5 Players Who Have Played For Both Real Madrid & Napoli In UEFA Champions League Era

Real Madrid Napoli UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid Napoli UEFA Champions League

European royalty Real Madrid and Italian champions Napoli will square off on Matchday 2 of the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League season. Ahead of the mouth-watering clash on Tuesday night (October 3), we will take a trip down memory lane and check out a handful of players who have represented both camps over the years.

Now without further ado, here are the only five players who have played for Madrid and Napoli since the 1992-93 season.

#5 Freddy Rincon

Freddy Rincon
Freddy Rincon Did Not Score Even Once At Real Madrid

Former Colombian midfielder Freddy Rincon joined Italian outfit Napoli from Brazilian side Palmeiras in July 1994. He played 38 games in his debut season in Naples, scoring seven times. Although his numbers were pretty decent, he could not settle down in Italy. So, just a season later, he boarded the plane to Madrid.

Real Madrid paid Napoli $3.14 million for Rincon’s services. He played 21 games across competitions for Los Blancos, claiming just an assist. Due to a lack of minutes, Rincon left Madrid just a season later, returning to Palmeiras.

#4 Raul Albiol

Raul Albiol Played For Both Real Madrid & Napoli
Raul Albiol Spent 4 Seasons At Real Madrid And 6 At Napoli

Villarreal veteran Raul Albiol spent a decade between Real Madrid and Napoli, producing some top-tier performances and winning a few trophies along the way.

Albiol joined Real Madrid from Valencia for a $15.70 million fee in July 2009. The Spanish center-back played 118 matches for the All-Whites over the next four years, scoring twice and providing an assist. Having won three trophies with Madrid, including a La Liga title, Albiol moved to Napoli in July 2013. Madrid accepted a $12.56 million bid for the player.

Albiol enjoyed six great seasons in Naples, playing 236 games in all competitions and chipping in with six goals and nine assists. The 2010 FIFA World Cup winner won two trophies at Napoli, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2014.

#3 Jose Callejon

Jose Callejon Played For Both Real Madrid And Napoli
Jose Callejon Came Through Real Madrid’s Cantera Academy

Granada right-winger Jose Callejon joined Real Madrid U18 in July 2005. He rose through the club’s ranks over the years before becoming a mainstay at Real Madrid Castilla. In July 2008, Madrid sold Callejon to Espanyol only for him to return to the club in 2011.

Callejon got a few opportunities upon his return, but he was not a regular. This led to his eventual departure to Napoli in July 2013. Before bidding the club adieu, Callejon played 77 games in all competitions, scoring 20 times. The Spaniard spent the next seven seasons of his career with the Partenopei. He became an integral part of the team, scoring 82 times and claiming 79 assists in 349 appearances in all competitions.

Callejon won 5 trophies between Napoli and Madrid. He won the La Liga title and the Supercopa de Espana with Madrid in 2012 and secured two Coppa Italia trophies (2020, 2014) and the Supercoppa Italiana (2014) with Napoli.

#2 Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro Has Played For Both Napoli And Real Madrid
Fabio Cannavaro Graduated From Napoli’s Academy

The last defender to win the Ballon d’Or, Fabio Cannavaro was promoted to Napoli’s senior team in July 1992. He scored once in 68 games over the next three seasons before finalizing a switch to AC Parma.

Cannavaro joined Real Madrid in 2004, following a two-year stint with Juventus. The 2006 FIFA World Cup winner played 118 games for Real Madrid between 2006 and 2009 before returning to Juve. Cannavaro won two La Liga titles and a Supercopa de Espana during his stay in Spain.

#1 Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain Played For Both Real Madrid And Napoli
Gonzalo Higuain Won 8 Trophies Between Napoli And Real Madrid

One of the most prolific strikers of this generation, Gonzalo Higuain joined Real Madrid from Argentine side River Plate in January 2007. Higuain served as Madrid’s go-to goalscorer before Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema joined the party in the summer of 2009. With the two players growing in stature, Higuain fell down the pecking order, which fueled his move to Napoli in July 2013. Before joining the Partenopei, Higuain played 264 games for Madrid, scoring 121 times and claiming 56 assists.

Higuain proved to be a lot more prolific during his stay in Naples. Prior to his switch to Juventus in July 2016, Higuain scored 91 goals in 146 games for Napoli across competitions. He also provided 26 assists. Between Madrid and Napoli, Higuain won eight trophies. He won three La Liga titles (2007, 2008, 2012), two Supercopa de Espana trophies (2008, 2012), and a Copa del Rey (2011) with Real Madrid and a Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana with Napoli (both 2014).

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