7 Players Who’ve Played for Both Arsenal & Real Madrid

?Arsenal’s pre-season match against Real Madrid on Wednesday is a whole lot more than just a friendly match for those in attendance at the FedExField in Maryland.

It will be a clash between two of European football’s biggest names, who despite their status as top dogs have only ever played each other twice in competitive competitions – a two-legged Champions League match which was settled by Thierry Henry’s goal at the Santiago Bernabéu.

But both club’s do have a very similar eye in the transfer market, with soon-to-be-announced Dani Ceballos set to become the sixth player in history to move directly between Arsenal and Real Madrid.

Here’s a closer look at the five other players, as well as two more who’ve represented both clubs to varying degrees of success.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates h

For the sake of both sets of fans, it’s probably best to get through this one quickly.

Emmanuel Adebayor was a standout player at Arsenal and often provided moments of individual brilliance at the most important times, never shying away from a North London derby – something which continued when he eventually joined Tottenham – specifically.

His move from Arsenal to Real Madrid wasn’t direct, as the Togo international spent three years on the books with Manchester City.

He hardly featured during a loan spell with Los Blanocs, but he did score goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League and Copa del Rey, as well as a hat-trick on the final day of his La Liga season against Almeria.

Arsenal Record: 142 appearances, 64 goals, 22 assists.

Real Madrid Record: 22 appearances, 8 goals, 0 assists.

Lassana Diarra

Lionel Messi,Lass Diarra

It’s easy to forget that former France international midfielder Lassana Diarra ever spent time in north London, as on these shores he’s most notably remembered for spells with Chelsea and Portsmouth.

Throughout his career, however, it was in the Spanish capital where Diarra made the most amount of appearances for any one club – the next closest is at Marseille, with 45.

Arsenal Record: 12 appearances, 0 goals, 0 assists.

Real Madrid Record: 116 appearances, 1 goal, 6 assists.

Júlio Baptista

Julio Baptista

The first player on this list to move directly from one club to another, Júlio Baptista was shipped out to north London on loan following a poor first season with Real Madrid.

The Brazilian only ever played for three full seasons at Arsenal and Real Madrid combined, but Baptista certainly left his mark both in Spain and England.

Arsenal Record: 35 appearances, 10 goals, 4 assists.

Real Madrid Record: 77 appearances, 13 goals, 6 assists.

Davor Šuker

Davor Suker

He was a player who never quite made the impact with Arsenal or Real Madrid like he did with the national team, but Croatian Davor Šuker is understandably still remembered very fondly by many across both sets of fans.

A player who helped to define football in the 1990s for a number of fans across Europe, Šuker was actually involved in his move from Madrid to London in 1999 – the first window both clubs ever bought or sold a player between them.

Arsenal Record: 38 appearances, 11 goals, 3 assists.

Real Madrid Record: 111 appearances, 49 goals, 2 assists.

Mesut Özil


Real Madrid’s decision to sell their creative wizard Mesut Özil wasn’t met too kindly by Madridistas, something which helped to ramp up the excitement even more for Arsenal when they splashed over £40m on his signature in 2013.

The 30-year-old has had a bit of a culture shock since arriving in England, but he’s remained outstandingly creative and even the most passionate of Özil’s detractors would struggle to argue with the German being scapegoated unnecessarily at times.

Arsenal Record: 231 appearances, 43 goals, 74 assists.

Real Madrid Record: 159 appearances, 27 goals, 80 assists.

José Antonio Reyes

Jose Antonio Reyes

Despite having more than a handful of picturebook moments a both clubs, the late José Antonio Reyes never appeared to truly settle away from Andalusia.

Remembered incredibly fondly by both sets of fans and beyond, the former Spain international sadly passed away earlier this year following a car accident.

Arsenal Record: 110 appearances, 23 goals, 24 assists.

Real Madrid Record: 38 appearances, 7 goals, 3 assists.

Nicolas Anelka

Nicolas Anelka

During the same transfer window that saw Davor Šuker move to north London, Arsenal wonderkid Nicolas Anelka went on to secure the biggest move of his career by joining Real Madrid – his final transfer fee is heavily disputed, but it’s somewhere in the region of £25m.

Des[ite being France’s most exciting young player at the time, Anelka’s move away actually allowed manager Arsène Wenger to reinvest the money in Thierry Henry from Juventus, as well as the aforementioned Šuker.

Arsenal Record: 80 appearances, 26 goals, 11 assists.

Real Madrid Record: 33 appearances, 7 goals, 6 assists.


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