PSG vs Barcelona: 7 Players Who Played for Both Clubs Ahead of UCL Clash

PSG vs Barcelona: 7 Players Who Played for Both Clubs Ahead of UCL Clash

Elijah Odetokun
April 10, 2024 at 2:00 PM
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O.Dembélé
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  • Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona will meet tonight in the UEFA Champions League
  • The match is a reunion for winger Ousmane Dembele, who left Barca last summer
  • The French attacker is one of the many players who have played for both clubs

Paris Saint-Germain will host Barcelona at the Parc des Princes in the first leg of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League quarter-final later tonight. The second leg is scheduled for next week.

Ousmane Dembele, one of the 20 players who have played for both clubs, will face his former club for the first time since leaving last summer to return to his home country.

Neymar Jr, Lionel Messi, Barcelona, River Plate, 2015 FIFA Club World Cup, Japan.
Neymar and Lionel Messi played together at Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Photo by Kyodo News.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief looks at seven of those players, including Lionel Messi.

Players who played for PSG and Barca

1. Lionel Messi

Barcelona broke social media on August 5, 2021, when they announced that Messi will not continue at the club after 21 years. He joined PSG on a two-year contract and left when it expired last summer. He left Europe and moved to Major League Soccer.

2. Neymar Jr

This is the biggest transfer between the two clubs. Per BBC Sport, the Paris club activated his release clause of €222 million. The move came months after he put up an inspiring performance to help the Spanish club knock the French champions out of the UCL with a 6-1 comeback win.

3. Ronaldinho

The Brazilian legend spent two seasons with the Parisians in his first European adventure before moving to Barca in 2003. He played for five seasons in the famous red and blue jersey and won it all, including the 2006 Champions League.

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

One of the most controversial figures to play for both clubs. Ibrahimovic spent two years on the books of the Spanish club, one of which was spent on loan at AC Milan. In 2012, a year after moving permanently to Italy, he joined the French giants, where he spent four years.

5. Ousmane Dembele

Dembele was signed to replace Neymar in 2017, and it is ironic that he also left to join the French club. In an interview with L'Equipe, he admitted the allure of returning to France convinced him to leave Barcelona.

6. Thiago Motta

Motta began his professional career at Barcelona but injury limited his appearances. He left in 2007 and played for Atletico Madrid, Genoa and Inter Milan before joining PSG in 2012. He played in Paris for six years before retiring in 2018. He is the head coach of the Italian club Bologna and will join Juventus next season, according to Calcio Mercato.

7. Mikel Arteta

The Arsenal manager could be excused from this list as he did not make a senior appearance for the five-time UCL winners. He spent a season on loan in France from La Masia before joining Rangers permanently the following year.

Mbappe disagrees with Enrique

Sports Brief reported on Kylian Mbappe disagreeing with Luis Enrique on the pitch after PSG's 1-1 draw against relegation-threatened Clermont Foot.

The attacker and his manager were embroiled in an argument before their UCL clash. Enrique managed Barca and won the Champions League in 2015.

Authors
Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.