Barcelona vs Real Madrid: 7 Stars Who Have Played for Both Clubs Ahead of the El Clasico

Barcelona vs Real Madrid: 7 Stars Who Have Played for Both Clubs Ahead of the El Clasico

Isaac Darko
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Real Madrid take on Barcelona on Saturday, kick-off at 14:00
  • Despite the rivalry between the two clubs, some players have represented both
  • Luis Figo made a controversial move away from the Nou Camp back in 2000

Football enthusiasts can anticipate a delightful spectacle on Saturday at noon, as Real Madrid and Barcelona clash in the inaugural La Liga El Clasico of the season.

Despite the well-documented intense rivalry between these two clubs, it's interesting to note that several players have worn the jerseys of both teams at some point in their careers.

Here is a list of seven stars to have played for both Real Madrid and Barcelona
Here is a list of seven stars to have played for both Real Madrid and Barcelona. Photos by Jasper Juinen/Shaun Botterill/Neal Simpson
Source: Getty Images

In anticipation of the upcoming significant match at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys this weekend, Sports Brief delves into the careers of 7 prominent players who have graced the ranks of Spain's top two teams.

Luis Figo

Renowned for one of the most contentious transfers across the Barcelona-Madrid divide, Figo cemented his legacy on a bittersweet note at the Nou Camp when he made the momentous move to the Spanish capital in 2000, inking a then-world-record £37.4 million deal.

During his tenure with Real Madrid, he clinched two La Liga titles and the Champions League, adding to the two league titles and Cup Winners' Cup he had previously secured with Barcelona, per Bleacher Report.

Lingering resentment among fans persists even to this day, with memories stretching back over 15 years to an incident where a supporter infamously hurled a pig's head at him during his second return to the Nou Camp.

Samuel Eto'o

It's easy to overlook the fact that Eto'o commenced his professional journey with Real Madrid, where he featured in six matches and was loaned out on three occasions.

However, it was during his extended tenure at Mallorca that he truly made his mark and subsequently secured a transfer to Barcelona in 2004, per GOAL.

Following five years, eight trophies, and a remarkable tally of 130 goals, he bid farewell to the Nou Camp as a cherished figure among the fans, heading off to join Inter Milan.

Luis Enrique

The only man on our list to have made a direct switch from Real Madrid to Barcelona, Enrique also delved into the realm of El Clasico as a manager, overseeing the affairs of the Nou Camp giants from 2014 to 2017.

His player journey began at the Bernabeu, accumulating over 200 appearances before making a cost-free transfer to Barca in 1996.

During his eight-year tenure, he clinched seven trophies before retiring in 2004 and embarking on a coaching career.

Bernd Schuster

Schuster, yet another player who made a direct transition from Barcelona to Real Madrid, secured one La Liga title during his extensive eight-year stint at the Nou Camp.

He followed this with consecutive trophies during his two-season tenure at the Bernabeu.

If switching from Barcelona to Real Madrid wasn't intriguing enough, he added another twist to his journey by departing the champions in 1990 to join their city rivals, Atletico. He spent three years there before eventually returning to Germany with Bayer Leverkusen.

Ronaldo Nazario

Ronaldo's Barcelona stint lasted only one season, commencing in 1996 when he arrived from PSV.

During this brief period, he netted an astonishing 47 goals in 49 matches, securing the FIFA World Player of the Year accolade and securing a groundbreaking transfer to Inter Milan.

Following a five-year sojourn in Serie A, he made a comeback to Spain with Real Madrid, where he clinched two La Liga titles but remained unable to lay his hands on the coveted Champions League trophy.

Javier Saviola

Saviola found his stride at Barcelona following his transfer from River Plate in 2001, amassing over 30 league appearances in each of his first three seasons and notching a total of 44 La Liga goals.

However, as he fell in the squad hierarchy and spent time on loan at Monaco and Sevilla, he caught everyone off guard with a surprising switch to Real in 2001.

Two years and 29 appearances later, he embarked on a new adventure with Benfica.

Gheorghe Hagi

Hagi, often hailed as Romania's finest footballer, executed a monumental transfer from Steaua Bucharest to Real Madrid in 1990.

During his two-year stay at the Bernabeu, he managed to secure just the Spanish Super Cup.

Following a two-year stint in Italy with Brescia, he made a comeback to Spain, this time with Barcelona, where he remained for another two seasons in La Liga. Subsequently, he embarked on a trophy-laden chapter in Turkey with Galatasaray.

Key battles this weekend

Football fans are in for some entertainment this weekend ahead of the Manchester and El Clasico derbies.

While the two derbies are arguably among the greatest, there are a lot more. Sports Brief takes a look at the top 10 greatest football rivalries in the world.

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Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)