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Tuesday, 23 May, 2000, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Real Madrid's key players

Five stars to watch out for in the Real Madrid side.

Steve McManaman
Nationality: British
Age: 28

Ever since this left or right-sided midfielder's depature from Liverpool under the Bosman ruling, the wispy winger has found life at the Bernabeu club a tough test.

But England's representative in the Champions League final has experienced a turnaround in fortunes since his arrival at the start of the season.

A series of niggling injuries have hampered his progress, but an impressive performance against Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the competition showed Real Madrid and the rest of the footballing world what McManaman can achieve at the peak of his game.

The former Anfield favourite has the ability to stretch defences with his close control, deceptive pace and clever link play.

The ability to switch from right to left wing is also a highlight of McManaman's game, but he is often let down by poor finishing and inaccurate crossing.


Nicolas Anelka
Nationality: French
Age: 21

It is fair to say that Nicolas Anelka has been unsettled since his 22m transfer from Arsenal last year.

But whatever the shortfalls behind the scenes, the France striker is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous finishers in the modern game.

Until recently, Anelka had failed to secure a regular first team place due to alleged rows with former Real boss John Toshack and current coach Vicente del Bosque.

Crucially though, the striker demonstrated what the club had been missing by scoring goals in both the home leg and, more importantly, the away leg of Real's semi final against Bayern Munich.

Anelka's strength is his pace and confidence when it comes to shooting - he also reads the game as well as any young striker in the world today.


Roberto Carlos
Nationality: Brazilian
Age: 27

The Brazilian wing-back is renowned more for his thunderbolt shot, than his defensive capabilties.

His reverse banana shot in Le Tournoi has been heralded as the one of the greatest goals of all time, but the 27-year-old also delivers a pacy cross.

Carlos has not scored as many goals as perhaps he should have for Real, and despite his undoubted ability going forward, he may leave gaps at the back.

The stockily-built star joined Real Madrid from Juventus in 1996, and is one of the few players from the European Cup winning team of 1998 still at the club.


Fernando Redondo
Nationality: Argentina
Age: 30

Redondo has been a revelation since his arrival at Tenerife from Real in 1994.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson singled him out as the player who stopped the Old Trafford side from playing at their own pace in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The 30-year-old sits in deep, just in front of the defence, and normally controls the pace of the Real attack.

The Argentina star is likely to captain Real in Paris, after Fernando Hierro's withdrawal from the final due to injury.


Raul Gonzalez
Nationality: Spanish
Age: 22

Arguably the Spanish national side's most prized posession, Raul is lethal in front of goal.

He made his debut as a promising 17-year-old and has since flourished for both club and country.

The young star has already achieved more in the game than many of his contemporaries, scoring 100 career league goals and a Champions League winners' medal in 1998.

Raul can create chances from virtually nothing, and his instinctive accuracy with either a chip or a lob is deadly.

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