The greatest rivalry in club football, of course, referring to Barcelona and Real Madrid, has always provided spectacular entertainment and high drama.
However, their rivalries have deteriorated with time, leading their fans to despise one another rather than nurture mutual respect.
The players who have played for both of these teams have felt the brunt of this rivalry in the never-ending business of football transfers.
Here, we take a look at the best players who have managed to play for both of Spain’s longtime rivals.
- Luis Enrique
Before joining Real Madrid in 1991, the ex-Barcelona manager began his career with Sporting Gijon.
He scored 18 goals in 213 appearances for Real during his five seasons there, but a falling out with the club’s board led to a move to arch-rivals Barcelona in 1996.
At the Camp Nou, his career took off as he grew as a player and his play-making abilities improved dramatically. He went on to play 300 games for the Blaugrana and was a key member of the squad in the early 2000s.
- Luis Figo
Since his debut at the Camp Nou in 1995, the Portuguese has been a fan favorite, having led the club to two La Liga victories in 1998 and 1999.
However, his record transfer cost of €62 million to Real Madrid in 2000 enraged Barcelona fans, who were outraged by his betrayal.
Nonetheless, when Luis Figo returned to Camp Nou for an El Clasico match, the fans showed their displeasure by cursing and throwing objects at the midfielder.
- Ronaldo Nazario
Despite the fact that he only played for Barcelona for one season, from 1996 to 1997, he put up incredible numbers.
Ronaldo scored 47 goals in 49 matches that season, making him the youngest player ever to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award at the age of 20.
- Samuel Eto’o
Samuel Eto’o’s Real Madrid career is unlikely to be remembered, as the Cameroonian striker only made three appearances for the Spanish giants and spent most of his time on loan with Mallorca.
Samuel’s rise at Mallorca was noticed by the Catalans, who bought him in 2004, and he went on to become a key member of the Barca squad, particularly during Pep Guardiola’s 2008/09 season.
- Julen Lopetegui
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have a chapter in the history books dedicated to the former Real Madrid coach.
Julen Lopetegui was one of the few players to have represented both Real and Barcelona, albeit for a brief period. Los Blancos loaned him to Las Palmas, where he lasted three years before going to Camp Nou in 1994.