michael owen

Five of the best players to play for Liverpool and Real Madrid

Liverpool and Real Madrid. Two of the biggest teams in European football history, so players to play for both sides are usually pretty damn good.

Here is a look at five of the best players to ply their trade at both Anfield and the Bernabeu.

Fernando Morientes

Most famous during his time at Real Madrid, Morientes was a very accomplished striker, playing a key role for Los Blancos from 1997 until 2005, aside from the 2003/4 season where he spent his time on loan at Monaco.

During his time in the Spanish capital, he plundered an impressive 99 goals, but was ultimately sold to Liverpool in January 2005 following the arrival of another man on this list, Michael Owen.

He would go on to score a total of 12 goals for the Reds in a season-and-a-half, before returning to Spain with Valencia.

Alvaro Arbeloa

Starting his career coming through the Real Madrid ranks, Arbeloa moved to Liverpool in 2006 (from Deportivo La Coruna) and established himself as an important player for the Reds.

The right-back would spend three years at Anfield, making 98 appearances and grabbing two goals, before making a return to the Spanish capital in 2009.

While the move may have come as a surprise to some, Arbeloa would go on to make himself a regular fixture in the Real Madrid squad, making 233 appearances during his seven year stay at the club, before ultimately leaving to join West Ham in 2016.

Michael Owen

As mentioned above, Michael Owen’s arrival at Real Madrid in 2004 effectively ended Fernando Morientes’ time at the club.

Owen burst onto the scene as a youngster, and established himself as one of the most prolific goalscorers in Europe, scoring 158 in 297 appearances for the Reds. It was this goalscoring form that alerted the attention of Real Madrid, and he ultimately made the move to the Bernabeu for just £8 million.

He would only spend one year in the Spanish capital before returning to England after struggling for minutes. While he made 45 appearances for Los Blancos that season, the majority were from the bench. However he still managed 13 goals and finished with the best goals/minutes ratio in the whole of La Liga. A true great goalscorer.

Steve McManaman

While younger readers may only know of Steve McManaman for his dulcet tones on BT Sports’ football coverage, he was actually a fine player back in his day.

He made his Liverpool debut back in 1990, back in the old First Division, making 364 appearances and scoring 66 goals for his boyhood club.

He eventually made the move to Spain under a bit of a cloud in 1999, after signing a pre-contract agreement with Real. In his four years at the Bernabeu he would make 152 appearances, win two La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues, making him the most decorated English player to play abroad.

Xabi Alonso

Starting his career at Real Sociedad, Alonso moved to Anfield in 2004 to join Rafa Benitez’s Spanish revolution. It would be a move that would start his path to being one of the best central midfielders of his generation.

The midfielder quickly became an integral part of the Liverpool midfield that would of course go on to win one of the best Champions League finals of all time in 2005 on that famous night in Istanbul.

The Reds of course made it to the UCL final once again two years later in what was a replay of the 2005 final, although Liverpool were unable to achieve the same outcome.

During his time at Liverpool, Alonso would make 210 appearances and score 19 goals in the process, despite being a defensive midfielder.

He made the move to Real Madrid in 2009, where he was once again an integral part at the heart of midfield, making 236 appearances for Los Blancos, although he was unable to add to his collection of Champions League winners medals.

He ultimately left the club in 2014 to join another giant of European football, Bayern Munich.

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