Chelsea and Manchester City will get their last shot at glory this season when they meet in the Champions League final in Porto.
The Blues are aiming for a repeat of their success in the league nine years ago when they defeated Bayern Munich on penalties, while a win would represent City’s first crown.
But who would make it to the XI if the matches of Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel were mixed? Here, Sportsmail chooses a combined XI prior to the final to crown the Kings of Europe.
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)
The Senegalese’s story, from claiming benefits to appearing in a Champions League final, will inspire everyone around the world, and he’s shown the talent to back it up.
Mendy has kept a remarkable zero this season in 11 Champions League games leading up to the Blues final – which is more than his Ederson counterpart – including in the semi-final against Real Madrid.
The Brazilian retained the Premier League Golden Glove this season, but Mendy is hoping to get one over him in Europe as he has become a key part of Thomas Tuchel’s backline following his move from Rennes in the summer.
Edouard Mendy has kept eight clean sheets in eleven Champions League games this season
Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
The England right back has excelled on both sides of the field since coming to City from Tottenham in 2017.
He has already won three Premier League titles, four League Cups and the FA Cup in City, but described a Champions League medal as ‘the pinnacle of football’ earlier this week.
He’s played at City’s custom two in all the run-up to the final, which he predicts is “ going to be a bit of a game of chess.
But with the experience gained at the age of 31, Walker could be an important part of that tactical duel for Pep Guardiola’s men, supporting attacks with dangerous crosses and showing his pace of recovery to thwart Chelsea counters. .
Kyle Walker showed his desire to win the Champions League and described it as the ‘highlight’
Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
The comfortable winner of the Football Writers’ Association’s Men’s Footballer of the Year, it’s been quite a year for Ruben Dias since coming to City from Benfica.
Dias has emerged as one of the world’s leading center-backs and has already proven his worth to City by working with John Stones for a long time as they formed the backbone of their Premier League and Carabao Cup victories.
Dias pointed to the semi-final victory against Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital as the moment when he truly believed his side could win this season’s Champions League.
But in addition to his defensive nous – which helped the Premier League champions to concede just 32 league goals in 2020-21 – it is Dias’ leadership that Guardiola must emerge for victory in the center-back’s home country.
Ruben Dias has emerged as one of the world’s leading center-backs in his first season with City
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Perhaps one of the best individual comebacks of the season, the Germany international is now a central cog in Chelsea’s backline.
Largely frozen by Frank Lampard but reinstated by Thomas Tuchel, Rudiger has revived his blues career with some excellent, impressive shows in the back in the second half of the season.
Rio Ferdinand believes the 28-year-old is among the very best in the league and reports have suggested that the West London side will open talks with Rudiger’s representatives after Euro 2020.
But there will be no greater reward for his resurgence than a Champions League victory against a side that has beaten the Blues twice in recent months.
Antonio Rudiger revived his career under Thomas Tuchel with impressive displays
Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)
Unlike Rudiger, it took Chilwell some time to make his way to Tuchel’s side, with Marcos Alonso once again fighting for the role of left back after Lampard’s departure.
But after proving himself in the role of fullback, the England international – who joined the Blues last summer in a £ 50 million deal – overtakes both Spaniard and City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko and Benjamin Mendy.
The 24-year-old was sidelined when Chelsea were dramatically denied a late equalizing goal in the FA Cup final defeat to former club Leicester, but it showed the threat he can pose to death.
And after stating that he wants to emulate Chelsea’s heroes of 2012, Chilwell hopes to have a decisive impact that lasts this time around.
Ben Chilwell joins as left back after an impressive first season at Stamford Bridge
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s concerns leading up to the final have focused on the midfielder’s fitness, showing his importance to the squad.
After a few years below par, Kante has once again dominated the opposition midfield this season, delivering energetic performances in both legs of the semi-final against Real Madrid.
City also knows all about Kante after he messed them up in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley and after winning Premier League titles with both Leicester and Chelsea, the Frenchman now hopes to add the Champions League to his trophy. -draw.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
A completely different skillset from Kante, but in the same world-class league, De Bruyne finished second behind Harry Kane for Premier League assists this season with 12.
His City trophies are even more impressive, with three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five League Cups won in part thanks to his ingenuity and tendency to create opportunities.
Few players in the world can match the threat he has in the last third and set pieces, and now he could claim the biggest prize of all in Porto.
The Premier League has been amazed at his competence for years, but now he is ready to bring the rest of Europe into the scoring in the final of all finals.
N’Golo Kante and Kevin De Bruyne would ensure a formidable collaboration in any midfield
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
There is little doubt about Foden’s place in the City XI and our combined XI squad due to the stunning nature of his season, scoring 16 goals and dazzling supporters around the world.
With three goals and three assists in 12 Champions League games this season, 21-year-old has driven Raheem Sterling from the starting XI.
He scored or assisted in each of City’s knockout games, except the first leg against Borussia Monchengladbach and Paris Saint-Germain.
But having become the local hero on a team full of mega-money signings and superstars, a first-ever Champions League crown would matter to few more than Foden.
Phil Foden has scored three goals this season and assisted as many people in the Champions League
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
The Algerian winger’s record in Europe for Man City has been disappointing this season. But that is no longer the case.
City left the Champions League before Mahrez returned in the quarter-final to convert a penalty in Signal Iduna Park against Borussia Dortmund.
He then scored a crucial second from a free kick at the Parc des Princes before scoring both goals to overturn a possible Paris Saint-Germain comeback in the second leg.
Sportsmail revealed that the 30-year-old is on City’s for sale list this summer, and there would be no better way to win and end an impressive Champions League campaign.
Riyad Mahrez scored both of Man City’s goals in the semi-final against PSG
Timo Werner (Chelsea)
The German striker has had quite a few critics this season, but there have also been flashes of what he can produce.
His header against Real Madrid was nothing to write home about, but it helped calm nerves for a Chelsea side that had begun to face the threat from Karim Benzema.
He has also made a decisive impact against City twice this season, scoring Hakim Ziyech’s goal in the FA Cup semi-finals and assisting Marcos Alonso’s winner at Etihad Stadium in their 2-1 Premier League -victory.
With four goals and two assists in 11 European games this season – the same as Mahrez – Werner has shown he has the ability to turn a frustrating first season at Stamford Bridge into a season that will linger in the memory for a long time.
Timo Werner scored four goals this season and assisted two in the Champions League
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)
No Chelsea or Man City player has scored more Champions League goals in 2020-21 than Olivier Giroud, who scored four in a single match against Sevilla in the group stage.
In reality, the 34-year-old has seen little action in all competitions since putting in a stellar, acrobatic effort at Atletico Madrid, the last of his six European goals in this campaign.
But only Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland have scored more Champions League goals this season, and the Frenchman’s physicality would also threaten Ruben Dias and John Stones from the air.
The striker may not see a future at Stamford Bridge after this game, but now that City also doesn’t have a clinical attacker in their ranks, Giroud gets the nod for us here.
Only Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland have scored more Champions League goals this season than Olivier Giroud