Ranking 5 greatest players to play for Real Madrid and Inter Milan

Ronaldo starred for both Inter Milan and Real Madrid
Ronaldo starred for both Inter Milan and Real Madrid

Inter Milan face Real Madrid today as two of Europe's most glamorous and historic clubs go head-to-head in the Champions League group stages.

Both sides are among the biggest clubs in world football and will be hoping to begin their 2021/22 Champions League campaign with a positive result. The reigning Italian champions host the 13-time winners on match-day one at the San Siro. While both sides have lost some key players over the summer, they still have plenty in their tanks to offer a mouth-watering fixture.

Some iconic legends of the game have played for both Inter Milan and Real Madrid

There have been some huge names in world football that have represented both Inter Milan and Real Madrid throughout the years. These are some true legends of the game who have found success at either or both of these clubs during their respective tenures there.

Here we take a look at five of the greatest players to have played for both Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

#5 Fabio Cannavaro

Cannavaro won two league titles at Real Madrid
Cannavaro won two league titles at Real Madrid

Fabio Cannavaro is one of Italian football's greatest ever defenders, with the center-back one of just three defenders in history to have won the Ballon d'Or.

Cannavaro signed for Inter Milan in 2002 after an impressive spell with the famous Parma side in the late nineties. He won both the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia with the latter before moving to the San Siro.

In his first season with Inter Milan, Cannavaro helped the club reach the Champions League semi-finals and finish as runners-up in Serie A. But an injury-hit second season saw the club's hierarchy surprisingly allow him to leave after making just 74 appearances for Inter Milan. He joined Juventus in a part-exchange deal.

Cannavaro established himself as one of the best defenders in world football during his time in Turin. However, he departed for Real Madrid in 2006 after Juventus' relegation as a result of the Calciopoli scandal.

He was named winner of the Ballon d'Or shortly after moving to Real Madrid, having captained Italy to success at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Cannavaro spent three seasons at Real Madrid, making 118 appearances for Los Blancos and winning two league titles before returning to Juventus.

#4 Clarence Seedorf

Seedorf was one of the most versatile players to play the game
Seedorf was one of the most versatile players to play the game

Clarence Seedorf was one of the most versatile players to have played the beautiful game. The muscular Dutchman could play anywhere in the midfield role - be it an attacking midfielder or a holding box-to-box role. Because of his strong influence on the field and unparalleled tactical skills, he was nicknamed 'Ill Professore' by the Italian media.

During his three years at Real Madrid, Seedorf made 159 appearances, scoring 20 goals and providing 18 assists. He played a crucial role in winning 1996/97 La Liga and three other titles over the course, most notably the Champions League in 1997/98.

Seedorf moved to Inter Milan in 2000 and spent three seasons at the club. But his tenure with the club did not evolve into title winning seasons. He made 93 appearances for Inter Milan, registering 14 goals and 11 assists before joining cross-town rivals AC Milan in 2002.

At AC Milan, he cemented his status as an all-time club great, making 432 appearances and winning two Serie A and Champions League titles. He spent 10 seasons at the club before leaving the Rossoneri in 2012.

#3 Roberto Carlos

<a href='' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer'>Roberto Carlos</a> is often known as the best full-back in football history
Roberto Carlos is often known as the best full-back in football history

The third player on this list who has played for both Inter Milan and Real Madrid is Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos.

Inter Milan would surely have regretted letting Roberto Carlos leave after he spent just one season with the Italians after his arrival from Palmeiras. His sole season saw Inter Milan finish seventh in Serie A, before a disagreement over his playing position saw Carlos leave and sign for Real Madrid.

The Brazilian became one of the greatest full-backs of all time during a stellar career at Real Madrid. He made 527 appearances across all competitions for Los Blancos, winning several major honors.

His list of accolades includes four league titles, three Champions League trophies, and World Cup success with Brazil. The left-back is also the second-most capped player in Brazil's history, behind only Cafu.

Carlos' thunderous bending shots and worldly free-kicks further enhanced his legend. The defender scored an impressive 70 goals in all competitions during his 11-year spell with Real Madrid.

#2 Ronaldo

Ill Fenomeno is one of the best to ever play the game
Ill Fenomeno is one of the best to ever play the game

Few players can boast of having played for both the Milan teams and the El Clasico rivals. Ronaldo burst onto the scene with Barcelona, scoring 47 goals in just 49 appearances to fire the Spanish side to a treble during his sole season at Camp Nou. As such, he became the youngest player to win the Ballon d'Or in 1997, aged just 20, a record yet to be broken.

Inter Milan came calling the following season and signed 'Il Fenomeno' in a record-breaking deal. He made an immediate impact and was named Serie A Footballer of the Year during his debut campaign. He scored 34 goals and dismantled defenses in a division that contained the world's best players at the time, as Inter won the 1998 UEFA Cup.

But a series of knee injuries meant that Ronaldo missed the entire 2000/01 season and much of the campaigns either side with career-threatening issues. He was only able to muster 99 appearances in five seasons with Inter Milan, registering 59 goals and 12 assists in the process.

Ronaldo returned for the 2002 World Cup and finished as the tournament's leading goalscorer to fire Brazil to success. He soon signed for Real Madrid (2002) and became part of the club's Galactico era.

He won a second Ballon d'Or that year and finished as the league's leading scorer the following season, scoring a 104 goals in just 177 appearances for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo managed to win two La Liga titles during his time at Real Madrid. But injuries robbed him of the explosiveness that made him a generation-defining footballer. Nevertheless, he still remains one of the greatest goalscorers in football history.

#1 Luis Figo

Figo is a true legend for both Inter Milan and Real Madrid
Figo is a true legend for both Inter Milan and Real Madrid

No player has been as successful for both Real Madrid and Inter Milan as Portuguese legend Luis Figo.

Figo made a controversial move from Barcelona to Real Madrid for a then world-record fee of โ‚ฌ60 million in 2000. He was part of Real Madrid's first Galacticos generation and made an immediate impact. He won the La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the Interncontinental Cup in his first two seasons.

Playing as a winger Figoโ€™s skilful ability with the ball at his feet enabled him to frequently wrong-foot defenders and link up effectively. His dead-ball skills, visionary passing and leadership skills made it highly difficult for defenses to keep him quiet. Figo left Real Madrid in 2005 after making 245 appearances for Los Blancos, wherein he scored 56 goals and provided a staggering 93 assists.

Figo joined Inter Milan following his spell at Real Madrid and played a key part in re-establishing Inter Milan as the best club in Italy. Now playing as an attacking midfielder, Figo spent four seasons at Inter Milan, winning four consecutive Serie A titles. The winger made 140 appearances, scoring 11 goals and providing 29 assists before he retired from the game in 2009.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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