his name down first.


Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Selected by Goal.com editors: 6/6

It's only apt that the XI is completed by the
man many regard as the most complete modern footballer. He may have lost his 'best player in the world' mantle to a trio of Barcelona stars, but there's always a place in any team for CR7.

THE BREAKDOWN

Here's how each of our six editors selected their best Real Madrid-Barcelona XI. Players who didn't make the team are in italics.

Sulmaan Ahmad
4-3-3
 
Casillas
Alves, Ramos, Pique, Marcelo
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Di Maria, Messi, Ronaldo

Carlo Garganese
4-3-1-2
 
Casillas
Alves, Puyol, Pique, Marcelo
Xavi, Alonso, Iniesta
Ozil
Ronaldo, Messi

Ben Hayward
4-1-3-2
 
Casillas
Alves, Puyol, Pepe, Marcelo
Busquets
Ozil, Xavi, Iniesta
Ronaldo, Messi
KS Leong
4-4-1-1
 
Casillas
Alves, Ramos, Puyol, Marcelo
Ronaldo, Xavi, Alonso, Iniesta
Ozil
Messi

Ewan Macdonald
4-3-1-2
 
Casillas
Alves, Puyol, Pepe, Marcelo
Xavi, Buquets, Iniesta
Ozil
Ronaldo, Messi
Paul Macdonald
4-3-3
 
Casillas
Alves, Puyol, Pepe, Marcelo
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Ronaldo, Messi, Ozil


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Did what so few defenders have managed to this season and dealt with Nani's two pronged approach of cutting inside or taking the ball down the channel with relative ease. The Cameroonian never really looked threatened at White Hart Lane, delivering a fine performance.

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