Borussia Dortmund will welcome Barcelona to the Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday as both sides kick off their Champions League journey.
Both sides are amongst the best in their respective leagues, but the challenge is now to take those skills and perform on the European stage, as the two clubs look to cement themselves as the top side in the world.
In anticipation of the mouthwatering encounter, here’s a combined XI of the two teams’ best available stars.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) – ?Ter Stegen may not be the number one in Germany, but he certainly is here. Roman Burki is a top goalkeeper, but Ter Stegen is a level or two above.? The 27-year-old has proven to be one of Europe’s elite, thanks to his incredible reflexes.
Achraf Hakimi (RB) – ?Barcelona’s uncertainty when choosing either ?Nelson Semedo or ?Sergi Roberto opens the door for ?Dortmund’s Hakimi. The 20-year-old ?Real Madrid loanee is viewed as one of the world’s most exciting young defenders, but he looks close to fulfilling that potential already.
Gerard Pique (CB) – For years now, ?Pique has been one of the game’s best defenders, and he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Now 32, Pique remains a key part of Barcelona’s defence, and his leadership would be an asset to any side.
Clement Lenglet (CB) – Lining up alongside Pique is Barcelona teammate Lenglet, who has already established himself as a force to be reckoned with. The 24-year-old plays at a sublime level, and he is probably only going to get better, which is a scary thought for anyone who isn’t a Barcelona fan.
Jordi Alba (LB) – With Nico Schulz out injured, the decision to go with Alba is made easier than it already was. The Spaniard has been at the top of his game for years, and doesn’t always get the credit he deserves.
?Sergio Busquets (DM) –
Axel Witsel (DM) – Alongside Busquets at the base of the midfield is Witsel. Many felt Dortmund may have made a mistake in bringing the Belgian back from China in 2018, but Witsel has proved those doubters wrong in emphatic fashion.
Lionel Messi (RM) – ?Messi’s return to fitness has come at the perfect time for Barcelona, who will likely need the world-beating Argentine if they are to come out on top against a stubborn Dortmund side.
Marco Reus (AM) – With all of ?Reus’ injury struggles, it seemed almost a certainty that he would decline with age, but Reus keeps getting better. Now 30, Reus had the best season of his career last season, and he has definitely carried that form over into the current campaign.
Jadon Sancho (LM) – The final cog in this outstanding midfield engine is Sancho, who has propelled himself to superstardom since joining Dortmund back in 2017. The 19-year-old scores goals and registers assists with terrifying ease, and he is almost certainly set for an exciting career.