Cafu omits Luka Modric and Toni Kroos from Liverpool-Real Madrid combined XI ahead of UCL showdown

Cafu picks a surprising Liverpool-Real Madrid combined XI
Cafu picks a surprising Liverpool-Real Madrid combined XI

Brazil legend Cafu has made a surprising Liverpool-Real Madrid combined XI ahead of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash next month.

The two sides, who competed in the competition's final last season, are set to face each other in the last 16 this time around. The first leg will take place at Anfield on February 21, while the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu will be played on March 15.

Ahead of the game, Cafu shared his pick for a combined XI from both teams. Surprisingly, he left out Real Madrid legends Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in favor of a complete Liverpool midfield.

His team read (via theMadridZone):

"Courtois, Alexander-Arnold, Militão, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Benzema, Vinícius Junior."
🗣️ Cafu’s combined Liverpool & Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Alexander-Arnold, Militão, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Benzema, Vinícius Junior. #UCL

This comes as a massive surprise, as Kroos and Modric are widely regarded as two of the greatest midfielders of all time. They have helped Real Madrid win numerous trophies and have been in decent form this season as well.

Los Blancos are currently second in the LaLiga table, three points behind rivals Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have struggled this season and one of the areas of concern has been their midfield. While Thiago has shown sparks of excellence, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have struggled to make an impact.

Liverpool are ninth in the Premier League table, a massive 21 points behind leaders Arsenal.

Real Madrid could use midfielder in a deal for Liverpool target

As per Sky Germany, Los Blancos could potentially entertain the idea of using Eduardo Camavinga in a player-plus-cash deal to sign Jude Bellingham.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has garnered great attention following his displays for club and country. Real Madrid will face tough competition from Liverpool for his signature.

However, they could use Camavinga, who joined them in 2021, in a potential deal for Bellingham.

While they ideally want to keep the Frenchman, they won't be averse to the idea of letting him go, as shared by journalist Nils Kern on Sky Germany:

“He’s still very young, can play different positions and is pure dynamism. You can’t give up someone like that and Real want to keep him, of course. If but firstly if he doesn’t see a long-term regular place and secondly if a corresponding offer comes – similar to Kovacic’s at the time – then Real Madrid would not be entirely averse to winning a transfer.”

Bellingham's contract with Dortmund expires in 2025 and could cost over €140 million. He has registered 10 goals and four assists in 23 games across competitions for Dortmund this season.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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