Paris, France is of course the venue this weekend, as two of world football’s most historic clubs prepare to do battle on the grandest stage of them all.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool. Spain vs England. Ancelotti vs Klopp. And, most notably, the most successful club in the history of European competition, up against the third-placed outfit in the same category.
This year’s Champions League finale will see rivalries renewed, with Klopp’s Reds of course out for revenge, after being put to the sword by Real in the tournament’s showpiece just four years ago, owing to a Gareth Bale special.
Ahead of the fast-approaching Stade de France clash, we at 101, in turn, have decided to build a combined XI, featuring stars currently plying their trade at Anfield and the Bernabeu alike.
Rather than simply opting for the best of the best from both squads, however, we have instead delved into transfer fees, to examine the most expensive player in each position across the two clubs.
Below, check out the combined most costly Liverpool/Real Madrid XI, featuring more than a few surprise names…
*All fees come courtesy of the reliable transfermarkt.
Alisson – £56m
No surprises here, with Liverpool, of course, having not been shy in coughing up over £50 million in a bid to arrest their long-standing problems between the posts. And what a signing Alisson has since proven, establishing himself as not only one of the first names on Jurgen Klopp’s team sheet, but one of the best goalkeepers in the world, too.
Dani Carvajal – £6m
The cheapest entry in our line-up, and by some distance, too. Real’s swoop for Carvajal nearly a decade ago has, all told, proven to be a stellar piece of business. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s Liverpool academy status, coupled with the lack of natural right-back options beyond first-choice in either squad, means that a measly £6 million is enough for Carvajal to slot in on the right of our combined XI.
Eder Militao – £45m
A swoop which may perhaps have gone somewhat under the radar to those who do not keep up with Spanish football, the board at the Bernabeu actually shelled out a hefty £45 million to bring stopper Militao to the club from Porto back in 2019. His first-choice status, though, is set to come under scrutiny next season, ahead of the imminent arrival of free agent Antonio Rudiger.
Virgil van Dijk – £76m
By some distance the most pricey defender to ever put pen to paper on terms with either Liverpool or Real Madrid. In truth, though, with the benefit of hindsight, it is hard to argue against the fact that Dutchman van Dijk, a Premier League and Champions League winner on Merseyside, has proven to be worth every penny.
Ferland Mendy – £43m
Another big-money arrival amid Real’s defensive recruitment drive in 2019, Mendy, whilst not as flashy a performer as the man who came before him in Marcelo, adds some much-needed solidity on Los Blancos’ left flank, allowing Vinicius Jr. to initiate havoc at the other end.
Fabinho – £40m
One of three Liverpool stars to have taken their place in the middle of the park in our combined eleven, Fabinho was snapped up by the transfer team at Anfield on the back of a number of stellar campaigns with AS Monaco in France. And the all-action midfielder has since only gone from strength to strength, widely regarded as one of Europe’s standout holding midfielders.
Naby Keita – £54m
Owing largely to his injury issues over the years since, many will no doubt have forgotten just how much it actually set Liverpool back to recruit then-RB Leipzig standout Keita. Has he since repaid such an outlay on the pitch? For the most part, no, but Keita remains a key member of Klopp’s ranks on Merseyside, and could yet feature from the off in Paris this weekend.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – £34m
Yes, you read that right, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain set Liverpool back a higher transfer fee than Real Madrid paid for any of Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Eduardo Camavinga or Federico Valverde. The ex-Arsenal man has showcased flashes of his undoubted ability whilst on the books of the Reds, but, all told, his five-year stint at Anfield has proven a major disappointment.
Gareth Bale – £90m
After Liverpool took all three spots in our combined midfield, it is Real Madrid who dominate the attacking third. First up, on the right, comes Gareth Bale, who became world football’s most expensive-ever player in the summer of 2013 when the Bernabeu hierarchy added the Welshman to a frontline already boasting the talents of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. And though recent seasons have seen the relationship between the two parties sour, it is hard to argue against the fact that, four Champions League titles later, Los Blancos got their money’s worth.
Eden Hazard – £103m
The most expensive player in our line-up, the less said about Hazard’s stint in Spain to date the better… A combination of fitness woes and the scintillating form of Vinicius Jr. have seen the Belgian, despite his mammoth transfer fee, restricted to a bit-part role with Real to date. Having returned to full fitness over the course of the last couple of weeks, though, could Hazard yet prove an ace in the hole for boss Ancelotti on Saturday night?
Luka Jovic – £56m
Another prime example of success in one league not necessarily translating to another, Luka Jovic has, all told, flopped in a major, major way since making the move to Madrid. Keeping the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and teammate Vinicius out of our team is a player who, since making his Real-shaped dreams come true back in 2019, has gone on to find the net just three times in La Liga.
Check out the most expensive combined Liverpool and Real Madrid XI below: