Some people, amidst all this Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid or to PSG noise, completely forgot about the game that we play not long from now. Real Madrid face Liverpool in the Champions League final, and Liverpool players have gone on record to say that they want the title more than Real Madrid. I’m sure they want to win the trophy, but you can not exactly want THIS trophy more than Real.
That does not mean Liverpool can not win, by the way. I am by no means counting them out. I think they’d be Real Madrid’s toughest opponent of the season, and it’s going to take something special from Los Blancos to get past a team like Liverpool, but I think it’s the same the other way around.
So, that being said, in the biggest game of the season, who should start for Real Madrid in the frickin ‘Champions League final?
GK Thibaut Courtois
I mean, this is probably the easiest selection for either team! Thibaut Courtois is a sensational goalkeeper, the best in the world at his position, and it’s a no-brainer to start the world’s greatest shot-stopper in the world’s biggest club game.
Courtois has made extraordinary saves in all of Real Madrid’s previous ties, and we can expect more of the same from the Belgian wall, who has yet another incredible season. Having him in goal is an assurance the team definitely needs when going up against assassins like Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and others.
RB Dani Carvajal
Dani Carvajal, to my surprise, has turned it around at Real Madrid. I maintain the opinion of still needing a full-back for obvious reasons, but the Spaniard has significantly improved on his performances at Real Madrid since getting absolutely skinned by Kylian Mbappe against PSG.
I’d say since the Chelsea tie, Carvajal has been good, and the team would need him to be at his absolute best, without question, as he’d be going up against Luis Diaz, who’s a cheat code when it comes to creating chances and scoring them in the attacking third. He’s an excellent dribbler with a lot of pace, so Carvajal must take this challenge with both hands.
CB Eder Militao
I know some people are of the opinion that Real Madrid should play with Nacho Fernandez and David Alaba as their starting center-backs against Liverpool, and while Nacho had a fantastic game against Manchester City, I still think we need Militao a lot more than people think we do.
Yes, he had a dip in form during the second half of the season, but I also think that dip is being blown out of proportion a little bit. He does deserve criticism, but not enough to bench him in the most important game of the season. The team already lacks a lot when it comes to aerial ability, and to defend Liverpool’s pinpoint crosses, someone needs to be there. That guy would be Militao.
CB David Alaba
The Austrian King makes his return in the biggest game of the season. He’s completely fit, as Ancelotti said in the post-game conference on Friday, and there have been multiple reports recently stating that he’s ready for Paris.
Now, the main question you ask here is, do you play David Alaba? Considering the fact that he hasn’t played properly in over a month. Well, the answer is: Yes, absolutely. I think if it was any other game, you’d probably have him on the bench. But, what David Alaba brings to this team is much more than just defensive ability or press resistance. He brings consistency, a big-game mentality, the experience of being in this situation before, and in general just a lot of composure, and that is needed in a game as big as this. So, yes, I think it’s imperative that Alaba starts in the biggest game of the season.
LB Ferland Mendy
Another fairly easy choice here. We won’t play Marcelo in the Champions League final just so that he gets his send-off. I think he already got one against Betis, and that’s about as good as it gets for Marcelo. He’d be there, though, as the resident captain.
The player that will actually start is Mendy, who’s going to be crucial in stopping Salah from breaking through and scoring. Salah’s dangerous even when he’s not scoring as many goals as he usually would, so Mendy having a good performance is crucial for Real Madrid’s success.