Real Madrid vs Barcelona: El Clasico combined XI

  • Real Madrid and Barcelona go head-to-head for the third time this season on Sunday
  • Carlo Ancelotti's side looking to take a huge stride to the Spanish title with victory
  • Both sides boast some of the most exciting talents in world football
Real Madrid and Barcelona boast a phenomenal combined XI
Real Madrid and Barcelona boast a phenomenal combined XI / Omar Vega/GettyImages

While Clasico clashes between Real Madrid and Barcelona may not be quite as star-studded as they once were, this fixture still sees some of the world's best duke it out.

Locked in a rather one-sided title race in La Liga, Barcelona can reduce Madrid's lead at the top of the table to a slightly nervy five points should they triumph at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.

Having seen their rivals make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League midweek as they crumbled at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain, Clasico bragging rights would be much appreciated for Xavi's side.

But overcoming the table-toppers will be an almighty challenge for Barcelona given their recent woes in this fixture, including two defeats already this season. For all their talented stars, the Catalan club still don't quite have the same 'X factor' as their fierce foes.

With that in mind, here's the most complete XI that can be pieced together from those available.

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Ter Stegen is a safe pair of hands / Tim Clayton - Corbis/GettyImages

Thibaut Courtois' injury makes this a rather straightforward choice. No offence Andriy Lunin.

Barcelona's Ter Stegen has always been a reliable pair of hands for the Catalan giants and has been a strong performer in spite of his side's defensive difficulties this term. He has often been asked to perform miracles as a result of a porous backline and he tends to oblige.

RB: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)

Manchester City v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League
Carvajal is much-loved in Madrid / Anadolu/GettyImages

The experienced Spaniard showed his reliability against Manchester City in the Champions League midweek and there is a reason that Real haven't rushed to replace the 32-year-old with a traditional 'superstar'.

Carvajal continues to be the first-choice right-back under Carlo Ancelotti and has shown few signs of slowing down any time soon as he chases more glory in the capital.

CB: Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid)

Antonio Rüdiger
Rudiger is a difficult to overcome / Visionhaus/GettyImages

The fierce centre-back would make the cut regardless of injuries, but the absence of his teammate David Alaba makes his inclusion even simpler. Rudiger is one of the world's best defenders and the kind of opponent that few strikers relish facing.

He kept Manchester City's Erling Haaland quiet over two legs in the Champions League and not many forwards can outdo him when it comes to physicality, pace or aggression.

CB: Pau Cubarsi (Barcelona)

Pau Cubarsi
The teenager has been superb this term / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

The 17-year-old's swift rise to the top has been pretty frightening and the fact that he has already muscled some of his teammates out of this team speaks volumes.

Cubarsi has shown his class and maturity during his breakout season in Catalonia and the teenager has never been fazed by the big occasion despite regularly being thrust into the spotlight.

LB: Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid)

Ferland Mendy
Mendy is a reliable customer / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Barcelona don't even come close in the left-back department, with Mendy head and shoulders above the options that the Catalan side possess.

The reliable Frenchman may not have the glamour of his predecessor Marcelo, but he has proved a steady provider for Real in a key area.

CM: Federico Valverde (Real Madrid)

Federico Valverde
Valverde is undroppable for Madrid / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/GettyImages

Eduardo Camavinga and Toni Kroos may feel hard done by - the latter still a world class operator at the age of 34 alongside long-time chum Luka Modric - but there's few better midfielders in world football right now than Fede Valverde.

The Uruguayan can do absolutely any job asked of him, and seemingly has a Duracell battery that would outdo any bunny put in front of him. If it's the sublime you're looking for, look no further than his magnificent volley against Manchester City in the Champions League.

CM: Pedri (Barcelona)

Pedri has quickly become a star / Tim Clayton - Corbis/GettyImages

Midfield is arguably the toughest area of the pitch to decide between, with so many brilliant options for both sides. However, Pedri offers the perfect combination of relentless energy and classy playmaking.

Frenkie de Jong ticks things over nicely for Barcelona but there's only one player whose future at the club is absolutely secure.

CM: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

Jude Bellingham
Bellingham has already made some great Clasico memories / Yasser Bakhsh/GettyImages

One man who was guaranteed a spot in midfield is Madrid's shiniest new recruit. The summer signing has been astonishing since arriving from Borussia Dortmund and showcased his best qualities during the Clasico clash in La Liga earlier this season with two huge goals.

Bellingham can play as a number ten and has even proven himself as a centre-forward this season, with the youngster arguably the best midfielder on the planet at present.

RW: Lamine Yamal (Barcelona)

Lamine Yamal
Yamal is somehow only 16 / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Barcelona's young talents have lit up a pretty bleak season so far and Yamal has shone brightest for Xavi's side. The 16-year-old continues to do simply astonishing things for someone who still can't legally drive himself to and from training.

An electric burst of speed and an eye for goal, Yamal has swiftly become Barcelona's most devastating attacking threat on that right flank.

ST: Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

Vinicius Junior
There are few more exciting players on the planet / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

While Vinicius Junior still prefers to play from the left flank, he has proven himself as an effective attacking option through the middle under Ancelotti. The Brazilian's pace and sharp feet make him a handful for full-backs and centre-backs alike, with few players more entertaining in full flight.

A hat-trick in the Supercopa de Espana final against Barcelona earlier this term was one of his best displays of the season, although there have been plenty to choose from.

Sorry Robert Lewandowski, you're out.

LW: Rodrygo (Real Madrid)

Rodrygo Goes
Rodrygo is often an underrated attacker / Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

There are few forwards more underappreciated than Rodrygo in world football and his usefulness is likely to rather harshly diminish upon Kylian Mbappe's arrival this summer. However, the Brazil star is still a sensational winger, who has often proved to be the difference-maker on the big occasion.

Barcelona would certainly be keen to have someone of Rodrygo's pace and power in their front line and there are few who could deny him a place in this combined XI.