Real Madrid and Barcelona are two foremost institutions in football. They are quite possibly the two biggest clubs in the world and boast of great tradition and success.
Real are the most successful club in the world, having won 13 UEFA Champions League and 33 La Liga titles. Barcelona are not too far behind either as they have won 5 Champions Leagues and 25 La Liga titles.
However these two premier clubs are great rivals. There has been considerable acrimony and bad blood between the two over the years, and their rivalry quite often transcended the realm of football.
Barca has been a symbol of Catalan pride since time immemorial and have challenged the regal dominance of Real Madrid in Spain and Europe. Quite naturally, both clubs have had their share of legendary players over the years.
The likes of Alfredo Di Stefano, Fernando Hierro and Cristiano Ronaldo have become legends of Real Madrid, whereas, players like Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta have contributed immensely towards Barcelona’s success.
Therefore, quite evidently it is very difficult for any footballer to enjoy success with both of these two Spanish giants.
Given their bitter rivalry, it is very difficult for a player to play for both clubs, let alone be successful. However there have been players who have achieved this remarkable feat. We discuss four such players in this article.
#1 Michael Laudrup
Laudrup is one of the greatest midfielders to ever play in Europe. He was a brilliant passer and had superb vision. He joined Barcelona in 1989 from Juventus and enjoyed 5 supremely successful seasons there.
He scored 47 goals in 213 matches for Barcelona and won 4 La Ligas and an European Cup with them. Laudrup became an essential part of Johan Cruyff’s famous “Dream Team” along with the likes of Romario, Hristo Stoichkov and Ronald Koeman.
He set up 1 goal in Barcelona’s famous 5-0 win against Real in 1994 but left the club that very season after falling out with Cruyff.
Laudrup again played his part when Real got their revenge and demolished Barcelona 5-0 in 1995. He played 76 matches for Real and scored 15 goals. He also won 1 La Liga title with them.
Laudrup remains the only player who can claim to be almost equally popular with the Barca and Real supporters. He played and delivered for both clubs and was rightly voted in 1999 as "the greatest foreign player in La Liga in the last 25 years".
All stats via transfermarkt