Nine players to play for both Manchester City and Real Madrid
The two clubs go head-to-head in the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday evening. They also share a number of past players to have represented both clubs.
As both teams look to move a step closer to becoming European champions, Manchester City will be hoping to get their revenge for the last year’s elimination when they face Real Madrid in the competition’s semi-final first leg in Madrid. This won’t be the first time that the Blues have faced Real Madrid in a Champions League semi-final, with the pair coming up against each other at this stage in 2016 & 2022.
Back in 2016, after a goalless stalemate in Manchester, City traveled to the Spanish capital knowing a score draw would see them through to a first-ever final. This was not to be though as City lost 1-0 thanks to a deflected Gareth Bale shot in the first half which sent Madrid through to the final which they eventually won and who can forget the legendary 02nd leg last year in Madrid where City were almost in the finals before Madrid came back to turnover the deficit of 02 goals and eventually won the Champions League 21-22.
9. Jose Angel Pozo
One of the more vague and forgettable names on the list is Jose Angel Pozo. The Spanish attacking midfielder was on the books at the Bernabeu from 2007 as a youngster but made the move to City’s academy in 2012.
After two seasons turning out for City’s youth side, Pozo was promoted in 2014 to the senior squad by then-City manager Manuel Pellegrini. He made four appearances for the club before leaving to join Almeria in 2015, scoring one goal for the Sky Blues which came against Sheffield Wednesday in a 7-0 League Cup rout.
8. Brahim Diaz
The most recent player to swap between Manchester and Madrid is young Spanish playmaker Brahim Diaz, who joined Los Blancos in 2019, having been in the setup at City since 2015 after joining from Malaga’s youth academy.
During his four year stay at the club, Diaz played 15 matches, scoring two goals in the process. Thanks to his five Premier League appearances in 2017-18, Diaz was entitled to collect a winner’s medal following City’s title triumph. Diaz has struggled for form since joining Madrid and is currently on loan at AC Milan for a second season running.
7. Emmanuel Adebayor
Manchester City’s new-found wealth saw The Citizens regularly raid Arsenal for new talent, with the likes of Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor all swapping the Emirates for the Etihad. Controversially joining City from Premier League rivals Arsenal in 2009, Emmanuel Adebayor made himself very popular with the sky blue faithful early on during his time in Manchester. Facing Arsenal for the first time since the move, Adebayor not only scored but ran the entire length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal-occupied away section of the Etihad.
In January 2011, the Togo international moved to Real Madrid on loan from City, having fallen down the striker pecking order at City, following the recent arrival of Edin Dzeko. Following an initial loan period, joined Real Madrid on l in January 2011. He scored eight goals in 22 appearances for the Spanish side and ended the season with a winners’ medal after lifting the Copa del Rey. Adebayor left City permanently the year after to join Tottenham Hotspur. The striker scored 19 goals in 45 games during his time playing for the Citizens.
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6. Javi Garcia
Another graduate of Madrid academy on the list, the Spanish center defensive midfielder had begun his career at Real Madrid, turning out for the academy and B team, Real Madrid Castilla, before joining Osasuna in 2007. Javi Garcia returned to Madrid for a season before moving to Benfica where he was bought by Manchester City for £15.8 million in the summer of 2012 because the club looking to strengthen their Premier League winning squad of 2011-12.
Garcia spent two seasons at the club, winning the 2014 Premier League title as well as that year’s League Cup too before moving on to Zenit St Petersburg in the summer. In his time at the club, Garcia contributed 2 goals in 80 games for the Citizens, including a debut goal vs Stoke City in the league.
5. Steve McManaman
The only Englishman on this list, Steve McManaman shocked the world when he signed for Spanish giants Madrid in 1999. The winger had come through the academy ranks at Liverpool and established himself as one of the Premier League’s finest wide players, before choosing to leave Anfield in search of silverware and sign for Real Madrid on a free transfer. Although becoming a fan favourite at the club, McManaman went on to win two LaLiga titles and two Champions League trophies.
The winger left Los Blancos in 2003 to join City, where he stayed for two years until his retirement in 2005. McManaman reunited with ex-Liverpool teammates Robbie Fowler and David James at City, but struggled with fitness problems before announcing his retirement in 2005. McManaman made 44 appearances for the Sky Blues but failed to grab any goals during his stay in Manchester.
4. Alvaro Negredo
Here’s the player who was the face of new transformed City under the Pellegrini’s tenure at the club. Born in Madrid, Alvaro Negredo joined Real early on in his career and scored 22 goals in 65 appearances for Real Madrid Castilla and after failing to break through into the senior squad, Negredo left to join Sevilla.
Earning the nickname ‘The Beast’, Negredo soon became a fan favourite at City following his arrival from Sevilla in the summer of 2013. The striker started the season in electric form, scoring 23 goals in his first six months at the club, forming a deadly duo with Sergio Aguero. However, the Spaniard never looked the same after suffering a shoulder injury vs West Ham United in January of 2014.
3. Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka became Real Madrid’s record signing after arriving from Arsenal in 1999, having emerged as one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents in North London. The forward’s £22.3m move to Madrid failed to work out as hoped, however, and the Frenchman failed to score across his first five months in the Spanish capital. The French striker spent one season in Madrid, scoring seven goals in 31 appearances for Los Blancos between 1999 and 2000.
Anelka also scored in both legs of the club’s Champions League semi-final win over Bayern Munich and started the final as Real Madrid won an eighth European Cup against Valencia in 2000. After spells at Paris St Germain and Liverpool, Anelka joined City in 2002 and played for City for three seasons, scoring an impressive 45 goals in 103 appearances.
The signing ushered in a new era at Manchester City. Robinho became British football’s most expensive footballer after swapping Real Madrid for the Etihad, completing a £32.5m move to the Premier League just hours after City’s takeover had been announced. Robinho shocked fans worldwide when he signed for Manchester City from Los Blancos on the transfer deadline day of 2008.
Robinho, a top-performing striker for Madrid and the Brazilian national team, won two league titles during his time at the Bernabeu and scored 35 goals across his three seasons, whilst he won the Golden Boot and Best Player Award as Brazil won the 2007 Copa America.
City have recently been taken over by new owners who were keen to put out a big-money statement to the rest of the world in the summer and enjoyed an impressive debut campaign with 14 goals in all competitions. The player’s second season did not go as well with just one goal from 12 appearances for the Sky Blues, leading to his permanent departure to AC Milan after a brief loan spell in his home country at Santos.
Danilo has collected silverware during various stops across Europe, including spells at both Real Madrid and Manchester City. Known as a serial winner when it comes to trophies, Brazilian fullback Danilo joined Real Madrid from Porto in 2015 with already two Primeira Ligas to his name. During his time at Madrid, Danilo added two Champions Leagues to his personal trophy cabinet, as well as a LaLiga, a Super Cup and a Club World Cup.
The defender made the direct switch from Madrid to Manchester in 2017 and stayed for two trophy-laden years, picking up two Premier Leagues, two League Cups, an FA Cup and a Community Shield during his time in England. After making 60 appearances and scoring four goals, Danilo left City for Juventus in 2019 and went on to add several more trophies including the Serie A title in his first season in Italy.
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