Real Madrid and PSG were both among the pre-tournament favorites to win the 2022 UEFA Champions League, but one of them will be going home in the Round of 16 as they face off in a matchup between the current league leaders in Spain and France.

Both clubs feature star-studded squads, and in recent years they have competed for the signatures of the top talents in the game. So it’s perhaps not a surprise that some of the greatest players have made the trip from Spain to France — and vice versa — and represented both sides during their storied careers.

Here’s a list of 11 players you’ll likely recognize, who donned the jersey for both European giants.

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David Beckham

  • Real Madrid: 2003-2007
  • PSG: 2013

One of the most recognizable faces in football history, the England midfielder played in Spain, France and the USA during his career. After spending his formative years with Manchester United, Beckham joined Real Madrid as one of their famed Galacticos in the summer of 2003, for a fee of around $40 million. The only trophy he won during his spell there, though, was the La Liga title.

He signed for PSG in January 2013, playing for them 14 times and helping them to the Ligue 1 title as he ended his playing days in Paris.

Angel Di Maria

  • Real Madrid: 2010-2014
  • PSG: 2015-current

Di Maria (below) boasts a great record at both clubs. He signed for PSG in the summer of 2015 from Manchester United, for a fee of around $67 million, winning the league title four times and the Coupe de France and Coupe de La Ligue five and four times respectively. There may still be more to come with a minimum of another year left on his contract.

While at Real Madrid, he scored 36 goals in his 190 appearances, winning a La Liga title, two Copa del Rey trophies, a Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup.

Claude Makelele

  • Real Madrid: 2000-2003
  • PSG: 2008-2011

The French midfielder enjoyed a wonderful spell in Spain, signing for Real Madrid from Celta Vigo in the year 2000. He then went on to win the Champions League with Real, along with two La Liga titles, one UEFA Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup.

After five years with Chelsea, he ended his playing days in France with PSG, winning the Coupe de France in the 2009-2010 season.

Gabriel Heinze

  • Real Madrid: 2007-2009
  • PSG: 2001-2004

The Argentinian was a consistent winner wherever he played his club football. He clocked up over a century of appearances for PSG, winning the Coupe de France in the 2003-2004 season, although he did not play in the final. After a three-year spell with Manchester United beginning in 2004, he moved to Real Madrid, winning the La Liga title in 2007-2008.


  • Real Madrid: 2011-2016
  • PSG: 2016-2020

Jese spent five senior seasons at Real Madrid, winning a Copa del Rey, one La Liga title, two Champions League titles and one FIFA Club World Cup across 94 matches, in which he scored 18 goals.

He had less success at PSG after a transfer in summer 2016 for a fee of around $28 million — with only two goals in 14 appearances.

Lassana Diarra

  • Real Madrid: 2009-2012
  • PSG: 2018-2019

The French defensive midfielder played a big part in the Real Madrid squad during his time there, winning the La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, and the Supercopa de Espana.

He also had a role in a famous PSG season — when they won the league, the Coupe de France, the Coupe de la Ligue and the Trophee des Champions in 2017-2018, although he made only 10 appearances that campaign.

Nicolas Anelka

  • Real Madrid: 1999-2000
  • PSG: 1996-1997, 2000-2002

Anelka has scored goals wherever he’s gone — except at Real Madrid, where he only got four, although it did help them to the Champions League title that season. His record in his two spells at PSG was better, but the team only won the Intertoto Cup with him in the side. His time in England, with Arsenal and Chelsea, brought much more silverware.

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Sergio Ramos

  • Real Madrid: 2005-2021
  • PSG: 2021-current

It was difficult to imagine Sergio Ramos playing for anyone except Real Madrid. After all, the defender had been there for over 15 years, winning five La Liga titles, four Champions League trophies, three Super Cups and four Club World Cups — and that’s just for starters.

But in June 2021, the club announced the departure of its captain after a failure to reach agreement on a contract extension. The following month, he signed a two-year deal with PSG, but his ongoing fitness issues meant he was not named in a matchday squad until the end of 2021.

Pablo Sarabia

  • Real Madrid: 2004-2011
  • PSG: 2019-current

The midfielder came through the Real Madrid youth ranks, making his debut as a substitute for Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League in December 2010. He moved on in 2011, spending five years with Getafe and three with Sevilla before signing for PSG in 2019. Since landing in France, he has been part of a squad that has won the Ligue 1 title, two Coupes de France, the Coupe de la Ligue, and two Trophees des Champions.

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Keylor Navas

  • Real Madrid: 2014-2019
  • PSG: 2019-current

One of the best goalkeepers in the world, the Costa Rican was a lynchpin of the Real Madrid team for half a decade. He helped them to a La Liga title, three Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups, and a quartet of Club World Cups. He made over a century of domestic league appearances for the Spanish side, and left them in 2019 to sign for PSG. So far he has won a Ligue 1 title, two Coupes de France, a Coupe de Ligue, and the Trophee des Champions. Not only that, he is now the most decorated CONCACAF player in Europe.

Achraf Hakimi

  • Real Madrid: 2017-2020
  • PSG: 2021-current

In the Real Madrid youth ranks since 2006, as a teenager the right back struggled to establish himself in the first team. However, the Moroccan can count himself as a Champions League winner, earning a medal in 2017-2018 despite not being in the squad for the final, having played twice during the campaign. He also has the Super Cup and the Club World Cup on his honors list.

He signed for PSG in July 2021 for an estimated fee of $71 million following two years at Inter. He has no new trophies in the cabinet just yet, but with four more years on his contract he is likely to add some in the coming seasons.