The Spanish ‘El Clasico’ is widely considered to be the biggest club rivalry in European football. As a matter of fact, more than 500 million fans around the globe tuned in to Real Madrid’s last home defeat to FC Barcelona in April.
This fixture is, and will always be appealing for every single football fan. Even in the same house, you could find two brothers fighting over a debatable refereeing decision, or disagreeing as to who was the man of the match.
Despite the historical fierce competition between the two giants, many former and current players of both sides, have grown up supporting the opposite team. Some names figuring in the top 5 will definitely give you a surprise!
Francesco Isco has no doubt been fundamental in Real Madrid’s plans, since the appointment of French tactician Zinedine Zidane in 2016.
The Spain international has just had his best season in a Real Madrid shirt, proving to be decisive in the past few months during Gareth Bale’s injury, while operating as as a classical ten behind the two forwards, leading into a numerical advantage in midfield.
However, a couple of years ago, Isco had admitted that the reason he named his dog ‘Messi’, is because he believes that the Argentina national team captain is the best player in the world. And that was, of course, before completing his swap to the Madrid-based side in 2013.
In 2008, a rumor emerged that FC Barcelona were interested in signing Luka Modric from Dinamo Zagreb. In the hope of convincing the player to join, Catalan-based paper Mundo Deportivo presented the Croatian star a Barça shirt with the number 14, that his idol Johan Cruyff had worn during his time at the club.
And Luka, of course, gladly accepted the gift – although his transfer eventually failed, as Tottenham Hotspurs were able to lure him to the English Premier League. Upon joining the Spanish capital-based side in 2012, Modric was quick to reveal his pleasure of signing with “Real Madrid, the biggest club in the world”.
The Seleção has been subject of a lot of speculation linking him to a move away from the Camp Nou this summer, with French powerhouse Paris Saint Germain having seemingly reached an agreement to secure his services over the next five years.
His Barcelona exit is perhaps not a very surprising event, as ten years ago, Neymar had revealed in an interview with Marca that he dreams to play for Real Madrid.
“My idol is Zidane, and I prefer Robinho over both!”, he said, when asked to pick between Ronaldinho and Kaká.
Interestingly, video evidence proves that Neymar grew up as a Palmeiras fan, before joining arch rivals Santos, where he went on to write his story. You know what they say, kids don’t lie, adults do.
As video evidence proves, Barcelona legend Andrès Iniesta confirms that he supports Real Madrid “a todo poder”, which in English translates to “with all my power”.
Barça was initially Iniesta’s second favorite team after Albacete, but when the Catalans beat the team of his heart 7-1, the young starlet decided to hate on them, and start supporting Real Madrid.
His idol and favorite footballer, Michael Laudrup, making the transition from Barcelona to Madrid in 1994, certainly helped the 2010 World Cup winner’s love to grow furthermore. However, in 1996, Barcelona’s academy decided to sign the young talented Spaniard, and the rest is…well, history!
Surprise, surprise! The Real Madrid hero, who scored the UEFA Champions League winning-goal in the final against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002, and the current manager of Los Merengues, actually grew up……supporting eternal rivals FC Barcelona! In this video, Zizou clearly admits that Juventus were always his favorite Italian team, whereas in La Liga, it was Barça. But in the end, does it really matter? The 1998 World Cup hero eventually completed his transfer to the Spanish capital in 2001, and has since then proved to be a great asset and a loyal servant, both as player – in between 2001 and 2016 – and as coach from 2016 till date, having guided the club to triumph in Europe’s most prestigious competitions, for two seasons in a row.