Real Madrid and Chelsea players: The best footballers to ever play for the Los Blancos and the Blues

Real Madrid and Chelsea players: The best footballers to ever play for the Los Blancos and the Blues

Lenah Ann
updated at March 16, 2024 at 3:54 PM
In this article:
Chelsea logo
Chelsea
England
52
Real Madrid logo
Real Madrid
Spain
39

Real Madrid and Chelsea are among the biggest clubs in Europe, with millions of fans from every corner of the globe. They are both known for producing some of the greatest players in soccer history who have made history by bagging some of the most lucrative trophies ever. In the transfer market, Real Madrid and Chelsea players have dominated headlines because of their talents and skills.

Antonio Rudiger, Thibaut Courtois, and Eden Hazard
Antonio Rudiger (L), Thibaut Courtois (C), and Eden Hazard (R) have all played for Chelsea and Real Madrid. Photo: Diego Souto, Visionhaus, Roland Krivec (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Table of Сontents:

Statistics show that Los Blancos are superior since they have won numerous accolades, including 14 UEFA Champions League and 35 La Liga titles. Conversely, Chelsea has bagged 6 Premier League titles and 2 UEFA Champions League titles.

The best ever players to play for Real Madrid and Chelsea

According to various online sources such as Khel Now and FBref, here is a list of the best footballers to ever play for the Los Blancos and the Blues.

Name

Chelsea appearances

Real Madrid appearances

Total appearances for both clubs

Eden Hazard

352

76

428

Thibaut Courtois

154

230

384

Claude Makélélé

217

145

362

Mateo Kovačić

221

109

330

Michael Essien

256

35

291

Antonio Rüdiger

203

87

290

Ricardo Carvalho

210

77

287

Gonzalo Higuaín

18

254

282

Nicolas Anelka

184

33

217

Marcos Alonso

212

1

213

Geremi

109

76

185

Kepa Arrizabalaga

163

18

181

Arjen Robben

106

65

171

Álvaro Morata

72

95

167

Lassana Diarra

31

116

147

Christian Panucci

10

96

106

Samuel Eto'o

35

7

42

17. Samuel Eto'o

  • Age: 43 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Cameroonian
  • Position: Striker
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 42
Players who played for Chelsea and Real Madrid
Samuel Eto'o of Chelsea celebrates scoring against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on 22 March 2014 in London, England. Photo: Richard Heathcote
Source: Getty Images

Samuel Eto'o is a legend on the football field who has played for various clubs across Europe and Africa. He has numerous titles, including being a 3-times UEFA Champions League winner and a FIFA Club World Cup champion.

He is among the best former Real Madrid and Chelsea players who have gone down in the sport's history with major trophies. He made 35 appearances for the Blues and scored 12 goals and 7 assists. At Los Blancos, he featured in 7 matches.

16. Christian Panucci

  • Age: 50 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Position: Right back
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 106

Christian Panucci was one of the greatest Italian defenders in history. He was known for his versatility, playing for various European clubs such as Chelsea and Real Madrid. He made 10 appearances for the London-based club and 96 for the Spanish giants.

15. Lassana Diarra

  • Age: 39 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: French
  • Position: Defensive midfielder
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 147
Ex Chelsea players at Real Madrid
Javier Mascherano of FC Barcelona (L) fights for the ball against Lass Diarra of Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on 3 May 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: David Ramos
Source: Getty Images

Lassana Diarra, the former French soccer player, was one of the world's best players, having played for Chelsea and Real Madrid. At Los Blancos, he featured in 116 matches and scored 1 goal with 7 assists. At the Blues, he featured in 31 matches and had 1 assist.

14. Álvaro Morata

  • Age: 31 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Position: Striker
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 167

Alvaro Morata is among the greatest players who have played for Chelsea and Real Madrid. He joined Chelsea in 2017 and spent three years at the club, featuring in 72 matches. Before that, he spent 8 years at Los Blancos from 2008 to 2016 and featured in 95 matches.

13. Arjen Robben

  • Age: 40 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Position: Winger
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 171
Real Madrid and Chelsea players
Arjen Robben of Chelsea celebrates scoring in the Premier League against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on 18 December 2004 in London, England. Photo: Ben Radford
Source: Getty Images

Arjen Robben is a retired soccer player known for his speed, dribbling skills, long-range shots, and ball control. From 2004 to 2007, he played for the Blues; from 2007 to 2009, he played for the Spanish side.

The Football Faithful indicates that he featured in 106 matches for the Blues and 65 for the Los Blancos and bagged numerous trophies, including 2 Premier League and 1 La Liga titles.

12. Kepa Arrizabalaga

  • Age: 29 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 181

Kepa Arrizabalaga is among the best players for Chelsea and Real Madrid. At the Blues, he made 163 appearances and kept 59 clean sheets; at Los Blancos, he made 18 appearances and kept 7 clean sheets.

11. Geremi

  • Age: 45 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Cameroonian
  • Position: Right back, midfielder
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 185
Chelsea players that went to Real Madrid
Geremi of Real Madrid against Barcelona's Philip Cocu at the Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spain on 13 October 1999. Nuno Correia
Source: Getty Images

The former soccer player was among the best Real Madrid players who went to Chelsea to further their careers. At the London-based club, he made 109 appearances and scored 4 goals and 8 assists. At Los Blancos, he featured in 76 matches and had 2 goals and 9 assists.

10. Marcos Alonso

  • Age: 33 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Position: Left-back, centre-back
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 213

News Naira reports that Marcos Alonso is one of the best defenders to ever play for the Blues and Los Blancos. In his career with the London-based club, he made 212 appearances, scoring 29 goals and providing 23 assists. He made 1 appearance for the Spanish giant and did not score or provide an assist.

9. Nicolas Anelka

  • Age: 44 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: French
  • Position: Centre-forward
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 217
Nicholas Anelka of Chelsea
Nicholas Anelka of Chelsea controls the ball under pressure from Zdenek Grygera of Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino on 10 March 2009 in Turin, Italy. Photo: Etsuo Hara
Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Anelka was a celebrated figure in the English Premier League during his time with the London-based club, where he made 184 appearances in all competitions.

He left the Blues in 2012 after being with them for five seasons, scoring 59 goals and providing 55 assists to join Real Madrid. He stayed at the Spanish club from 1999 to 2000, where he made 33 appearances, netted 7 times, and provided 6 assists.

8. Gonzalo Higuaín

  • Age: 36 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Argentine
  • Position: Striker
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 282
Who is in the Chelsea squad and has played for Real Madrid?
Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea celebrates with the Europa League Trophy at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on 29 May 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo: Michael Regan
Source: Getty Images

Gonzalo Higuaín was one of the best Real Madrid Chelsea players, who played for the Blues on loan, featured in 18 matches, and won the 2028/19 UEFA Europa League.

Known for his prolific eye-scoring abilities, strong physique, predatory finishing, and offensive movements, he made 254 appearances for Los Blancos and netted 121 goals with 56 assists.

7. Ricardo Carvalho

  • Age: 45 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Position: Centre-back
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 287
Ricardo Carvalho of Real Madrid and Barcelona's Pedro
Ricardo Carvalho (R) of Real Madrid runs for the ball with Pedro Rodriguez of Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on 16 April 2011 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Jasper Juinen
Source: Getty Images

During his active years, Ricardo Carvalho made history as one of the best defenders in the world. He was among the few Chelsea players that went to Real Madrid to further their careers as reported by Jet Punk. He joined the Blues in 2004 and signed with Los Blancos in 2010 till 2013.

His combination with John Terry during Jose Mourinho's managerial tenure shook the English Premier League. He scored 11 goals and 6 assists with the London-based club and 3 goals and 3 assists with the Spanish giant.

6. Antonio Rüdiger

  • Age: 31 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: German
  • Position: Centre-back
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 290
Antonio Rudiger against Bayern Munich
Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea against Bayern Munich at Stamford Bridge on 25 February 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Photo: Roland Krivec
Source: Getty Images

As of March 2024, Antonio Rudiger is one of the best ex-Chelsea players at Real Madrid. He joined the club at the beginning of the 2022/23 season after featuring in 203 matches for the Blues and bagging the UEFA Champions League. So far, he has featured in 87 matches for Los Blancos.

5. Michael Essien

  • Age: 41 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Ghanaian
  • Position: Midfielder
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 291
Michael Essien and Burak Yilmaz
Michael Essien (L) of Real Madrid and Burak Yilmaz of Galatasaray during their UEFA Champions League match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on 3 April 2013 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Manuel Queimadelos
Source: Getty Images

Michael Essien was among the best Chelsea players that went to Real Madrid to further their career. During his active years, he was regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

With Chelsea, he won the Premier League twice and the Champions League once and featured in 256 matches where he scored 20 goals with 20 assists. At Los Blancos, he featured in 35 matches, scored twice, and provided 1 assist.

4. Mateo Kovačić

  • Age: 29 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Austrian-Croatian
  • Position: Central midfielder
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 330
Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid
Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid in action against CD Leganes at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on 24 January 2018 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Power Sport
Source: Getty Images

Mateo Kovacic is one of the most recent Real Madrid-Chelsea players according to Planet Football. He signed up for the London-based club in 2019 after spending four seasons with the Spanish Giants and being featured in 109 matches.

The Croatian professional player featured in 221 matches for Chelsea and is known for winning three UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid and one with the Blues.

3. Claude Makélélé

  • Age: 51 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Congolese-French
  • Position: Defensive midfielder
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 362
Claude Makelele and Valeri Karpin
Claude Makelele (R) of Real Madrid and Valeri Karpin of Celta Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, in Madrid, on 21 October 2001. Photo: Digital Image
Source: Getty Images

Claude Makélélé was one of the greatest soccer legends who made history during his active years. He played for the Blues from 2003 to 2008 after being with the Spanish powerhouse from 2000 to 2003 and bagged numerous trophies, including 2-La Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League.

2. Thibaut Courtois

  • Age: 31 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 384
Real Madrid and Chelsea players
Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match against Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge on 18 April 2023 in London, England. Photo: Visionhaus
Source: Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois is arguably one of the best Chelsea players sold to Real Madrid. according to Football Transfers stats. Before signing with the Spanish club in 2018, he had an impressive run in London from 2014 to 2018, where he featured in 154 matches for the Blues and kept 58 clean sheets in all competitions.

Since he is among the best goalkeepers in the world, he has led a successful career at the Spanish club, featuring in 230 matches and keeping 91 clean sheets as of March 2024. So far, he has won 8 titles at the club, including the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League.

1. Eden Hazard

  • Age: 33 (as of March 2024)
  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Position: Winger, attacking midfielder
  • Total Chelsea-Real Madrid apps: 428
Eden Hazard of Real Madrid
Eden Hazard of Real Madrid looks on during the LaLiga Santander match against Getafe at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on 13 May 2023 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Diego Souto
Source: Getty Images

Eden Hazard is one of the best players who have played for Chelsea and Real Madrid. During his time in the Premier League, he was known for his creativity and dribbling abilities and was regarded as one of the best players of his generation.

The renowned legend made 352 appearances for Chelsea and scored 110 goals and 92 assists. However, after joining Los Blancos, he did not live up to his expectations, and thus, he only made 76 appearances and scored only 7 goals and 12 assists.

Frequently asked questions

The two European clubs have maintained a mutually beneficial relationship, enabling them to transfer players for their own benefit. Here are some frequently asked questions about players who have played for the Blues and the Los Blancos.

Who is in the Chelsea squad and has played for Real Madrid?

As of March 2024, several renowned stars who have played for Real Madrid are on the Chelsea squad. These players include Thiago Silva, Wes Fofana, Trevoh Chalobah, Mateo Kovacic, Marc Cucurella and Enzo Fernández.

Which player has played for Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSG?

Claude Makélélé is among the few players in history who have played for Real Madrid, Chelsea, and PSG. He won the Spanish, French, and English league titles and the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League with Los Blancos.

Final word

Most Real Madrid-Chelsea players have gone down in history and are known for their various contributions to the success of their respective clubs. Although the two clubs have met on a few occasions, they have a long history of achievements and triumphs in their respective competitions.

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Barcelona has had a rich history when it comes to managerial tactics and thus has bagged numerous trophies with renowned managers such as Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola. Click on the link above to discover a comprehensive list of Barcelona managers in history.

Authors
Lenah Ann photo
Lenah Ann
Lenah Ann is a Kenyan-based content creator with 2 years of experience. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media and Communication from Dedan Kimathi, Kenya in 2021.