Oct 26, 2013 at 5pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
2-1
Real Madrid
Neymar (19'), Sanchez (78')
Busquets (7'), Adriano (35')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Jese (90')
Ramos (14'), Bale (45'), Khedira (59'), Marcelo (64'), Ronaldo (80')

Barcelona, Real Madrid combined XI

With Barcelona due to take on Real Madrid this Saturday, Sports Mole selects a combined XI between Spain's biggest rivals.

Some of the world's most expensive and best footballers will be on show at the Camp Nou this Saturday evening as the first El Clasico of the season is played out.

With so much talent expected to feature, it got Sports Mole thinking: Who would earn a place in a combined team of players from Spain's most bitter of rivals?

After much deliberation, below are the 11 that made the cut.


Victor Valdes reacts to Barcelona missing a chance against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.© Getty Images
Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
When Pep Guardiola took charge of Barcelona back in 2008, he quickly informed Valdes that he would need to act as the team's sweeper as well as goalkeeper. Those instructions coincided with Valdes being recognised as one of the world's best between the posts. Not only is the 31-year-old an astute shot-stopper, he is also more than comfortable in possession of the ball. It's that quality that sees Valdes start a number of Barcelona attacks - something that neither of his rivals at Real Madrid (Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas) can match.


Barca full back Jordi Alba in action against Atletico Madrid on August 21, 2013© Getty Images
Jordi Alba (Barcelona)
Manchester United were among the interested parties when Alba decided to leave Valencia in the summer of 2012, but the pull of Barcelona was just too difficult for the left-back to turn down. The 24-year-old has all the natural ability of a winger, while his defending has also improved with age. He is also the undisputed first-choice left-back for Spain. Overall, there are not many better than Alba in world football.


Barcelona defender Gerard Pique reacts after netting an own goal against Bayern Munich on May 1, 2013© AP Photos
Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
The 26-year-old has his critics, but it is difficult to argue with the facts. The centre-back has won four La Liga crowns and two Champions League titles since re-joining Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008. He might lack the odd yard of pace, but his reading of the game is quite exceptional. His slight frame harmed his chances of success in England, but he has since developed both physically and mentally into a top defender.


Raphael Varane of Real Madrid CF heads the ball beside Ragnar Sigurdsson of FC Copenhagen during the UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid CF and FC Copenhagen at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 2, 2013© Getty Images
Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Varane's inclusion in this particular team is a surprising one based on his lack of consistent playing time, with injuries harming his progress in the early part of this season. However, there is little doubt that the 20-year-old has the ability to develop into the best defender in world football. He made 15 league appearances towards the end of last season, while he already has three French caps to his name. He is, without question, the outstanding young centre-back in the world.


Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring for Real Madrid against Levante on October 5, 2013.© Getty Images
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Like Pique, Ramos is another who splits opinion. On the one hand, he is a defender that has exceptional pace and strength, coupled with incredible ability on the ball. However, there is always a mistake in him. That said, 113 caps for Spain and 361 appearances for Madrid suggest that he cannot be doing too badly. On his day and when his mind is right, there are few better defenders in the world.


Real Valladolid's Oscar Gonzalez battles with Sergio Busquets of Barcelona on May 19, 2013© Getty Images
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
For all the tika-taka football that Barca produce, it wouldn't be possible unless the side was built on solid foundations. Busquets is a Marmite footballer, mainly because of his theatrics, but he's appreciated by his teammates. Journalist Guillem Balague claimed in his book about Guardiola that Lionel Messi said to his coach during an early training session: 'Mister, always put Sergio in my team.' The Spanish international is renowned for his reading of the game, which allows him to break up play, before laying the ball on to a more creative teammate.


Xavi prepares to take a corner for Barcelona against Sevilla on September 14, 2013.© Getty Images
Xavi (Barcelona)
Pass, pass, pass - that's the name of the game as far Xavi is concerned. There were those, with some vindication, that claimed that the 33-year-old's better days were behind him during the summer's Confederations Cup. He looked off the pace and even slugglish, but since the start of the new season, the experienced midfielder has proved the doubters wrong. There are few in world football that possess the level of vision and composure on the ball that Xavi does.


Barcelona's Andres Iniesta in action against Sevilla during their La Liga match on September 14, 2013© AFP
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
There are no superlatives that can be used that haven't already been written or said about Iniesta. Nicknamed the 'The Illusionist' by the Spanish press, the 29-year-old is able to ghost beyond opponents with envious ease. He is by no means a speed merchant, but his balance, creativity and poise have resulted in him being regarded as the third-best player in the world behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi.


Debutant Gareth Bale celebrates his first goal for Real Madrid following a tap-in against Villarreal on September 14, 2013© Getty Images
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
The Welshman's Madrid career may still be in its infancy, but there is still reason for him to be included within this side. When 100% fit, Bale can be unplayable in a similar way to his Madrid teammate Ronaldo. Pace, power and accuracy are the three qualities that the 24-year-old brings to a side. What's more, the fact that he can score from seemingly impossible angles and distances makes him a genuine match winner.


Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal against Galatasaray on September 17, 2013© Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Ronaldo, who arrived at Madrid from Manchester United in 2009, has scored a quite stunning 214 goals in 210 games for the Spanish outfit. While a strike rate of one goal in every two games is considered impressive, Ronaldo and Messi continue to score more goals than appearances. The Portuguese, alongside Messi, is rightly considered as the best player in the world. In terms of the complete footballer, the 28-year-old is unchallenged.


Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the his team's second goal against Ajax during their Champions League group match on September 18, 2013© Getty Images
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
There is a reason why Ronaldo is not considered the undisputed best player in the world. That reason is a little Argentine called Messi. Since breaking into the Barcelona first team in 2004, Messi has scored 325 goals in 390 games. His best return came in the 2011-12 season, when he scored a sensational 73 times in 60 appearances. The 26-year-old has also won the Ballon d'Or in each of the last three years.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the winning goal during the El Clasico in April 21, 2012.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona87102432122
2Valencia853021101118
3Real Madrid8521157817
4Atletico MadridAtletico8440135816
5Sevilla851294516
6Leganes842273414
7Real Sociedad84131917213
8Villarreal84131110113
9Real Betis84131717013
10Celta Vigo83231813511
11Athletic Bilbao8323109111
12Levante8242810-210
13Espanyol8233711-49
14Getafe822410918
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo8224916-78
16EibarEibar8215317-147
17GironaGirona8134713-66
18Las PalmasLas Palmas8206718-116
19AlavesAlaves8107312-93
20Malaga8017418-141