With his move from Chelsea to Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois becomes the latest player to have represented the Spanish capital’s two big clubs – he also played 111 Liga games for Atlético. UEFA.com meets his most illustrious predecessors.
UEFA games (goals) for Atlético: 6 (1)
UEFA games (goals) for Real Madrid: 39 (23)
Signed in 1981 from UNAM Pumas, the Mexico forward struck 54 goals in 111 Liga games for Atlético, including 19 in 1984/85 to finish as the Spanish top flight’s lead marksman. He reclaimed that award four times in the next five years to help Real Madrid to five straight titles from 1986 to 1990, also scoring as the Merengues won the two-legged 1986 UEFA Cup final. In 1989/90, he took the European Golden Boot, equalling Telmo Zarra’s then-record 38 goals for a single Liga campaign.
UEFA games (goals) for Real Madrid: 10 (0)
UEFA games (goals) for Atlético: 12 (4)
The German caused a major stir by swapping Barcelona for Real Madrid in 1988, and more eyebrows were raised when the midfielder moved on to Atlético in 1990. With Real, he claimed two Liga titles and one Copa del Rey, while at the Vicente Calderón he helped the Rojiblancos finish ahead of Madrid in 1991/92 (albeit second to champions Barcelona). His place in Atlético history was secured when he opened the scoring in the 1992 Copa del Rey final victory over Madrid – whom he later coached.
UEFA games (goals) for Atlético: 8 (0)
UEFA games (goals) for Real Madrid: 51 (7)
Recruited from River Plate in January 1999, the Argentinian midfielder impressed at Atlético, despite the Rojiblancos’ relegation in his first full campaign. Vicente del Bosque then took him across the capital, and after landing the first of two Liga titles in his debut season, he played the full 90 minutes as Real Madrid beat Leverkusen 2-1 in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final. He left for Inter Milan in 2003 yet returned to Real in 2013 and is now their reserve team boss.
UEFA games (goals) for Atlético: 0 (0)
UEFA games (goals) for Real Madrid: 132 (66)
Atlético let a future Real Madrid great slip through their youth-team net when they released Juanito due to injury in 1974, and closing their academy in 1992 handed their rivals another superstar. Atlético trainee Raúl became the youngest player to represent Madrid, aged 17 years and 124 days, and on just his second appearance – against Atlético – he hit the first of his club-record 323 Madrid goals. He won three UEFA Champions Leagues and six Liga titles, and is now back at the club in an advisory role.
UEFA games (goals) for Real Madrid: 0 (0)
UEFA games (goals) for Atlético: 70 (1)
Although Juanfran made the bench for two UEFA Champions League games for Real Madrid, the former winger had a greater impact as a right-back with their neighbours, whom he joined in 2011 from Osasuna. He has since won the Liga and the Copa del Rey, as well as two UEFA Europa League titles, and twice reached the UEFA Champions League final only to be denied by his old club. Indeed, alongside Saúl Ñíguez, he is one of two notable players in Diego Simeone’s squad who have Real Madrid roots.
There are plenty more to have served both clubs in some capacity (around 50 by our estimate), including Luis Aragonés, José Antonio Reyes and Santiago Bernabéu.