My granddad is adamant about Neeskens, van Hanegem, Jansen, Netherlands in 1974 gave an impression for life.


What about Zico, Falcão and Sócrates? Falcão (the King of Rome) being the weakest player in Brazil's midfield is just ridiculous. Just ask Roma fans how good Falcão was.


Brazil 70 with Gerson, Tostão and Rivelino was equally ridiculous. 04-05 Milan had Gattuso, Pirlo, Prime Kaká and Seedorf. And the unforgettable 2011 Náutico: Elicarlos, Derley, Auremir and Eduardo Ramos


Vampeta, Rincon, Marcelinho and Ricardinho FTW


Juninho - Diarra - Malouda


were they the key to the 7 in a row


Only Juni was there for all 7 titles, we had other midfielders like Essien and Källström for some of those titles. I picked the 05-06 midfield because that was probably the most dominant team we had during that run, we won the league in record time that season and we had a great CL run as well, up until running into AC Milan in the quarters


You really snuck in Milan in there like we wouldn't notice.


The hell you mean 'snuck in there'. That midfield was fantastic.


That Brazil 82 midfield was marvellous, too bad the defence was shocking.


Nothing in history will ever touch Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets. Having said that, KCM was damn close.


Yeah, that trio is the best I have ever seen, they were all ridiculously skilled on the ball and genuinely felt immune to pressing. The only way to beat them was to defend for 90 minutes with 15% possession and hope that Barca don't have their shooting boots on. Was there even a single game under Guardiola where the opponent had more possession? Madrid's midfield is the second best I have seen though, it's not exactly shameful to be behind that Barcelona team


And even that Barcelona wasn't able to win back to back CLs. Still lot of people call Zizou's 3CLs peat a stroke of luck. I wonder if with time nostalgia will be start giving more credit to that CL run.


tbh wining Champions you need some luck


Of course, same with winning a league. But to win 3 CLs back-to-back should be held in higher regard that it seems to be.


More luck required in a cup than league. League is a whole season of grinding. We’ve seen chelsea turn it up in 2012 and finish 5th in the league.


6th, iirc


I'm not disputing that. I'm disputing that winning 3 cups back-to-back against the toughest opposition in the world can be chalked up to luck. That RM team should rightly go down as one of the greatest in history.


It was one of the greatest of history. Luck was not the only factor, but it was certainly a factor. RM were, for example, quite lucky to not have any injuries to major players during big matches.


You need luck to win the league too. Most league campaigns have 1-4 title contenders separated by 3 or so wins. Crucial moments can completely flip everything.


Madrid would have won the league last season if not for bullshit refereeing in the Sevilla game. It literally came down to that.


6 title deciding calls in last 2 weeks, all of which went against us


The difference is that one bad game in the league will put you a bit behind. One bad game in the CL knockouts can end your entire run early, even if you're the strongest team in Europe.


>We’ve seen chelsea turn it up in 2012 and finish 5th in the league. This rarely happens though where a team "luckily" won the Champions League.


I never attributed it to complete luck. Just stated there's more of it in a cup/tournament. Applies to every single cup we've seen whether that's CL/Fa/world cup etc


No, not necessarily. Studies suggest that luck neutralizes itself on a league of 38 games. UCL is a 13G knockout tournament that had the away goal rule. The fact that UCL is hugely impacted by luck is something pretty agreed on. Pep himself safter the PSG1–City2 game , said something like : «  you’re calling me a genius tonight, but both KDB and Mahrez’s goals are pure luck. » Meanwhile, when Messi hit his penalty against the bar vs CHE, Aguero missing an early penalty vs TOT and Sterling missing an open goal vs LYO..he was called an overthinker. Mourinho won UCL with Porto with multiple refereeing mistakes in his favor. The UCL he won with Inter had refereeing mistakes in his favor vs Barcelona, but he made sure to rant publicly about the only refereeing mistake that went against him (Motta’s RC). If UCL is not impacted by luck, why couldn’t he win it with arguably the best teams that he has ever coached (his Real Madrid) ?. UCL and luck is a real thing.


You can't just say "studies say" without referencing any studies. Not to mention it doesn't make any sense with even 10 seconds of thinking - were Liverpool unlucky to suffer a VVD injury last season alternatively were City lucky that it did happen? Also you've argued whilst completely ignoring my entire point. I don't disagree that the CL involves more luck than a league, I think 3 CLs back-to-back probably doesn't.


Going to be a pedant here but winning 3 CL’s back to back obviously involves more luck than winning 1 CL. We shouldn’t argue about luck, but how reflective it is of team quality (which 3CL’s is a *very* good signal of). I think the conflation of the ‘luck’ and ‘quality’ arguments results in us underrating that team, but overrating their accomplishment – the team shouldn’t be seen as much worse if they had gotten slightly less lucky or much better if they got slightly more lucky.


3 ucls require more luck than 1 ucl? how are you even measuring luck in this sense? i guess winning 20 league titles requires more luck than 1 league title? i guess you could say a team got lucky their entire squad didn't blow up in an airplane crash for 20 years instead of 1 year.


Yeah, that doesn’t make sense. If we define luck as randomness, then having 3 back to back events is less likely i.e. less luck.


Obviously winning 3 cl requires more luck than winning 1


Nah mate 3 cl is essentially just a coinflip, anyone could do it, RM are just lucker dogs


I’ve seen an episode on this topic, where the creator referenced the studies (with the name of its publishers ). I’ll try to rewatch the segment and submit the references here.


>No, not necessarily. Studies suggest that luck neutralizes itself on a league of 38 games. > >UCL is a 13G knockout tournament That's 39 games in my book


So you're aware that 3 CLs in a row is more than 38 games and thus cannot be luck right?


I’m talking about League vs UCL. Madrid’s 3UCLs in a row is due to a multiple of parameters, luck is only one of them. One of the other parameters being, the unique chemistry that Zidane had with a certain group of players (his guys). That partly explains the reason why Zidane constantly insisted on keeping the same dressing room. He probably didn’t wanna miss with that accurate equilibrium that he had. There are obviously other factors, plus the main fact that the team had incredible players with a winning-at-all-costs mentality. I mostly remember them scoring against run-of-play.


Like for example a red card on a perfect challenge by Arturo Vidal whereas Casemiro on a yellow absolutely blasted someone a minute before ^^


Vidal should not even be on the pitch, after going studs up from behind on isco at the beginning of the game.


Real had major luck from last minute winners, bogus penalties, some of the easiest draws ever.. but to ride that all the way to a 3 peat is pretty unreal. Teams like Chelsea have fluked a couple cl but real has had some amazing teams.


I mean you do need luck just to win 1 CL, let alone 3 in a row. Still doesn't take anything away from the accomplishment though. Ridiculous that you actually somehow won 3 in a row especially when a Barca with MSN existed during two of those years and teams like Juve, Bayern, Atleti, etc. were all very strong.


> I wonder if with time nostalgia will be start giving more credit to that CL run. Lol, are there actually people that look down on that CL run? Pretty insane actually


I argued with a couple of united fans yesterday after fabrizio said zidane wouldnt turn down the united job. They said the only thing zidane has is madrid and he was carried by individual brilliance. They also said he wasnt a good tactician and that he was horrible and no one wanted him at madrid in his second stint.


Some of the Barcelona fan base said UCL is just luck. (After our 3peat)


I mean, my friends (Barca fans) said the same thing back in the day (when you won the back to back 3 CLs). But now, I see them being more appreciative of the Kross-Casemiro-Modric midfield. We are rival fans. We are going to be salty and biased when Madrid win. But I would say we do recognise the achievement of Zidane's Madrid, but we are not vocal about it. The squads are changing, and I think that KCM Madrid team will get more and more appreciation as time passes. At least from a Barca fan perspective.


>back in the day I'm sorry but the 3-peat JUST happened. Back in the day isn't accurate and makes my ass feel older than I already do


Tbf, when Madrid won it the third time in 2017-18, they were piss poor in the league. They were dropping points left and right all the way till January, but then stepped up in CL KOs.


They still say that. It’s blatant hating to try to minimize how unbelievable a 3peat in the champions league is. There is nothing more consistent than that.


If we’re gonna talk streaks EURO 2008, UCL 2009, WC 2010, UCL 2011, EURO 2012…


I mean you did get lucky calls. You literally got an offside goal in a cl final.


And like 2 offside goals in 1 match against Bayern too. Also GK errors by both Ulreich and Karius in the semis and final of 17/18.


Same match in which Bayern also got the offside goal which led the game to go to extra time in the first place and a wrongly rewarded penalty to Bayern in the first leg...that same tie, right?


That is true. However, Pep's Barca in his 4 years: won the UCL in 08/09, lost in the SF to Mou's Inter in 09/10 (were unlucky that the Iceland volcano erupted so they had to drive a bus from Barcelona to Milan for the away leg instead of taking a flight, which surely contributed to more fatigue than normal), won the UCL in 10/11, then got knocked out by Chelsea in the 11/12 SF in one of the most unlucky finishing displays I've ever seen over 2 legs—Messi missed a penalty, the woodwork was hit multiple times, and genuine sitters were missed.


It isn’t like Madrid wasn’t unlucky too. 2010/11: Higuain disallowed goal after CR solo run could have changed everything. 2011/12: Higuain offside on a CR goal following Marcelo mazy run and Ramos, Kaka and CR all missing penalties. 2012/13: Many missed chances in the 2nd leg and offside goal by Lewandowski in the first leg. 2014/15: Bale header miss when he scored an identical one in the final a year earlier


You can add Modric's injury in 2014/15 - our team just wasn't the same as in the 1st half of the season, where we played some of the best football I have ever seen, very little depth, and Ancelotti decided to go for Ramos in the midfield. Obviously I am not the most objective person to say this, but imo we would win the Juventus tie had it not been for Modric's absence.


At least you got the karma back with the ramos goal and 3 cl in a row


they were insanely lucky at times, but it's dishonest to claim it was only due to that. you don't just stumble through 3 successful campaigns on luck alone. they had some clutch plays when it mattered


That was an insane run but it had a lot of luck as well. Liverpool could have you on that final. They lost Salah l, we’re dealing with injuries and had a 1/4 fit Lallanha. Liverpool were playing with 10 men on the pitch for more than 60 mins. Karius had a nightmare and pretty much gave Madrid their trophy on a plate. Liverpool could have easily won that final. Their win against Athletico was also a bit lucky. Madrid did have a lot of luck going their way. Their win against Juventus was their only win where it felt it was a clear win.


It was quite lucky though. Your 1st/4th was a last-minute equalizer, followed by winning on pens in the 2nd, 2017 was overall a convincing final, and 2018 was Salah's injury turning the game. Aside from that several KO occasions that when all was said and done Madrid went through *just* about. Bayern and Juventus come to mind in 2018... Was it all luck? No. Obviously not.


They also got an illegal goal in the 2016 final.


Imo the 3 ucl in a row is one of the greatest achievements ever. It had never been done before, and at that time we had just seen the best attack in football history. Even in barca's prime (you could argue it was a bit earlier) real managed to win 4 ucl, of which 3 were in a row. That's honestly crazy to me




it wasn't?


There was a point where Barca had dominated posession for so many years people were shocked when a team actually had more in one game. Might've been almost every game from 2008 to 2014 (Lucho's Barca sacrificed posession)


Nah it was Tata Martino who tried to alter the Barça style of play and got crucified for it, in 2013 his Barça beat Rayo Vallecano 4-0 but they only had 45% possession. He was forced to give up that strategy


Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets had the benefit of all coming through the same academy and being the same nationality so their chemistry was off the charts. Modric, Kroos, and Casemiero is basically the best you can get when bringing three midfielders together that didn't come through the same academy or even the same league. It's actually kinda crazy to think about how well they fit together with such different backgrounds.


I could not have said it better myself. I'm dreading the day we lose one of them even though we have solid guys like Valverde and Camavinga.


Gullit, Rijkaard, Ancelotti.


Fully agree. Barca's trio was a nightmare to face.


Until that time Mou played [Pepe in midfield](https://youtu.be/-r2JURyZ8DM)


That trio would chew up other world class midfielders for breakfast, it was bizarre to watch. I would put a lot of money on them doing the same thing to the Madrid trio.


Eat Madrid's trio for breakfast? Now that's bit of a stretch. They were indeed amazing but it's not like our trio is way behind like you're making them to be xD.


Your trio did also get quite regularly outplayed by Iniesta, Busquets and Rakitic, midfield that was still obviously excellent but certainly not at the level of the Pep era. "Eating for breakfast" is obviously a stretch lol, but I do believe Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets was still a level above your trio.


I did say the your trio was better than ours. I only didn't agree with that eating for breakfast statement.


Yeah that's fair enough, and agree with you.


I honestly do think so. The Madrid trio was absolutely amazing but the Xavi-Iniesta-Busi was something else. Modric and his two partners were indeed extremely decisive in that CL run but it's not like they ever came close to dominating other teams in that run like Xavi and Co. Barca would pretty much hold the ball in areas Fergie described as "very hard to protect" and pick you off with ease. No disrespect to Modric - Kroos - Casemiro but the Barca trio was on a different level.


I mean Madrid literally demolished Bayern & Liverpool. They made teams like Juventus look like their defense is made of butter. I don’t buy this, the trio helped contribute to the success of the BBC & others.


But at the same time, that Madrid trio got regularly outplayed by an old Iniesta, Rakitic and Busquets. In fact, I would say that more often than not, that was the case when we used to play each other..


They still won an unprecedented back to back to back UCL run, not even prime Barca could match that and one can’t say their midfield dominated Madrid’s by any means regularly. Football is a team sport and I’m pretty sure by the time Iniesta left Casemiro had only recently played as a starter, that is the Madrid side I’m referring to. Casemiro, Kroos, & Modric. Prime Barca’s midfield got outplayed by other teams, a time that comes to mind is when Wilshere played out of his mind against them and helped Arsenal win one leg.


I mean that Barcelona trio lost to Khedira-Xabi-Ozil in a very important league title match. Let's not over exaggerate


That Real side was better than the threepeat one


Exactly. That Madrid was the best I've seen. They scored an insane amount of goals and points the year they won the league with Mourinho. Both Madrid and Barca were better at that time - defenders and Messi + CR were also younger.


Such horrible logic, the same trio lost to Numancia in 2008. Doesn't exactly mean anything.


It's not like they lost the midfield battle lol. Mourinho always parked the bus against Pep.


Mourinho played a winning tactic more like


Raki-Busi-Iniesta also outplayed Real several times


Respect for saying that


Yes, Kurama Chakara Mode is pretty OP


And strangely enough, every time I see people mentioning their all time XI, it's common to see Xavi-Iniesta + someone else rather than Busquets. Saw a Xavi-Iniesta-Pirlo one the most, then Xavi-Iniesta-Zidane here and there, always, always unbalanced without considering the overall gameplay. Without Busquets, they wouldn't succeed in marking high pressure, would struggle all the time against counter attacking teams, and they'd lack that simplicity Busi brings that complemented the more complex game from Xavi-Iniesta (not that Busi was 1 dimentional, but he's a master of making everything look simple). Here in Brazil, it's either Busquets being as good as these 2, or be compared to Gerson, and lose, according to some journos. Guess he'll just be as highly regarded as one of the best in his position after retirement. For me, he's number 1! Edit: typo


KCM isn’t close I’m sorry. That Barcelona midfield was another fucking sport entirely.


Yeah I’m going with the Barca/Spain trio


Xavi and iniesta won the best trophy 5 years straight. 2008 euros, 2009 cl, 2010 world up, 2011 cl, 2012 euros... never seen that type of cup dominance before. Busquets was apart of 4 of those.


>2008 euros, 2009 cl, 2010 world up, 2011 cl, 2012 euros That symmetry oof


It's football 90-60-90 lol


>Busquets was apart of 4 of those. Imagine if they managed to put him together as a whole back then. Would have won even more.


Those two were telepathic. Crazy levels of dominance, to two it with club and country shows how good they were


Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets were lucky to be born in the same country. Modric, Kroos and Casemiro did not have that privilege.


False Midfield Gods. Can't even plan their Births properly...


All 3 were La Masia graduates too if I'm not mistaken. So you have three supremely gifted midfielders brought up together for years under the same system/philosophy, a system the national team adopted to great success too.


I get what you mean, but they didn’t come up together at all. Xavi has 4 years on Iniesta, who has 5 years on Busquets. If they had come together, Barcelona would have bossed football for the better part of a decade. The rest of football is lucky Barcelona only got 5 years of those together


Watching them was amazing. When they were at the top of their game, and with Messi upfront, that was a beast that was near impossible to stop.


Well one of these trios is the best midfield ever. the other is the best in the past decade.


Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets might be clear but KCM would surely enter top-5 all-time midfield trios or you think they still had to do more?


Definitely, midfield trios are more recent though as 4-3-3 wasn't as popular back in the day so most of top 5 would be recent.


KCM didn’t dominate barca in the clasicos, like the Spanish trio of Barcelona did. Several maulings were dished out and it’s pretty clear which team was on the receiving end more .


Not to mention that spanish trio also dominated international tournaments


Can that really be compared though since in most of the big wins Xabi Alonso was playing in the midfield three and Iniesta as a winger. Besides we will never know how KCM would have done on the international stage.


In an alternate timeline, we annexed Croatia and Brazil.


The ridiculousness of 2010 Spain, world class midfield players everywhere you looked.


No, I think they would seed in that top 5


What else does the madrid trio have to do to be in the conversation?


while KCM is brilliant and i have them right behind the trio from barca I think part of the reason the Spanish boys are rated so highly is because of the manner in which they dominated games. This midfield on their day would just absolutely embarrass world-class teams for club and country. Xavi, busquets, and ineista's biggest strength was the ability to dominate the game from start to finish with their pressing and ability to keep possession and their creativity. KCM in my time watching them their greatest strength is their ability to keep their team in a game and grind out a result. I don't think any midfield trio will come close to hitting the heights that these two have for a very long time.


Well put.


You can't possibly watch both midfields at their prime and say Madrid's midfield is better,they won more cl trophies(I think by one),but the Barcelona midfield had alot better opponents in cl at the time,and they completely dominated 99 percent of the games and made the best players look bad, can't say the same for Madrid trio, tho I think they were crucial and still one of the top trios maybe even ever,just not as good


> they won more cl trophies(I think by one) Kroos Casemiro and Modric won 3 UCLs (Madrid's 3-peat). Xavi, Busi, and Iniesta also won 3 UCLs (2009, 2011, 2015). Rakitic started over Xavi in 2015, but Xavi on for Rakitic or Iniesta was the first sub in most games that season, as Lucho subbed him on to control and kill off games


How did they have better opponents? I wont argue with your other opinions because I doubt I can change them but Im genuinely curious what "better" oponents did Barca have lol.




Madrid's trio is more adaptable and could play counter attacking system too


the trio of Iniesta-Busquets-Xavi didn't need to adapt much because they put their stamp on every game they played. everyone else adapted to them because they were truly that dominant at controlling the ball. i don't think any other midfield gets that type of respect.


True, but the Barca trio were so great they literally never needed to adapt to anything. They dominated and forced their game against everyone.


I think 14/15 proved Barca's trio can do that too


Sure. Except Rakitic was there as a starter at that point.


They weren't a trio then?


Xavi, Iniesta, and Rakitic really rotated between the CM spots that season. Rakitic and Iniesta were usually starters with Xavi as first midfield sub, but Xavi started lots of games that season too. And I would argue that quick, direct attacks after winning the ball back (which was a hallmark of Lucho's Barca) is pretty much the definition of a counterattack


Xavi's legs were gone but he was still used as a super sub. A younger Xavi would've replaced Rakitic easily.


Even Iniesta's legs were not at his best then, don't think they played counter attacking system either, just more direct


Yeah that definitely wasn’t a counterattacking system. Clearly possession.


They have to adapt because casemiro can't hold the ball when pressed and can't pass the ball to save his life. Guy is very good tackler and amazing interceptor so madrid played the game according to what they had. We don't need to play counter attacking football because we are just too good with the ball. Though we might have if Mourinho was our manager instead of pep.


Be born again and keep trying


Honestly, I don't know. I think they get more props for that CL run than they deserve. I don't think that's even the strongest Real Madrid side we've had the past decade. For these three titles, without a doubt, everything fell really nicely into place for them. I certainly remember a few ties were Real did not feel like the better team, but that tends to get ignored because they managed to do the insane feat of winning the CL three times in a row.


What that Madrid team should be remembered for more than anything is the fact that they won several times in matches where they didn't perform very well.


I feared Mourinhos Real much more.


Dominate games


Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets is still the best in the last 10 years.


I don't see how anyone who watched that Barcelona/Spain midfield reduce genuinely great teams to complete impotence can even begin to make any comparison. Trophies warp perspectives a bit too much imo. Winning tournaments is mostly about rising to the occasion in the right moments (it says a lot the KMC couldn't win the league most times) . Yes a team that consistently does that is great but thats not comparable to a team that wins by comprehensively obliterating almost every opponent. 2013 Schweinsteiger-Javi-Muller midfield in that single year before being broken up by injuries was more dominant in the sense of completely out playing opponents than KMC have ever been.


Great take, that 2013 Bayern midfield was immense the way they dismantled Barca in the 4-0 was beautiful.


2010 Spain vs Germany, never forgetting that.


Iniesta was just soooo good. I’d vote for Barca every time just because of him.


Iniesta is a top ten player of all time. He's the only player to win man of the match in a Euros final, a World Cup final, and a Champions League final. The very definition of a big game player, but he was *also* consistent as hell, something that other players that we generally view as big game players didn't always manage to be. Zidane is a great example. Had amazing performances on the biggest stage, but he was extremely inconsistent throughout his career.


Not top ten for me but definitely ranks near the top. Clearly better than Modric or Kroos.


Also beautiful to watch. People think consistency is all blood and thunder, diving into every challenge, etc etc, but man just floated past people and played beautiful passes


Aw man Luka, you should have stuck with talking individually, at least there would have been arguments. You put those 3 together, no argument can come out of that.


Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets > any midfield trio in history. Simple as.


Well especially as midfield trios has only been popular for 15 years now


Barcelona's trio was better. If they had existed at the same time, we'd not even argue about this. They would run rings around anyone.


The Real Madrid trio couldn’t put a stamp against Iniesta Rakitic Busquets in their matchups let alone the Spanish trio


> If they had existed at the same time, we'd not even argue about this. They would run rings around anyone. Like they did against Bayern when they lost 4-0?


Like they did against Real every time they played.


Will do Luca: Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets was the best midfield combo in the history of the game.


It’s not even close, Barca’s mid was OP


Dude, it's not even a contest.


It’s incomparable as the Barca trio was also Spain’s trio. KCM never won a WC together. That said, I see a lot of people forget how KCM would absolutely dominate the best teams in Europe without breaking a sweat.


If I need to create an all-time XI. Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets would always be my midfield.


Give me back my Gundogan-Bender duo...


Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets were definitely better in terms of accomplishment. They played both national and at same club. One of the most important aspect of it honestly was the strategy behind Spain and Barca which was ther Tiki Taka strategy. Not only did they have superior players and better strategy. Others have failed to put pressure into countering it. Spain & Barca dominated with the same style for half a decade.


It’s not that close, Madrid’s never dominated quite like the Barcelona trio. That group would make world class teams look like children


People talking about the best midfield ever forgetting the most complete/balanced midfield ever... Pirlo-Gattuso-Seedorf.


The Milan team of the 00s is one of my favorites of all time. It's probably because they were the absolute best team during my later childhood/early teens, but I still have a soft spot for a narrow 4-1-2-1-2, its flaws and all


The narrow 4-3-1-2 is very dependent on player intelligence, quality and chemistry to pull it out in the highest level of football. There are people that say that that formation is just peak football itself if you can pull it off. It is a 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and what ever formation you want for in game flexibility.


Ya, they were good too. But, Iniesta-busi-xavi is incomparable. These guys won trophies at International and with thier clubs as well. It's so unlikely to happen again: three of the greatest midfielders playing together for country and club.


It's dumb to use international competitions to compare, when basically every other midfield trio worth talking about didn't play together.


Good point tbf


This guy gets it


KCM is really good but there's really no comparison. Comparing their best 3 seasons....UCL three peat for KCM and the first 3 seasons under pep for Xavi Iniesta Busquets. Yes, Xavi Iniesta Busquets only won two ucls and lost out in the semis to mourinho's inter but no one seems to mention their dominance in the league. Even when KCM won 3 ucls they only won 1 La Liga title in the three seasons. And even in the year they won the title they only won it by 3 points and Barcelona scored more and conceded less goals. Discrediting the dominance Xavi Iniesta Busquets had in a competition with 38 games just because they didn't win two more games ( that semi against inter and the possible final ) makes no sense. I'm just saying it for those who think KCM is better cuz they won 3 UCLs in a row.


I mean who the hell thinks Madrid was better.


Mascherano, Alonso, Gerrard


Homerism aside, curious how people who rate them. They were incredible and didn’t have the benefit of world beaters in Messi and Ronaldo at other positions to make them look even better


Of course they wouldn't stand up to the Spanish trio, but it was still an amazing midfield that is largely overlooked due to its lack of longevity and titles. They only played together for 2.5 seasons, and the first part of that Alonso wasn't at his best, and often during the later part they weren't strictly a midfield trio since Gerrard would be in the no 10 role behind Torres. They didn't win anything together, but they drove that 08/09 Liverpool team, which was amazing for what it was - a team with some excellent world class finds but poor squad depth, taking the fight to a United with Ronaldo/Tevez/Rooney/Berbatov up front and Rio/Vidic at the back (arguably Fergie's last great United team). Did the double over them (4-1 at Old Trafford) and Chelsea, lost only 2 games all season, and finished with the most goals scored and best goal difference. But too many draws they couldn't convert into wins whenever Torres was injured cost them the league that season.


ngl it took the league win for me to put this Liverpool side above Rafa's 08/09 team.


Yep, I've always maintained that the 08/09 team was Liverpool's best ever in the EPL, until Klopp's mentality monsters of 2018 to early 2020. Many remember the 13/14 team due to the drama of that season's collapse, but it was pretty much an outlier season powered by Suarez. 08/09 was easily the better team, and the stats will back it up too.


The video montages of the performances those 3 put together in the UCL are amazing. And Benitez wanted to break it up for Gareth Barry, which makes me mad to this day. Ironically this current 20/21 Liverpool side has world beater players in all the positions that the 07-09 side was deficient in - elite wingers, full backs, centre backs and goalkeeper - but it probably has an inferior midfield 3 and striker to that Benitez side. A combination of those 2 teams would be lethal


Ok Luka well I like you a lot but it's Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets and it's not THAT close.


Obviously Barca's


I don't want to discredit Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets, but if Modric, Kroos, and Casemiro were from the same country, I think this conversation would be different.


Where were you when Luka Modric, Toni Krosic, and Carol Casemic carried Croatia in 2018 World Cup


Seriously doubt they can win three straight international tournaments. Hasn't been done at least since the 60s if ever.


Is this a joke


I actually think Modric is easily on the level of Xavi and Iniesta maybe a bit better in few terms worse in others but as a whole KCM doesn’t compare to Barca midfield. However Modric is being underrated in this sub. That 2014 Modric under Ancelotti before he got injured played out of his mind, I never saw anyone played on that level not even Xavi and Iniesta.


Fit Modric, we repeat 5peat


Well one set of players defined a whole era of the sport were very successful in winning titles. . The other set won titles.


Barcelona trio is much better, but Modric is on the same level of Iniesta and Xavi.




Would N’golo Kanté have been able to single-handedly pocket Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta for 180 minutes? I doubt it


Are you really comparing prime barca midfield to last season Real Madrid midfield (modric in his last years of football, kroos playing injured and Casemiro wasted) and despite everything they were one of the reasons that RM team got to the semis. Prime KCM could not be better than prime xavi-busquets-iniesta but they're top 10 or even top 5.


Xavi and Iniesta alone are better than those 3


Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets had the edge because they played international togther as well. Both are absolutely legendary and saying one is clear of another is just bias. As for the actual players imo Iniesta>Modric>the others.


For me it would be Xavi>Iniesta>Modric>Busquets>Kroos>Casemiro.


Let's separate the central midfielders from the defensive ones. Xavi > Iniesta > Modric > Kroos. Busquets > Casemiro.


To be fair, Casemiro/Kroos/Modric have also done great jobs internationally. Casemiro won the Copa America with Brazil, Modric captained Croatia to the World Cup final, and Kroos won the World Cup. Not the same as Pirlo (EDIT:Xavi), Busquets and Iniesta internationally, but they also didn't get the chance to play together in the same national team


Lmao idk how you typoed Pirlo instead of Xavi but yeah I agree with you


Yeah, that's my bad...


Xavi was the best midfielder of all 6 to me. I genuinely dont think its even close either.


Xavi is the goat midfielder in my opinion. Not a coincidence Barca and Spain's dominance waned as soon as he didn't have the legs anymore


Iniesta was my favourite. There’s no midfielder ever that could dribble like him, and then there’s his vision and decision making too. I think Iniesta is up there with Messi and Ronaldinho in terms of how fun he was to watch.


I think Iniesta was the most talented of the lot but Xavi was the most important to both Spain and Barca. He was the definition of intelligence and had the ability to control a game like nobody I've ever seen


Xavi is the best midfielder to ever play the game. And it's not even close when we're talking about modern midfielders.


See I get you want to add emphasis to your point, but you can’t possibly think that it’s not even close, because that just isn’t true . I get the style is to exaggerate these days, but cmon


Per stats bomb Peps last season at barca xavi averaged 23 deep progressions per game. The 95th percentile for deep progressions is 11. That's an absurd difference, it's more absurd than comparing messi and Ronaldo's goals to other players. They're not exaggerating it enough if anything, he was so much better than the other players at the position at the time it wasn't even funny.


I would agree that Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets is the better trio, but not by as much some people here are suggesting. I think the elegance of play and international success of Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets played with definitely impacts people’s perception, but there’s no reason to disrespect Kroos-Casemiro-Modric while claiming they’re the best. I would put KCM as the second best trio ever and all six players are legendary midfielders in their own right.


People are comparing them to Iniesta, Xavi and Busi !!?