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El Clasico 2015: Stars who played for both sides

El Clasico history: Stars who played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid

March 22, 2015 By Oscar Rojas
Which players do you remember have worn both of Spain's most coveted jerseys? Here's a recap of some of those cases throughout history.

History between Barcelona and Real Madrid will always be surrounded by controversy. One of these topics lands on the players that switched sides  and played for both teams. Legends even tell that one of these transfers fueled the rivalry up to the point we know nowadays. Can you recall all the players that had their time calling both Camp Nou and Santiago Bernabeu Stadiums "home"? Here's a recap of some cracks that sported both jerseys throughout history.

Alfredo Di Stefano

In 1952, Real Madrid paid Colombian club Millonarios 50% of Di Stefano's transfer. The South Americans agreed to the deal, but demanded the striker kept playing for them until 1955 due to an agreement the club made with Argentinian side River Plate. Two years later, Barcelona bought the remainging 50% of the player's transfer from the Argentinian club, starting a "war" to sign Di Stefano for good, since both clubs had rights to own the player, but bought them from different owners. Real Madrid's president, Santiago Bernabeu, talked to the player and offered him a small fee if he decided to play for them. After banning the player from performing in the Spanish league, FIFA determined that the clubs should share Di Stefano, alternating his presence with each team one year at a time. After a failed attempt to sell their 50% to Juventus, Los Blaugranas surrendered their rights to the player. La Saeta Rubia finally joined Real Madrid and led them to eight La Liga titles, alongside five Europe Champions' Cup (now known as UEFA Champions League). In fact, Di Stefano scored his two first goals playing for Real Madrid against Barcelona, in a game that would end 5-0.

The Argentinian, wearing both shirts.

Michael Laudrup

Denmark's greatest footballer of all time played for Barcelona from 1989 to 1994, being one of the stars of Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team". During the 1993-94 season, Cruyff decided to bench Laudrup for most of the year, forcing the Dane to search for a new team. Real Madrid signed the player the very next season, where he won La Liga with Los Blancos, giving Laudrup the chance for a little bit of revenge against Cruyff, who felt he had nothing more to contribute. Laudrup is the only player ever to win a Clasico with a 5-0 score while playing for both teams. 

The Danish player won the UEFA Champions League and four La Liga trophies with Los Blaugranas

Luis Enrique Martinez

Barcelona's current coach played five years for Real Madrid with up and coming performances. In 1995, negotiations to extend the player's contract with Los Blancos were not successful, giving Luis Enrique the chance to sign with Los Blaugranas. Martinez played nine years for Los Cules, where his performances got better as time went by. When playing against Real Madrid, Luis Enrique displayed some of the most fearless performances against Los Merengues, since he felt unappreciated by the team's execs who refused to extend his contract. He went on to coach Barca's youth teams before signing with Roma and Celta. This is his first season as Barcelona's boss.

Luis Enrique, from Real Madrid's youth categories to Barcelona legend.

Luis Figo

Perhaps one of the most controversial transfers ever, the Portuguese superstar and current FIFA presidential candidate became one of Barcelona's favorite sons since his arrival in 1995, even wearing the captain's armband on occasion. His performances against Real Madrid boosted him to a legendary status, but it all ended in the year 2000, when Florentino Perez promised to sign the Ballon D'Or winner if he was elected as Real Madrid's president. Figo was angry with Barcelona's execs, since they did not offer a contract extension with enough money to support it, choosing to leave the Catalunyans and sign for Los Blancos. Whenever Figo played at Camp Nou with Real Madrid, fans appeared to have a shooting contest, throwing all kinds of items to the pitch to hit Figo, including a pig's head. The Portuguese wingman won one UEFA Champions League with Los Blancos, something he could never accomplish with the Catalunyans.

Figo's transfer to Real Madrid was at the time, the most expensive in football's history.

Figo's transfer to Real Madrid was at the time, the most expensive in football's history.

Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima

The Brazilian striker arrived to Cataluña in 1996, and dazzled defenders and fans with his quickness and goalscoring ability. Ronaldo played only one year with Los Blaugranas after a dispute over his contract with Josep Lluis Nuñez, the team's president back then. After coming down with serious injuries that put his playing days in jeopardy, El Fenomeno signed with Los Blancos following the 2002 World Cup, and managed to rack up 104 goals in 177 appearances. He left the club during his fifth year, following continuous arguments with coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, and with Ronaldo battling with a glandular disease which caused him to gain weight considerably.

Ronaldo was crowned as the league's top scorer playing both teams, winning El Pichichi in 1997(with Barcelona) and in 2004(with Real Madrid)

Samuel Eto'o

Joining Real Madrid's youth teams at the age of 15, Eto'o played one game for Real Madrid before being loaned to Real Mallorca. There, Eto'o made a habit out of exposing Real Madrid's defense every time he played against them, forcing fans and media to request his return. Eto'o chose not to play for Los Blancos after being snubbed for years, and signed with Barcelona in 2004. Eto'o became one of the most beloved players for the team's fans, who knew where he came from but took him in as one of their own. Eto'o was heavily criticized after mocking Real Madrid during Barca's celebrations of their La Liga title in 2005, but remained playing with Los culés until 2009.

Eto'o currently holds the fifth spot among Barcelona's all time top scorers.

Other footballers who played for both teams

From Barcelona to Real Madrid

Ricardo Zamora(GK)

Luis Milla

Bernd Schuster

Albert Celades

Javier Saviola

From Real Madrid to Barcelona

Julen Lopetegui (current FC Porto coach)

Gheorghe Hagi

Robert Prosinecki

Alfonso Pérez

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