The Barca Galatasaray Connection : Players that played for both teams

The Turkish giants are well known for a very loyal and humongous fanbase. Whenever we talk about wild, loud, and ecstatic fans we always think about the Ultra Aslan of Galatasaray. The atmosphere, the crowd, the experience, and the pressure to play at the Nef Stadyumu is insane. Our very own players would be playing against the Turkish giants in front of such staggering fans. Coming from a 0-0 draw vs Galatasaray, Barca would be looking at providing their all, and giving these fans an upset. However, there has been a long connection between players of the 2 clubs.

Players who played for both clubs

1-Gheorghe Hagi

One of the Romanian’s finest has played for both the clubs. Considered as one of the finest players to ever kick the ball, showed his magic at both of these clubs. Hagi played for Spanish giants Real Madrid, but after an unsuccessful 2 seasons with the clubs, he was sold to an Italian club, Brescia. Barca got impressed with his mesmerizing world campaign of 1994. They brought the player back to Spain for 2 Million Euros. For Barca, Hagi played a total of 36 league games, he won one supercopa de Espana. But he could not impress then the manager Johan Cryuff much.

So, eventually, he left Barca to Turkish giants Galatasaray. Hagi had a very successful tenure with Turkish giants. He went on to win 4 consecutive league titles there. Every fan of Hagi and Galatasaray would remember the season of 1999-2000, where he helped his club to win all possible trophies that season. Including the Uefa Cup and also won the Uefa club competition by defeating the favorites to win Real Madrid 2-1. Hagi in his 5 seasons at the club became the most popular player there, he is still, very popular in both Romania, Turkey.

2- Gheorghe Popescu

Another Romanian had the chance to play for 2 of the finest clubs of Europe. ‘Gică’ Popescu was signed as a successor of Ronald Koeman. Barca bought him for 3 Million Euros in the year 1997. He was made the captain of the club and in his first year of this immense responsibility, we won a Copa Del Rey and Uefa cup winner’s cup. Pupescu played for the club from 1995 to 97. He played 68 league games in that tenure and scored 9 goals. Gică left Barca and joined Galatasaray in the summer of 97. He was a key part of the team that won 4 consecutive league titles and won the UEFA Cup and UEFA club competition. He was at the Turkish club from 1997 to 2001. The Romanian played 111 league games and got the ball in the back of the net 6 times.

3- Frank De Boer

Frank De Boer is one of the finest defenders to grace the football pitch. He joined Barca in 1999 and spent 5 years of his career at the club. He was signed by Barca under another Dutchman Louis Van Gaal. In his first season with Barca, he won the league title. However, this could not be repeated again. He played a total of 215 games for Barca and scored 14 goals in them, until he was sold to Galatasaray. In Turkey he played just for 1 season. He played 21 games and scored just a single goal. He did not win anything prominent with the Turkish giants.

4- Giovani Dos Santos

The Mexican spent his earlier career days with the Barca youth team, later he got promoted to Barcelona B and to Barcelona’s first team as well. For the first team, he played only a single season. He played 28 games in La Liga and scored a total of 3 goals in that period. Dos Santos was eventually, sold to Tottenham. He went on 3 loans from the club. Including the loan to Galatasaray in 2010. He could not do anything worth mentioning. He played 14 league games for the Turkish giants and could not find a single goal.

5- Arda Turan

Memories of Arda Turan would still be fresh in the minds of Cules. It was not very long ago that he played for the Catalan giants. Turkish International was at the club from 2015 to 2020. In which he served 2 years of loan to another Turkish club named Istanbul Basaksehir. For Barca, he played 36 league games and scored 5 goals. He won 1 La Liga, 2 Copa Del Rey and 1 Supercopa De Espana. Even, though he won a lot still, he could not stand onto the talent he had and what fans expected of him. He played for the Turkish giants Galatasaray from 2005 to 2011. There he experienced more glory and scored more goals as well. In 130 league games that he played, he got 29 goals and he also won Super lig in 2007-08.

6- Inaki Pena

We saw our very own young prospect in the Galatasaray shirt last week. Do not worry. Barca has not sold the talented goalkeeper. He is on a loan to the Turkish club. Inaki Pena has not played a single for the senior team of Fc Barcelona. However, the young goalkeeper had played 63 games for its youth club. He has only played 6 games for Galatasaray where he is on the loan for the rest of the season.

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