Ultimate Man Utd and Real Madrid XIs based on games between the two clubs



A galaxy of creative midfield players have crossed paths with the Reds while in the pristine white of Madrid over the years, including Luka Modric, Raymond Kopa and Luis Figo. We’ve opted to ignore those gilded names, though, in favour of Fernando Redondo, Zinedine Zidane and Francisco Gento. While Zidane’s name needs no introduction, only readers of a certain age will recall the greatness of Gento. Real Madrid’s version of Ryan Giggs, the man they called ‘Paco’ featured in every single one of Los Blancos’ first six European Cup triumphs as an outside left, but he plays a more withdrawn role in this XI. Redondo, meanwhile, was Madrid’s captain in their 2000 success at Old Trafford, superbly orchestrating the Spaniards’ midfield and sending the unfortunate Henning Berg for a picnic with a quite frankly ridiculous piece of skill, before teeing up Raul for the visitors’ third.  After the game, Ferguson could only hold his hands up: “Redondo must have a magnet in his pants. He was fantastic, unbelievable.”


In arguably the most formidable attacking line-up ever dreamed up, the man who Reds legend Paddy Crerand believes is the finest of all footballers, Alfredo Di Stefano, acts as a false nine, between Cristiano Ronaldo – once of this parish and Madrid’s record goalscorer – and his Brazilian namesake Ronaldo, who famously put the Reds to the sword in 2003 with his destructive hat-trick, forcing even the starchiest Mancunians to stand up and applaud his majestic individual brilliance. That players of the reputation of Raul, Karim Benzema and Kaka miss out is testament to just how many galacticos Real have boasted over the years.


Champions League and World Cup-masterminding coach Vicente Del Bosque pips Miguel Munoz, Jose Mourinho and Zidane to a place in Real’s dugout.

Real Madrid XI: Casillas; Salgado, Ramos, Hierro, Carlos; Zidane, Redondo, Gento; Cristiano Ronaldo, Di Stefano, Ronaldo.


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