The current Real Madrid manager, Santiago Solari, is one of the very few players to represent the first teams of both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. If youth teams are counted, then this list expands and features seven players who currently play for either club.
Theo Hernandez is a product of the Atletico Madrid youth system and played for the youth teams between 2007 and 2015 before going on to play for the Atletico Madrid B team. The promising left-back spent the 2016/17 season on loan at Deportivo Alaves while his brother, Lucas Hernandez, was establishing himself in the Atletico first team.
At the end of his loan spell, Theo returned to his parent club before completing a switch to rivals Real Madrid for £21.60 million. He played 23 times in his debut season for Los Blancos and won four trophies. He also became the first player to make a direct switch between the two clubs since José Manuel Jurado in 2006.
The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Real Sociedad to gain valuable top-flight experience by playing regularly.
Antonio Adan joined Real Madrid’s academy in 1997 at a very young age before going on to represent the club’s B and C teams numerous times by the end of the 20019/10 season. He made his in February 2011 after Iker Casillas was sent off and kept a clean sheet in the subsequent game he started.
He left Real Madrid to join Cagliari in the summer of 2013 and after only one season in Italy, he returned to Spain to play for Real Betis. Adan was Betis’ first choice keeper for four years before joining Atletico Madrid last summer as a backup to Jan Oblak.
Juanfran is also a product of the Real Madrid academy. After graduating from the academy and playing for the Real Madrid B team, he played six times for the first team and also spent a season on loan at Espanyol before joining Osasuna on a permanent basis in 2006.
After four and a half seasons with Osasuna, Juanfran was sold to Atletico Madrid in January 2011 and made his debut for the Colchoneros two days later against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.
Juanfran has been at Atletico Madrid for seven years now and won seven trophies. In 2016, when he played against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final, he was the only player who didn’t convert in the penalty shootout.
Alvaro Morata is the most recent player to cross the divide and play for both Madrid clubs. Morata started his football education at Atletico Madrid between 2005 and 2007 before moving to Getafe and later to the Real Madrid academy in 2008.
Morata was a prolific goalscorer at the youth levels and racked up 45 goals in 83 games for the Castilla team. He played 52 times for the first team between 2010 and 2014 scoring 11 goals before joining Juventus on a permanent deal.
The Spaniard only scored 27 goals in 93 games for Juventus but he famously scored against Real Madrid in both legs of the 2015 Champions League semifinal. After two seasons with Juve, Real Madrid used their buy-back clause to bring him back to the club and he scored 20 times in 43 games that season.
Morata was sold to Chelsea in the summer of 2017 but a combination of injuries and lack of confidence saw his time in England end quickly and was subsequently loaned out to Atletico Madrid in January 2019.
In the summer of 2011, Thibaut Courtois joined Chelsea from Genk and went on season-long loan to Atletico Madrid as a replacement for David De Gea who joined Manchester United. Courtois impressed so much at Atletico that he stayed at the club on loan for two more seasons.
At Atletico, Courtois won four trophies including the La Liga in 2013/14 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2012 against his parent club, Chelsea. In addition, he won the Zamora Trophy in 2013 and 2014 which is given to the La Liga goalkeeper with the best goals to games ratio. The Belgian was also named the La Liga Goalkeeper of the Year in 2013.
After his loan with Atletico ended, Courtois played for Chelsea for four years before moving to Real Madrid last summer. The Belgian has taken over from Keylor Navas as Real’s first-choice goalkeeper but he is yet to show his worth.
Today, Saul Niguez is a crucial member of the Atletico Madrid squad and one of the best midfielders in the world. Back in 2006, he had just started his football education at Real Madrid before moving to Atletico Madrid in 2008 aged 13.
Saul played 70 times for Atletico’s B team and spent a season on loan at Rayo Vallecano before establishing himself in the Atletico first team. He has close to 250 appearances for the Colchoneros already and has good goals and assists return from midfield.
The Spain international was linked with a move to Real Madrid recently but he said that it would be unthinkable for him to cross the divide.
Filipe Luis spent the entire 2005/06 season on loan at Real Madrid from Uruguayan club Rentistas and spent the entire season playing for the B team in the Segunda division. His move was not made permanent at the end of the season due Rentistas’ high asking price.
While on loan at Real, Luis suffered a serious injury which kept him out of action for more than half a year and the Real Madrid first team players wore white t-shirts with the words, Animo Filipe, when they came to warm up in a match.
After leaving Real, Luis was with Deportivo La Coruna for four seasons before joining Atletico Madrid. The ongoing season is his eight with the club and he spent one season at Chelsea in between his two stints with Atletico. The Brazilian has over 300 appearances for his current club and has won six trophies with them so far.