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12 Players who have Played for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona

Who comes first to mind, Luis Suarez or Antoine Griezmann?

While Real Madrid might be the greatest rivals of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid the other club from the Spanish capital considers their rivals especially over the last 10 to 11 years. The 2016 Quarterfinal knockout of Barcelona in the hands of Atletico Madrid is one of the highlights of the rivalries. Barcelona fans were very hurtful over this defeat as they expected Barcelona to go ahead to retain the Champions League title, expectedly so as it was their glory years.

Going into the weekend clash between both clubs, we highlight the players who have worn the jersey of both clubs.


Thiago Motta

The current coach of Italian Seria A side, Spezia, Thiago Motta had an illustrious career playing for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. The Italian who made 2 appearances for Brazil before he made the switch to playing for Italy, plied his trade in Inter Milan and PSG but it was at Barcelona he first started off his career, spending 6 years, having initially joined the club at the age of 17. In 2007, Motta side a one-year deal with Atletico Madrid who took a chance on him due to his history of injuries. He would end up making only 8 appearances in all competitions for the Madrid side.


Luis Garcia

Luis Garcia started his professional football career with Barcelona but spent much of his time with the club away on loan with spells in Valladolid, Toledo, Tenerife, and Valladolid again before being sold to Atletico Madrid for  €3.6 million. A successful season at Atletico Madrid meant that Barcelona was again interested in their homegrown player and bought Garcia back from Atletico Madrid. But the Nou Camp proved not to be his true home, and after one season, Barcelona again flogged him, but this time to Liverpool where had his most productive years as a footballer.

Marcos Alonso Pena

Father of Chelsea’s current Left Back, Marcos Alonso, Marcos Alonso Pena, played for Atletico Madrid between 1979 and 1982 and then joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid and played for the Catalan club until 1987 after which he then returned to Atletico Madrid again and spent 2 more years at the club. Sounds familiar?






Bernd Schuster

Yes, the former manager of Real Madrid once played for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, as well as playing for Real Madrid in his career. The German who made headlines as a youth player in Koln was signed to Barcelona when he was only 18. After 8 years at the club, Schuster will then sign for Real Madrid, a transfer that further embroiled Barcelona fans with their Real Madrid counterparts. After 2 years with Real Madrid though, Schuster signed for city rivals where he spent 3 seasons before returning to his native Germany. Despite his transfer to rival clubs, his time in Spain was very successful and he won trophies with each of the clubs he played for in Spain.

Eusebio Sacristan

Eusebio’s career started and ended at Valladolid, but in-between were a combined 8 years with Atletico Madrid (1) and Barcelona (7). He would later play for Celta Vigo before returning to Valladolid and subsequently retire from playing at the club.

Simao Sabrosa

The Portuguese winger, who was a teammate with Figo in Barcelona, but lesser-known compared to the Balon D’or winner, spent two years at the Nou Camp, and would then return to his native Portugal, spending 6 years at Benfica where he won the Primeira Liga, the Portuguese Cup, and the Portuguese Super Cup before heading back to Spain, signing for Atletico Madrid. A successful spell with Atleti meant that he won the Europa League and the Europa Super Cup before moving on to Turkey.

Arda Turan

Turkish legend, Arda Turan spent 4 years at Atletico Madrid where he had a very successful time with the club winning all the trophies the team competed for except for the Champions League in 2014 where they ended up as runner-ups. He moved to Barcelona for a fee of €34 million again winning the La Liga in his time there before returning to Turkey.

Demetrio Albertini

A Milan legend through and through, Albertini in his long career which he gave 14 years to AC Milan, managed to give 1 year apiece to Atletico Madrid (2002-2003) and Barcelona (2004 -2005) after which he retired.

David Villa

El Guaje as he is popularly known was most famous for his time in Valencia where he made his name and scored most of the goals in his career (108). When a big-money and high-profile move came with Barcelona calling, Villa made the move to the Nou Camp for €40 million. After 3 seasons, he signed for Atletico Madrid and played only one season but helped Atleti to win the La Liga title in 2013 – 2014.


Miguel Reina

The Father of former Barcelona goalkeeper Pepe Reina was also a goalkeeper who spent an equal number of years 7 each, playing for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

Antoine Griezmann

Barcelona paid €120 million to Atletico Madrid for the services of Antoine Griezmann after he spent 5 years at the club where he rose to global prominence especially on the international scene with France, winning the World Cup in 2018 and being the highest goal scorer at the Euro Championships of 2016. After 2 years with Barcelona, Griezmann is back on loan with Atletico Madrid on loan. Griezmann is famously quoted as saying “I didn’t leave Atletico for money or to win the Champions League or to win more trophies. I left to learn a new style of play, new philosophies at another team“.

Luis Suarez

Beloved at Barcelona, S to the tremendous MSN trio, Luis Suarez’s move to Atletico Madrid wasn’t exactly one he wanted, and was rather pushed from the club by President Laporte. This didn’t stop Luis Suarez from scoring 21 goals, helping Atletico Madrid to win the La Liga. When Luis Suarez departed from Barcelona, Messi is quoted as saying “You deserved a farewell befitting who you are: one of the most important players in the history of the club, achieving great things for the team and on an individual level. You did not deserve for them to throw you out like they did. But the truth is that at this stage nothing surprises me anymore.

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