Footballers you probably don’t realise played together in the same team
‘Did they *seriously* play together in the same team?’
This was our reaction on several occasions while doing the research for this feature – and we reckon you’ll be equally as surprised while scrolling through our list.
Did you know that Yaya Toure played in the same team as Rivaldo, or that David Beckham played alongside David Moyes? If not, don’t worry: you’re in the right place.
I left a few out because we felt most football fans would remember they played together.
These included Cristiano Ronaldo and Gerard Pique at Manchester United, Juan Mata and David Silva at Valencia, and Jordi Alba and Isco at the same club.
Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane
Nobody could have imaged back in 2013 that Vardy and Kane, who played one game together at Leicester City in 2013, would have scored 224 Premier League goals between them just six years later. Incredible.
Dani Alves and Sergio Ramos
These two played against each other so many times in Clasicos, but they were previously teammates at Sevilla. They were in the same team together on 35 occasions during the mid-2000s before joining Barcelona and Real Madrid, where they became rivals
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gerrard Pique
Many football fans only knew they were playing against each other in Barcelona vs Real Madrid but, these two players were teammates at Manchester United in 2004 before Pique left the club for Barcelona in 2008.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Steven Pienaar
Zlatan and Pienaar played together 62 times for Ajax in the early-2000s. They were part of the same Ajax team that won the Eredivisie in 2002 and 2004.
Adel Taarabt and Kaka
Taarabt briefly played for AC Milan (on loan) in 2014, while Kaka had returned to the San Siro the previous summer following a four-year spell with Real Madrid. The two attack-minded midfielders played together 14 times.
Pep Guardiola and Francesco Totti
After leaving Barcelona in 2001, Guardiola briefly turned out for Brescia and then AS Roma, where he played three games alongside Giallorossi legend Totti.
Marco Reus and Josh King
King spent time on loan away from Man Utd at Borussia Monchengladbach in 2011 and played two games alongside Reus, who joined Borussia Dortmund a year later.
Yaya Toure and Rivaldo
Before joining Barcelona in 2007, Toure spent time with Olympiacos, where he played 20 matches alongside Brazilian legend Rivaldo. What a pairing that is.
Wilfried Zaha and Edgar Davids
Davids played seven games for Crystal Palace during the 2010/11 season. He was in the same line-up as Zaha, in his first spell with the Eagles, for six of those matches.
Kyle Lafferty and Paulo Dybala
Lafferty found himself at Palermo in 2013, one year after leaving Rangers. The Northern Ireland international played 15 games alongside Dybala.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabinho
Fabinho is now widely regarded as one of the best central midfielders in world football, but the Brazilian never got a fair crack of the whip during a brief stint on loan at Real Madrid in 2013. He played just one league game for Los Blancos – a 6-2 win over Malaga in which Ronaldo obviously scored.
Mesut Ozil and Ivan Rakitic
Ozil began his professional career at Schalke, making his first-team debut during the 2006/07 season. Rakitic joined the German club from FC Basel in 2007 and played 15 games with Ozil.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kurt Zouma
After failing to break into the first team at AC Milan, Aubameyang joined Saint-Etienne in 2011 in a bid to kick-start his career. The Gabon international played 42 of his 97 games with defender Kurt Zouma, who caught the eye at Saint-Etienne before joining Chelsea in 2014.
Zinedine Zidane and Thomas Gravesen
Zidane actually made 32 appearances alongside Gravesen at Real Madrid – the same number of times, incidentally, that he played with Robinho and Michael Owen.
Shaun-Wright Phillips and George Weah
Weah, winner of the 1995 Ballon d’Or award, played for both Chelsea and Manchester City shortly before retiring in 2001. The Liberian forward and Wright-Phillips, who had just broken into the first team at Maine Road, played 45 minutes together against Charlton.
Alan Smith and Dele Alli
Former Man Utd and Leeds forward Alan Smith spent a few seasons at MK Dons between 2011-2014 and found himself in the same XI as a very talented young midfielder named Dele Alli. The pair of them played 22 games together in midfield.
Manuel Neuer and Raul
Because he’s so synonymous with Real Madrid, it’s easy to forget that Raul spent two years with Schalke after leaving the Bernabeu in 2010. He played 51 games with Neuer, who joined Bayern Munich in 2011.
Sergio Aguero and David de Gea
Before signing for Man City and Man Utd, respectively, Aguero and De Gea were teammates at Atletico Madrid. They were in the same starting line-up on 71 occasions between 2009 and 2011.
Ronaldinho and Mauricio Pochettino
Strange but true. In fact, Ronaldinho played more games alongside Mauricio Pochettino at PSG than all but three players: Gabriel Heinze, Cristobal Parralo and Frederic Dean.
Aaron Ramsey and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Hasselbaink, the former Chelsea striker and winner of the Premier League Golden Boot award, had a brief stint at Cardiff in the Championship before retiring in 2008. The Dutchman played 14 games alongside the club’s talented starlet Ramsey, who moved on to Arsenal.
David Beckham and David Moyes
Arguably the weirdest duo on this entire list. Beckham played five games for Preston during the 1994/95 season, scoring two goals, and played alongside the Moyesiah. Preston was Moyes’ final club before he retired in 1999.
Ederson and Jan Oblak
Rio Ave, a mid-table Portuguese side from a small town called Vila do Conde, had both Ederson *and* Oblak in their ranks during the 2012/13 season. They helped the club to their highest top-flight finish for 31 years before moving on and establishing themselves as two of the world’s best goalkeepers.
Thierry Henry and John Arne Riise
Henry and Riise faced each other numerous times in Premier League matches between Arsenal and Liverpool, but did you know they played three games together at AS Monaco during the 1998/99 season? You do now.
Anthony Martial and Dejan Lovren
Now with rival clubs in the form of Man Utd and Liverpool, Martial and Lovren played 11 minutes together for Lyon against Ajaccio in the 2012/13 season.
Eden Hazard and Patrick Kluivert
Hazard revealed a couple of years ago how Kluivert made a big impression on him as a youngster at Lille. “In my first month I trained with Patrick Kluivert and he had a good mentality,” Hazard explained. “I remember one day we were in the gym together and he was doing some work, and I was doing… nothing! So he started to show me, saying: ‘Come on, Eden! You need to do this!’
“I remember thinking, ‘If Patrick Kluivert’s told me this, I need to do something!’ He was a top guy, a top player. That’s when I started to understand that football is not easy and you need to work if you want to arrive.”
Ronaldo and Eidur Gudjohnsen
Ronaldo and Gudjohnsen played 28 minutes together at PSV during the 1995/96 season. Incidentally, Ronaldo also made two appearances alongside Jaap Stam with the Dutch side.
Angel Di Maria and Freddy Adu
Football Manager legend Adu played 15 games for Benfica. In nine of them he was in the same line-up as Di Maria. Weird, huh?
Radamel Falcao and Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez joined Udinese in 2006 but spent time on loan at River Plate during the 2007/08 season, where he played 25 games in the same line-up as Radamel Falcao.
Juan Roman Riquelme and Diego Maradona
Imagine having both Maradona and Riquelme in the same starting line-up. Wow. For Boca Juniors in the mid-1990s, this was (briefly) a reality. What a shame they couldn’t play together at their respective peaks.
And that’s it!
There are more examples of surprise teammate combinations but, for our money, these are the best.
Our favourite has to be Beckham and Moyes playing together at Preston. Speaking on the BBC back in 2013, Moyes said: “He was brilliant for a month. Not only as a footballer but as a person.”