Friday 9 December 2016

No place for Ribery, Alves or Neymar in our Barcelona/Bayern Munich Dream Team

Published 06/05/2015 | 12:55

Manuel Neuer, Luis Suarez and Leo Messi all feature in our Barcelona/Batern Munich Dream Team
Manuel Neuer, Luis Suarez and Leo Messi all feature in our Barcelona/Batern Munich Dream Team

Five Barcelona and six Bayern Munich players make our dream team selection.

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The two giants of European football clash tonight in the first-leg of the semi-final and some glittering players miss out on our selection.

Javier Mascherano, Dani Alves, Franck Ribery, Mario Goetze and Neymar are among those who will have to be content with a place on the bench.

Goalkeeper

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Among the top three in the world at present, the Bayern shot-stopper has a clear advantage over his opposite number Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Defence

Phillip Lahm (Bayern Munich)

Mr Bayern Munich, the now retired international still oozes class and is the launchpad for many attacking moves. Cool and composed under pressure, which gives him the edge over Dani Alves.

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Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

An outstanding reader of the game, his game suffers when Sergio Busquests is not in the team offering protection in front of the back four. Easily the best centre half between the two squads.

Jordi Alba (Barcelona)

Plays as if he has been at the Nou Camp all his career. The €14m signing in 2012 is a constant threat on the left flank and one of a rare breed of Barcelona full backs, seems to actually  enjoy defending. Has played in every Champions League game this term.

Midfield

Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Could be placed in any midfield or attacking position, but the World Cup star is put on the right on this team. Drifts across the line, has an eye for a goal and always a nuisance for defences. Not the most elegant player on the pitch, but often the most effective.

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Xabi Alonso (Bayern Munich)

Speaking of timeless players, the former Liverpool man is still the player for the big occasion. Picking the ball from the defence, his use of the ball and economy of possession is matched by very few. Stunning free-kick in the demolition of Porto highlighted the range of set-piece experts at Pep Guardiola's disposal.

Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

His involvement in Neymar's goal against PSG in the Nou Camp last time out was a reminder that he remains one of the most gifted play-makers in the game. Rarely takes the wrong option on the ball.

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Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

The Dutch speed merchant is a doubt for tonight's match and Barcelona boss Luis Enrique will shed few tears if the former Real Madrid man fails to appear at the Nou Camp. Can infuriate fans with his theatrics, but an elusive and dangerous runner with the ball at his feet.

Attack

Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

Has six goals in seven European games this term, and almost single handedly destroyed Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain and has struck up potent understanding with Neymar and Messi. His long-awaited start at the Nou Camp is proving to be worth the wait.

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Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

After watching his rival Ronaldo eek ahead in the all-time goalscorers list last night, Messi will look to hit the goal scoring trail against the Bundesliga champions. Is the form striker this calender year despite drawing blanks in his last four European games and has ably assisted Neymar and Suarez at every opportunity.

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Neymar may have more Champions League goals (six to the Pole's five), but there is still a suspicion that Lewandowski is more clinical and reliable in the crunch games. The towering striker offers a different threat to the Barcelona front three and has the ability to bring those around him into play in the danger areas.

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Dream Team (3-4-3): Neuer; Lahm, Pique, Alba; Muller, Iniesta, Alonso, Robben; Suarez, Messi, Lewandowski.

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