Plenty of big names have worn both Real Madrid and Barcelona‘s shirts.
Luis Figo‘s move from the Camp Nou to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu was the most controversial case in recent years, but the El Clasico rivalry had extended to off-field matters for a long time before that.
While Ronaldo Nazario, Bernd Schuster, Samuel Eto’o, Robert Prosinecki, Luis Enrique, Michael Laudrup and others have played for both of Spain’s two biggest clubs, some others have seen the two go to war in order to sign them.
This summer, Erling Haaland is likely to become the latest player that Real Madrid and Barcelona will battle over, though there will be other clubs interested as well.
Alfredo Di Stefano
Perhaps the most controversial transfer of all time. The Argentine-born forward who represented Argentina, Spain and Colombia, was claimed as having been signed by both sides of the El Clasico divide, but after a prolonged dispute it was at Real Madrid where he shone in Spanish football, before a stint at Espanyol pre-retirement.
Florentino Perez did then what he’s hoping to do in pursuit of Haaland by beating newly elected Barcelona president Joan Laporta to the Englishman. Laporta had built his election campaign around signing Beckham, but it was Florentino who managed to lure him away from Manchester United.
Laporta wanted Beckham, Thierry Henry or Ronaldinho to join Barcelona then, and it was the Brazilian who arrived. He had been the subject of interest from Los Blancos as well, and ended up receiving an ovation at the Bernabeu after a dominant performance against them.
It wasn’t just Real Madrid competing with Barcelona for Dani Alves, but Chelsea were also pushing to sign him. He ended up at the Camp Nou though and became one of the game’s greatest ever right-sided players.
Having impressed with Valencia, the Asturian made his move to Barcelona and even scored twice in a 5-0 win over Real Madrid in his first Clasico. To rub salt into Los Blancos’ wounds, he later joined Atletico Madrid and won the LaLiga Santander title there as well.
The Uruguayan was wanted by everyone during his time at Liverpool. Arsenal made headlines for their failed attempts to sign him, but Real Madrid were keen too. He joined the Catalans though and formed one of modern football’s most fearsome frontlines with Lionel Messi and Neymar.
The third member of that MSN trident was also the subject of a war between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The deal wasn’t without its controversy, and he also ended up at the Camp Nou.
We’ll have to wait and see where the Norwegian ends up, and it mightn’t even be in Spain, with a host of other clubs desperate to sign him, namely Manchester City and Chelsea.