Mumbai, February 03, 2019: FC Barcelona vs Valencia CF is a huge fixture for football fans across the globe, and it comes as no surprise that some of the biggest names in football have lined up on both sides. Here are five of the top players to have played at both the Camp Nou and Mestalla in recent years.
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David Villa: Few players manage to become legends at two different clubs, but that’s exactly what David Villa did at Valencia and Barcelona. The Asturian striker landed at Mestalla in 2005 at the age of 23 and proceeded to score 129 goals for the club over the subsequent five seasons, becoming the fifth-top scorer in the club’s history.
He had long been linked with a transfer away from the Mestalla and eventually made a move to Barcelona in 2010, the summer in which he won the World Cup. If success came quick and fast to him at Valencia, it came even quicker at the Camp Nou where he won Santander title and the Champions League in his first season. His transfer has to go down as one of the most astute in the Blaugrana’s recent history.
David Villa enjoyed great success at both clubs. He scored 129 goals for Valencia between 2005-2010, making him the club’s fifth all-time top goalscorer, before going on to fire Barcelona to LaLiga Santander and Champions League glory.
Jordi Alba: Jordi Alba may have graduated from Valencia’s academy but he actually started his footballing education off at Barcelona’s La Masia academy. After being released by the side from the Catalan capital, he moved to Cornellà and then to Valencia, where he broke into the first team as one of the most promising wide players in world football.
Following three very impressive seasons in the Valencia first team, during which he mastered the transition from left winger to left-back, he was purchased by Barcelona and has been flying up their left flank to great effect ever since.
Barcelona-born defender Jordi Alba broke on to the world stage at Valencia before moving back to his boyhood club in 2012. Since then he’s cemented his reputation as one of world football’s finest full-backs.
Paco Alcácer: Paco Alcácer starred at Valencia before moving to Barcelona in 2016 and spending two seasons in Catalonia. Born in the Valencia suburbs, Alcácer joined his childhood club’s academy as a young boy and rose through the ranks before making his first-team debut at the tender age of 17. He went on to score 43 times in 124 appearances, earning the club captaincy, before joining Barcelona.
At the Camp Nou he managed a very useful minutes-per-goal ratio of one strike every 153 minutes and helped his side win back-to-back Copa del Rey titles and one LaLiga Santander championship. A move to Borussia Dortmund followed, where he has continued his remarkable knack for finding the back of the net in big games.
Paco Alcácer rose through the ranks to captain Valencia, his boyhood club, before joining Barcelona in 2016 where he won LaLiga Santander and back-to-back Copa del Rey titles.
MENDIETA DISPARA A PUERTA
Gaizka Mendieta: The retired Spain international Gaizka Mendieta made his name at Valencia, representing the east coast club from 1992 to 2001, most famously winning the 1999 Copa del Rey and scoring one of the tournament’s best-ever goals in the final against Atlético Madrid.
From there, the Basque-born player became the most expensive Spanish player of all time when he moved to Italian side Lazio before moving back to LaLiga with Barcelona on loan. Now a LaLiga Ambassador, Mendieta is fondly remembered by both sets of fans.
One of the finest captains in Valencia history, Gaizka Mendieta led the side which reached back-to-back Champions League finals in the late 1990s. He went on to become the most expensive Spaniard of all time before heading to the Camp Nou where he played alongside the likes of Luis Enrique and Patrick Kluivert.
André Gomes: Now at Everton, André Gomes made his journey to the Premier League via Valencia and Barcelona. The Portuguese midfielder moved from Benfica to Valencia in the summer of 2014 and enjoyed two impressive seasons with Los Che.
After winning Euro 2016 with Portugal, he signed for Barcelona later that July and spent two years at the Camp Nou, winning four trophies before heading to the Premier League on loan.
Andre Gomes enjoyed two successful seasons at Valencia between 2014 and 2016 before earning a move to Barcelona, where he won four trophies including the LaLiga Santander title in 2018.
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