A combined Real Madrid and Barcelona bench XI
A look at how reserve players from these two Spanish giants might lineup if they were to form a team
A huge factor in this has been the quality they possess in their respective squads. Last season, the importance of having quality players on the bench was emphasised when Real Madrid claimed the La Liga and UEFA Champions League titles, with significant contributions from players like Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio et al. who usually came from the bench and were effective whenever Zidane needed them.
Meanwhile, FC Barcelona are unbeaten in all competitions so far this season thanks, in part, to the quality of players that coach Ernesto Valverde has been able to call from the bench; they have increased their options on the bench like Gerard Deulofeu, Paco Alcacer, Nélson Semedo, and Paulinho.
Real Madrid also brought back players like Jesús Vallejo, Marcos Llorente, Borja Mayoral from their respective loan spells and signed Dani Ceballos and Theo Hernández to strengthen their squad.
Both these sides have players who can chip in whenever first-team regulars are injured or given a break by their managers. More often than not, they are successful in doing the job for their side.
Though, one might think that these players deserve more game time and can do better than some of their starters. Here's a look at the team made up of a combination of 11 players we've picked from both benches.
Jasper Cillessen (FC Barcelona)
The former Oranje number one signed for FC Barcelona last season, drawing out excitement in Catalonia as the fans believed he would provide great competition for Marc Andre ter-Stegen.
He only made 10 appearances for Barcelona last season (8-Copa Del Rey, 1-UEFA Champions League, 1-La Liga) and conceded 9 goals in them. In the current season of club football, he has only played a single game against Murcia in the Copa del Rey.
Cillessen would have hoped for more game time when he signed for Barcelona, and It's unlikely that Valverde would think of replacing Marc-André ter Stegen with the Dutchman, as the German has been impressive this season.
The former Borussia Mönchengladbach shot-stopper has kept 9 clean sheets in the 15 games that he has played this season, and It looks like Cillessen will have to settle for the role of reserve goalkeeper this season as well.