8 Players Who Have Starred for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona
The top two teams in La Liga at present have given us some enthralling matches throughout the course of the season. Now they will do battle in Europe in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
When they last met in a two-leg encounter, Barcelona were victorious by the away-goal rule. These games are sure to be tightly contested events.
Watching from a distance will be a select number of players who have had the privilege of playing for two of Spain's biggest clubs.
Perhaps, a reason for this is that the two sides have often had different priorities. Atletico have had a difficult period in the last 20 years, but all that has changed recently.
Here is a list of eight players who were fortunate to wear the uniform of both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
8. Luis Garcia
The former winger retired at the start of the year at the age of 35, after spending the last two-and-a-half years in Mexico.
Luis Garcia started his career at Barcelona but was forced to undertake a variety of loan deals in order to gain some game time.
He joined Atletico Madrid for a season, before the Blaugrana activated a buy-out clause to take him back to Catalonia. He lasted just the year, as Rafa Benitez took him to Liverpool to be part of their Spanish revolution.
It was at Anfield that he enjoyed his best football, scoring five goals in the competition as Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005.
He returned to the Vicente Calderon as part of the transfer that took Fernando Torres to Merseyside.
7. Jesus Landaburu
Jesus Landaburu was a central midfielder who made his debut at 17 for Real Valladolid in the Segunda Division.
Two years in La Liga with Rayo Vallecano saw him make the move to Barcelona. There he won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and Copa del Rey.
He left for Atletico Madrid and enjoyed six years at the club, winning the Copa del Rey for a second time in his career.
He retired at only 33, due to personal problems with the infamous club chairman, Jesus Gil.
6. Thiago Motta
The PSG midfielder, Thiago Motta, joined Barca at only 17, but his time in Spain was disrupted by numerous injuries. One of which kept him out the game for seven months, as he needed surgery to rebuild the anterior cruciate and lateral ligaments in his left knee.
He left for Atleti in 2007, making only eight appearances in his solo year at the club.
The Brazilian-born Italian international was just 25 when he left Spain, and given his fitness issues, it was fair to presume his career was on a downhill spiral.
A year with Genoa got him back on track, before playing for Internazionale and now in France. Motta has five league trophies in three different countries.
5. Marcos Alonso Pena
Known simply as "Marcos," the Santander-born right-winger, Marcos Alonso Pena, played for 10 years at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Marcos was actually in the Real Madrid youth academy, before he left for his hometown club, Racing Santander, in 1977.
He had two spells at Atletico, with five years at Barca in between, where he became the country's most expensive player for a fee of 150 million pesetas.
His injury-time header against Real Madrid won them the Copa del Rey. He went on to manage Los Colchoneros and had spells at Sevilla and Malaga.
He comes from a family of footballers; his father was one, and his son is currently on loan at Sunderland.
4. Bernd Schuster
Few players can boast of appearing for all three of the biggest clubs in Spain, but Schuster can, and even more bizarrely, he is German.
It's easy to see why Schuster loves Spain so much, he spent 13 of his 19 senior playing years in the country and only won club trophies when there.
The current manager of Malaga won the Copa del Rey six times with the three clubs and a league title with Barcelona.
He has managed four different clubs in Spain and even took Los Blancos to the Primera Division trophy match in 2008.
3. Eusebio Sacristan
Eusebio Sacristan is the "B" team manager at Barcelona and has previously spent time as part of the coaching staff under Frank Rijkaard.
Most of his playing career was at Barca where he won four league titles and the European cup in Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team."
He only did a year at Los Rojiblancos, and that was before he started his Camp Nou venture.
Only Andoni Zubizarreta has made more La Liga appearances than Eusebio.
2. David Villa
"El Guaje" signed for Atleti last summer in a surprising transfer from Barcelona.
If Diego Simeone's team ends the season as brilliantly as they have done all campaign, then David Villa could become the first player to win the league or Champions League with both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
He has had to play second fiddle to the immense Diego Costa and moved out onto the wings for a number of games, but he still has 13 goals this term.
His experience will be vital in the next six weeks, whilst his natural finishing ability is crucial in the tighter matches.
1. Miguel Reina
Pepe Reina's dad, Miguel Reina, was also a goalkeeper, he played for seven years at Barcelona and then another seven with Atletico Madrid.
When in Catalonia he set a record of 824 minutes without conceding a goal, which was later beaten by Victor Valdes.
While many of the players who represented both clubs lifted the league title with Barcelona, Reina was the only one to do so with Atletico Madrid.
He also represented the club in the European Cup final against Bayern Munich in 1974. Like his son in 2007, he ended the game as a runner-up.
All information is gathered from Wikipedia unless otherwise stated.