Excitements builds as the Champions League final in Cardiff approaches.
Serie A and La Liga champions – Juventus and Real Madrid – lock horns in a decisive battle for European crown, which is much more than your regular football fixture. Two of Europe’s greatest-ever sides share plenty of history together which makes the forthcoming clash and emotional affair as well for both sides.
The two clubs exchanged some legendary blows throughout history, but the connection between them runs deeper and extends to a perfectly round number of 12 players – and coaches – who have played and managed both sides.
Ahead of the 62nd European Cup final in which Juventus and Real Madrid are chasing their third and record 11th title, respectively, we take a closer look at legendary names who marked the legacy of both sides through history.
Luis del Sol (Real Madrid 1960-62, Juventus 1962-70)
Seven-time Ballon d’Or nominee and the first-ever Spaniard to have played for Juventus, Luis del Sol is a retired Spanish midfielder. Remembered as a complete midfielder, he was considered one of the best players in the world during the glorious 1960s. Intelligence is the trait that painted the most honest picture of a player who won two championships with Real Madrid and even scored against what turned out to be his future club Juventus is a quarter-final replay in 1962. Over 290 appearances for Juventus during eight seasons in Turin still remain the thing he is best remembered for.
Fabio Capello (Juventus 1970–76 & 2004–06, Real Madrid 1996–97 & 2006–07)
Former Juventus player and coach who saw his Serie A titles stripped away in the notorious match-fixing scandal, Fabio Capello had two brief spells at Real Madrid during both of which he guided Real Madrid to La Liga titles, before promptly parting company with Los Blancos each time.
Michael Laudrup (Juventus 1985–89, Real Madrid 1994–96)
Having been brought to Juventus under plenty of hype, legendary Laudrup lived up to the expectations at Juventus by taking part in a Serie A winning campaign before his influence and image in the team got reduced and marginalised through injuries and severe loss of form. The Denmark icon was transferred to Barcelona where he spent five years before moving to bitter rivals Real Madrid. Laudrup won a single La Liga title with Los Blancos, which ended up being incomparable to his trophy-tally with the Catalans.
Robert Jarni (Juventus 1994–95, Real Madrid 1998–99)
The Croatia defender joined Juventus from city rivals Torino and mainly kept himself out of the limelight with Bianconeri. Never considered a first-team star, Jarni endured a marginal role in a double-winning campaign. His one-season spell in Madrid ended up bringing similar fortunes to the Croatia left-back, who was considered a substitute player with the Spanish giants. Jarni still remains remembered as one of the rare players to be given an opportunity to represent both European powerhouses.
Zinedine Zidane (Juventus 1996–2001, Real Madrid 2001–06 & 2016 onwards)
The French icon and a living legend left big trace in both clubs which ended up marking his entire career. Five years at Juventus and as many with Real Madrid produced around 150 league appearances for each club and many goals, trophies and unforgettable moments. Two-time champions of Italy did not achieve Champions League glory with Bianconeri. He did it with Los Blancos however and now has a historic chance to repeat the feat as a manager of his former side.
Nicolas Anelka (Real Madrid 1999-2000, Juventus 2013)
French forward ended up being a proper football globetrotter who changed plenty of clubs during his glorious career. Real Madrid’s record signing from Arsenal struggled to settle in and ended his spell with Los Blancos prematurely and in a rather disappointing fashion. His time in Italy, similarly, was marked with only three substitute appearances in 2013 when he played for Juventus on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
Carlo Ancelotti (Juventus 1999–2001, Real Madrid 2013–2015)
Two runners-up places in consecutive seasons at Juventus were not enough to see Carlo Ancelotti save his Juventus job. A trophy-laden tactician who enjoyed fruitful spells with AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain arrived to Madrid in 2013 and led the club to four trophies in his first campaign. He will be remembered as the man who achieved famous La Decima and as a tactician who inspired current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane to pursue his managerial career.
Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus 2004–06 & 2009–10, Real Madrid 2006–09)
The Italian defender and Ballon d’Or winner grabbed two titles in his first two seasons with Juventus, but sae them get taken away and his team demoted. Cannavaro did not join Gianluigi Buffon in Serie B but promptly joined Real Madrid where he won two consecutive La Liga titles. He them decided to make peace with himself and return to Juventus to finish what he started, but his sole season back with Bianconeri turned out to be one to forget.
Emerson (Juventus 2004–06, Real Madrid 2006–07)
Razil international Emerson followed the path of Cannavaro with both players moving to Real Madrid when Juventus were stripped off their titles and demoted to the second tier. Unlike Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson did not return to Juventus following his title-winning season in Spain. Instead, he decided to join AC Milan.
Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid 2007-13, Juventus 2016-onwards)
the Argentine striker is another one of Real Madrid striker who did not get hte chance they expected at Santiago Bernabeu. As much as 109 La Liga matches and 71 goals for Los Blancos were not enough for Real Madrid to keep Higuain, who made a pit stop at Napoli to prove to the world that he is a top-class striker. Juventus broke a club’s transfer record to sign him in 2016 and hte 29-year-old is repaying the investment with his goals and performances.
Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid 2010-14 & 2016 – onwards, Juventus 2014/16)
The Spanish international moved back and forth between the two clubs, but is still struggling to find his place in the picture. Alvaro Morata spent four years playing for his parent club, where he only made 37 league appearances and scored 10 goals. His two years at Juventus brought better luck as Alvaro Morata was given an opportunity to prove his worth and show Real Madrid what they missed. Los Blancos ultimately activated the buy-back clause and saw Morata return to Santiago Bernabeu where he is once again struggling for playing time. The 24-year-old can be found at 4/1 betting odds to score against his old side in Cardiff.
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid 2010-15, Juventus 2015 – onwards)
Germany international Sami Khedira arrived to Real Madrid on the back of great promise, which in the end failed to realise to full extent. The German nevertheless managed to win a Champions League title, two Copa del Rey trophies and one La Liga title during his time at Santiago Bernabeu. His two years in Turin have been filled with achievements as well as the midfielder finished both of them with a league and Cup double.
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