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Ronaldo? Messi? Benzema? Xavi? Iniesta? Which Real Madrid or Barcelona player would you want to see in MLS?

02 March 9:38 de la mañana

Ronaldo? Messi? Benzema? Xavi? Iniesta? Which Real Madrid or Barcelona player would you want to see in MLS?

By Greg Lalas

It's the morning of the opening day of the 2013 MLS season. I'm sitting at a funky cafe called Local 61 in Brooklyn (it's exactly what you imagine it would be), killing time before the Philadelphia Union and Sporting KC kick off to get things going.

Until that first kick, much of the soccer world's mindshare will be occupied with the Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Despite my MLS myopia at times, my own focus this trained on the Bernabeu this morning. If you love soccer, you better be watching.

It all got me thinking: Who from the many stars on the two squads would I most like to see in MLS?

The obvious choice is Barcelona's Lionel Messi. After all, he's the reigning World Footballer of the Year, three times over, and the most creative, devastating weapon of his generation.

But many others would say Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who is like a growling NASCAR car compared to Messi's Formula 1 machine. 

Still others would go for Xavi, the diminutive maestro who conducts the Barca midfield like Leonard Bernstein putting an orchestra through Copland's Appalachain Spring.

There's also Andres Iniesta, who quietly goes about the business of scoring and setting up goals for the Blaugrana, and with nary a peep; Kaka, the experienced, still-graceful artist who can turn a game for Madrid when given the opportunity; and Karim Benzema, who just gets better with each year up front at the Bernabeu. Not to mention Pedro and Mesut Ozil and... well, you get the drift: There are a lot of big stars on the field today.

For me, it's Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain. He's done nothing but score goals his entire career. His effectiveness is not tied to speed or overwhelming skill. He's just one of those guys, like Carlos Ruiz or Chris Wondolowski, who know how to be in the right place at the right time to stab home a goal. I'd definitely pay money every week to watch him play in MLS.

And no, I wouldn't want him playing alongside his brother in Columbus.

WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.