El Derbi madrileño – They played for both
Atlético Madrid take on city rivals Real this weekend in the most significant Madrid derbies in recent years.
Diego Simeone’s Atléti have emerged as shock title contenders this season, starting the campaign with eight wins from eight including a 1-0 victory at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the only time Carlo Ancelotti’s Real have failed to score in the league this campaign.
Helped by the goalscoring form of Diego Costa they moved top with a 4-0 win over Real Sociedad at the start of the month, however defeats to Almería and Osasuna have seen the club lose ground to Real, who moved three points clear at the top last weekend.
While the rivalry between the two Madrid clubs has played second fiddle to Real’s battle for supremacy with Barcelona in recent years, only a handful of players have represented both clubs. However those who have done so include some of the game’s biggest names.
Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid Betting odds
Atlético to win – 3.45
Real to win – 2.04
Draw – 3.20
(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)
One of the most gifted players of his generation, West Germany international Schuster spent the bulk of his career in La Liga at the competition’s three most successful clubs.
After making more than 200 appearances for Barcelona, the creative midfielder switched to the white of Real in 1988 in one of the most contentious transfers until Luis Figo made the same move more than a decade later. However he was rewarded with back-to-back league titles before moving across the city for a three-year stint with Atléti where he helped the club end a six-year trophy drought under the stewardship of big-spending chairman Jesús Gil.
Schuster’s enigmatic talents on the pitch were reflected in his managerial career, where he won La Liga in his only full season in charge of Real before quitting the following December. He is currently in charge of struggling Málaga.
José Antonio Reyes
Just like Schuster before him, Reyes is a player likely to look back at his career with a nagging feeling that it could have been so much more.
As a teenager he burst onto the scene with Sevilla, earning a club-record move to Arsenal in 2004. However a failure to settle in London saw the winger loaned out to Fabio Capello’s Real Madrid for the 2006-07 season before joining Atlético the following summer in a permanent deal, ironically after Capello was replaced at the Bernabéu by Schuster.
Reyes’ four seasons at the Estadio Vicente Calderón came either side of a loan spell at Benfica and brought two Europa League winner’s medals. Now 30 years of age, he finds himself back at Sevilla, chasing European qualification while his former team-mates battle it out for the league title. Even more spookily, his international record of 21 appearances and four goals is identical to that of Schuster.
For half of the Spanish capital, Raúl González Blanco is a hero. For the other half he’s the one who got away.
When Jesús Gil closed down the Atléti youth academy in 1992 it acted as an open invitation for Real to pick up the Rojiblancos’ most prized talents, and that number included a 15-year-old Raúl. It is not quite on the scale of Leeds United’s sale of Eric Cantona to Manchester United that same year – Gil could not have known what Raúl would go on to achieve – but it comes close.
In more than a decade and a half with Los Merengues the Madrid-born player clocked up north of 500 league appearances, breaking club records for overall appearances (741) and goals (323). Spells in Germany and Qatar followed an emotional departure from Real, and he is still going strong with Al Sadd at the age of 36.
Betting Instinct Tip – Real Madrid to win and both teams to score is 3.41 with GR88.com
TOM VICTOR (editor) is the editor and co-founder of Betting Instinct. He has written for a variety of sports sites in the past, including JustFootball, Footy Matters and BeNeFoot.