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City v Real: Profiling the Galacticos

Get to know our stellar opponents before Tuesday's Champions League clash...

Goalkeepers

Keylor Navas: The Costa Rican goalkeeper has played in eight of Real Madrid’s 10 Champions League games this season. He made 160 stops in La Liga last season – more than any other keeper in the league and is yet to concede a single goal when playing in Europe this season.

Keylor Navas

Kiko Casilla: Casilla moved to Madrid in 2000 and was part of the youth system before moving to Espanyol in 2007. The shot-stopper made over 100 appearances for the club before moving back to Madrid in summer. He has made two Champions League and three La Liga appearances this season.

Ruben Yanez: Yanez joined Madrid from Girona in 2010 and has since progressed through the club, and making over 30 appearances for the Castilla side. Yanez did feature in a friendly match for Madrid against Valengra, but is yet to have a competitive match to his name.

Defenders

Raphael Varane: Varane was signed from Lens in 2011, and has also forced his way into the France squad. Varane has played over 30 times for Madrid this season but his only registered goal for the Galactico’s came against Rayo Vallecano in 2011

Pepe: The experienced 33-year-old has been at Madrid since 2007 after signing from FC Porto. He is a player that knows all about the competition as his 83 appearances state.

Sergio Ramos: Ramos has been at Real Madrid since summer 2005 and has won a numerous amount of trophies in Spain including the 2014 Champions League and several league trophies. Ramos made his debut on the international stage at just 19 and has won both the FIFA World Cup and the European Championships (2008 and 2012) with Spain.

Nacho: Nacho has played in five of the team’s six group matches this season, which including scoring the only goal in Madrid’s 1-0 win against PSG at the Bernabeau. He has been at the club for 15 years having arrived in 2001 as a youth team player and made his first team debut against Valencia in a 6-3 away win in 2011.

NaCHO

Marcelo: The experienced left-back has kept a clean sheet in the eight Champions League games he has played this season, which has also involved getting two assists. The Brazilian full-back has made over 350 appearances for Madrid, and was also part of the squad that won this competition in 2014.

Dani Carvajal: Carvajal has featured five times in this year’s campaign, with a goal against Shakhtar and an assist for Ronaldo against Wolfsburg to his name. Carvajal joined Madrid in 2002 and before leaving for Bayern Leverkusen in 2012 for a season, played regularly in the ‘B’ side. After one season in Germany, he returned to Madrid and made the UEFA team of the year in 2013-14.

Alvaro Arbeloa: Arbeloa has only made two appearances in this season’s competition, and has had spells at Deportivo and Liverpool. He was a late substitute in Liverpool’s 2007 Champions League final defeat against AC Milan, but did not feature in Madrid’s win against Atletico in 2014. The last time Real travelled to City, he was sent off after receiving two yellow cards, which allowed Aguero to earn City a point from the spot.

Danilo: Danilo was signed from Porto in summer and has made six Champions League appearances thus far in his debut season. In his last season with Porto, he notched in seven goals and has also won a silver medal with Brazil at the 2012 London Olympics.

Midfielders

Toni Kroos: Kroos arrived from Bayern Munich becoming the ninth German player to sign for Madrid. 2014 was a very positive season for the German as he picked up winners’ medals for the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Bundesliga, German Cup and the Club World Cup.

Casemiro: Casemiro was first loaned out to Real Madrid B in 2013 when he was playing for Sao Paulo in Brazil. In the same season, he made his La Liga debut in a 3-1 home win over Real Betis before a permanent move was agreed between the two clubs that summer. His only goal this season came in a 2-1 away win at Las Palmas.

Isco: Signed from Malaga, Isco was instrumental in helping them to Champions League football and scored twice in their first group stage game against Zenit in 2012. Manuel Pellegrini will be familiar with Isco as the pair worked together during their time at Malaga.

James Rodriguez: Rodriguez was one of the main players at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and was signed by Madrid after his performances with Colombia. His volley against Uruguay was named as goal of the tournament as well as the year. Rodriguez has played four times in this champions league campaign, scoring one goal – in a 2-0 win at home to AS Roma.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale: Bale has played five times for Madrid in this Champions League campaign, and is currently having his best goal scoring season in La Liga. The former Spurs man has scored 16 times in 20 appearances in the league this year.

Luka Modric: Modric has played nine times for Real Madrid in the Champions League this year and his only goal came in a 4-3 win over Shakhtar in November. At the age of 17, Modric was named as the best player in the Bosnian first division, during his time on loan at HŠK Zrinjski Mostar. He received the same award in 2007 when at Dinamo Zagreb.

Mateo Kovacic: Kovacic scored his first Champions League goal for Madrid in their 8-0 drubbing of Malmo in December. Kovacic is a full Croatian international, and made his Dinamo Zagreb debut at the age of just 16.

Forwards

Cristiano Ronaldo: Ronaldo is the only Madrid player to play in every game of the competition so far, and the former Manchester United player has scored 16 times. He is the top scorer in this year’s competition, and scored the winner when Madrid beat City 3-2 in 2012. Ronaldo currently has 47 goals in 46 appearances this season for club and country.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Karim Benzema: Four goals in seven appearances in this tournament so far for Karim Benzema, and the French international scored in both games when the City and Real met in the group stages back in 2012. Three of Benzema’s four goals came against Malmo in an 8-0 win during the group stages.

Jese: Jese arrived in Madrid’s youth academy at the age of 14 and worked his way through the club. When playing for the Castilla side in 2012/13 season, he broke the scoring record of Madrid legend Emilio Butragueno by scoring 22 goals in the season.

Lucas Vasquez: The Spanish forward has been at Madrid since 2007, but this season has been the breakthrough year for him after returning on-loan from Espanyol. Vasquez has played 27 times for Madrid this year and has scored three times in La Liga this season.

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You’d have paid more than a penny for the thoughts of Sergio Aguero when the UEFA Champions League semi-final draw was made and City were paired with Real Madrid.

A return to the city where he had his first taste of European football, sharpening his prodigious predatory skillset and producing his best for City but not at the Vincente Calderon where he was, and still is, loved.