PLAYED FOR BOTH: UNITED AND REAL MADRID
Eight players have played for Manchester United and Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup opponents Real Madrid over the years.
We take a closer look at the individuals who have performed for two of the biggest clubs on the planet…
An iconic star who came through the ranks at United and was Man of the Match in the 1999 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich. The midfielder is one of the best dead-ball experts in Premier League history and, fittingly, scored a free-kick on his farewell appearance for his boyhood club in 2003 against Everton. Four years later, in his final season at Real, he won the domestic title with Fabio Capello’s side.
After playing under Ron Atkinson in the 1970s at West Brom, the winger was reunited with his former boss in 1983 when a loan deal was thrashed out with Real. Cunningham made only a handful of appearances for the Reds but was an explosive talent who appeared in the 1981 European Cup final against Liverpool while at Madrid.
Angel Di Maria
A big-money buy for United in 2014 after starring for Real and earning the Man of the Match in the Champions League final only a few months earlier. The Argentina international would only spend one season with the Reds under Louis van Gaal, before agreeing to a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
A fiery, no-nonsense defender who was voted United’s Player of the Year in 2004/05. After losing his place to Patrice Evra, the Argentinian emerged as a target for Liverpool but Sir Alex Ferguson, understandably, refused to sanction the deal and a transfer to the Bernabeu was instead negotiated.
The predatory poacher, now with West Ham United, was a big hit at Old Trafford and made a real splash in the Premier League. He spent a year at Real on loan in 2014/15 after becoming frustrated with a lack of starts and contributed seven goals for Los Merengues but, when a permanent transfer was forthcoming, he switched to Bayer Leverkusen.
When quitting first club Liverpool in 2004, the England international completed a switch to Real and scored in a clasico victory over Barcelona. However, he only stayed one season in the Spanish capital before returning to England with Newcastle United. He then joined the Reds on a Bosman free transfer in 2009.
The current Ballon d’Or holder and one of the greats of the modern game. He arrived at Old Trafford as a raw, unproven teenager from Sporting Lisbon and became one of the club’s biggest stars, helping the team win the Premier League and Champions League in 2008. More trophies have followed at Real – the Portugal captain lifted the European Cup for the fourth time in May.
Ruud van Nistelrooy
A prolific marksman who was hugely popular at United once his protracted move from PSV Eindhoven had been finalised. The deal was delayed due to a serious knee injury but the Dutchman quickly hit peak form in the red shirt and scored goals aplenty. He joined Real in 2006 and was top scorer in La Liga in his first season before later being hit by more injury problems.