There are few more prestigious clubs to play for than Manchester United and FC Barcelona. These two legendary sides have won a staggering amount of trophies. But in well over 200 years of combined history, did you know that only five players have ever pulled on both shirts? Let’s take a look.
- Mark Hughes, OBE – currently manager of Stoke City | Sparky is an absolute United legend, and most Reds will know he had a relatively unsuccessful spell at FCB in the 1986/87 season. They loaned him to Bayern Munich the following season before Hughes returned to MUFC. He finished with 467 United appearances and 163 goals.
- Jordi Cruyff – currently sporting director at Maccabi Tel Aviv | Jordi Cruyff benefitted from a legendary father who happened to be the coach of FCB. He spent time in La Masia, then Barca B before playing two seasons with the Catalan’s senior squad. When Johan Cruyff was sacked, Jordi was on the lookout for a new club – and Manchester United came calling. Played from 1996-2000, 58 matches and 8 goals.
- Laurent Blanc – currently manager of PSG | We’ll be seeing ‘Larry White’ soon when we take on PSG. You may not know that he also left Barca as a result of them sacking Johan Cruyff, although he was obliged to stay for one season. The Frenchman joined United in 2001 to try and take the place of Jaap Stam. Stayed two seasons, notching 75 games, 4 goals and a Premier League medal.
- Gerard Pique – currently Mr. Shakira and FCB | Pique was famously plucked from La Masia in 2004 and was a fringe player at United, making a mere 23 appearances with 2 goals scored [both in Champions League play]. The Spaniard spent the 2006/07 campaign on loan at Real Zaragoza. He returned home to Barcelona in 2008 has won 19 trophies and counting.
- Henrik Larsson, MBE – currently manager of Helsingborgs IF | The talented Swedish forward spent two seasons at FCB from 2004-2006, winning La Liga twice as well as the Champions League. He spent a lot of his first season on the sidelines after suffering a cruciate injury. He left the Catalan club to return to Sweden for a second playing spell at Helsingborgs. He had the briefest of loan spells at United, scoring three goals in thirteen matches. Despite not playing the required amount of matches, the club granted him a Premier League medal for his brief service.
- Honourable Mention – Louis van Gaal | Our current gaffer didn’t play for either squad, having spent most of his playing career with Sparta Rotterdam. But he did spend two spells in charge at Camp Nou, winning four trophies.