Penpix of Real Madrid players before
Saturday's Primera Liga match at Barcelona:
Ronaldo, striker, 28:
Despite concerns about his weight and work rate, the Brazilian remains
one of the most devastating finishers in the game and he looked to have
regained his edge with a bubbly performance in last week's 6-1 win over
Albacete. Like Figo, the three-times World Player of the Year is a
former Barcelona favourite.
Iker Casillas, goalkeeper, 23:
Broke into the first team as an 18-year-old five seasons ago and has
been the number one choice since. Brilliant shot-stopper and seemingly
impossible to beat in one-on-one situations. He is not so hot on crosses
or long-distance efforts.
Michel Salgado, right back, 29:
One of Real's most reliable performers, the former Celta player has a
good turn of pace, is uncompromising in the tackle and gets forward at
every opportunity. Good crosser of the ball, he occasionally gets caught
out when his attacking instincts get the better of him.
Ivan Helguera, centre-back, 29:
Versatile centre-back, who can also play in midfield, but long-running
groin and knee problems have taken the edge off Helguera's game. Like
predecessor Fernando Hierro he is vulnerable against nimble-footed
forwards. However still capable of producing inspirational performances
at the back.
Francisco Pavon, centre-back, 24:
Competent centre-half, who is good in the air and quick on the ground.
Plays the ball well out of defence, but still struggles to impose
himself on opposition strikers.
Raul Bravo, left back or centre-back, 23:
Speedy left back, who can play in the centre of defence. Good in the
tackle but lacks confidence in the air and is often caught out of
position when he plays in the middle. Likely to be used only if Helguera
and Pavon are unfit.
Walter Samuel, centre-back, 26:
Real paid Roma a hefty 25 million euros ($32.6 million) for the
Argentine international, who as yet has failed to live up to his price
tag. Solid but not particularly agile and could have problems containing
the live-wire Samuel Eto'o.
Roberto Carlos, left back, 31:
Brazilian defender has been one of Real's most influential players since
signing from Inter Milan in 1996. Has incredible pace, allowing him to
push forward into attack on the left, although he often leaves gaps at
the back. Possesses a thundering shot but his free kicks are too often
wide of the mark.
David Beckham, central midfield, 29:
England captain made an impressive start to his Real career but his form
dipped badly after the turn of the year. Has scored two important goals
in the league this season but is not as influential in the centre of
midfield as he was on the right for Manchester United. Returned last
week after a month off with cracked ribs.
Luis Figo, right wing, 32:
Real's first Galactico and the man who helped Florentino Perez win the
presidential election by agreeing to defect from Barcelona. Has never
been forgiven by the Nou Camp faithful and will be assured of another
hostile reception. Remains a determined and elusive runner with a
powerful shot, although tends to be selfish with the ball.
Guti, central midfielder, 28:
Talented but temperamental player, who has taken advantage of Beckham's
injury absence to cement his place in the centre of midfield. Good
vision and neat passing skills. Prone to make reckless challenges that
often lead to unnecessary bookings.
Santiago Solari, left-sided midfielder, 28:
Under-rated Argentine midfielder who frequently makes decisive
appearances as a substitute. Reads the game well, has good close skills
and possesses a great shot.
Zinedine Zidane, left midfield, 32:
Signed for a world record $66 million from Juventus in 2001, the
Frenchman lived up to his price tag when he scored a glorious volleyed
winner in the final of the 2002 European Cup. Like Figo has retired from
international football to prolong his club career. An irregular
performer, he always raises his game for the big occasion and is still
capable of producing moments of match-winning brilliance.
Raul, striker, 27:
Real's captain and the only one of the Spaniards mentioned in the same
breath as the Galacticos. Looked stale and unhappy last season but has
shown recent signs of recovering his sharpness and has a good record in
matches against the old enemy.
Michael Owen, striker, 24:
Joined Real this season for a knock-down 12 million euros and was
quickly labelled the Galactico supersub. Owen has made the most of every
minute on the pitch, scoring six goals in the last eight games. Has yet
to earn himself an automatic place but almost certain to feature at some
stage of Saturday's game.
Fernando Morientes, striker, 28:
Last season's top scorer in the Champions League while on loan at Monaco
and persuaded to return to Real by Jose Antonio Camacho. The arrival of
Owen and the premature departure of Camacho have left him as the lowest
ranked of the four strikers and almost certainly condemned to a season
on the bench.