Ronaldo & Fabinho, Salah & Degen: Surprising former teammates


There are some footballers that everyone knows were teammates.

Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres… the list goes on and on.

But there are many examples of surprising duos who once shared a dressing room together.

For example, did you know that David Beckham and David Moyes were once teammates? Or that Son Heung-min and Ruud van Nistelrooy both played in the same attacking line-up?

If not, don’t worry - you’re certainly not alone. We’ve left out several examples that we believe might be a tad obvious, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gerard Pique at Manchester United, for example.

Let’s begin…

Adel Taarabt and Kaka

We’ll start with a particularly mad one. Adel Taarabt and Kaka played 14 games together at AC Milan in 2014.

Taarabt, the incredibly skilful Morocco international, spent time on loan at the San Siro from Queens Park Rangers. Kaka, meanwhile, returned to Milan following a four-year spell with Real Madrid.


Yaya Toure and Rivaldo

Before joining Barcelona in 2007, Yaya Toure spent a season with Olympiacos and then AS Monaco.

During his season with Olympiacos, Toure had the privilege of playing 20 matches alongside Brazilian legend Rivaldo. Unsurprisingly, the pair won the Greek league title and Greek Cup that season.


Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane

Look at this: Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy sat together on Leicester City’s bench in the Championship back in 2013. What a photo.

At the time of writing, the pair have now scored an incredible 272 Premier League goals between them. They only played one game together at Leicester. If only Nigel Pearson knew what we do now…


Son Heung-min and Ruud van Nistelrooy

This one caught you by surprise, didn’t it? Son Heung-min and Ruud van Nistelrooy played four games together while at Hamburger SV during the 2010-11 season.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Steven Pienaar

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Steven Pienaar found themselves in the same XI on 62 occasions during their time at Ajax in the early-2000s. Together they won the Eredivisie title in 2002 and 2004.


Wilfried Zaha and Edgar Davids

It’s easy to forget that Edgar ’The Pitbull’ Davids joined Crystal Palace for a few months on a pay-as-you-play deal in 2010. The Dutchman encountered a talented youngster called Wilfried Zaha and together they played six matches.


Kyle Lafferty and Paulo Dybala

Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty’s unusual career has taken him to Switzerland, Turkey and Norway down the years. He also spent a season with Italian side Palermo and ended up playing 15 games alongside current Juventus star Paulo Dybala.


Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabinho

Real Madrid clearly didn’t realise what a good player they had in Fabinho because the Brazilian only played one game for the club during a loan spell from Fluminense in 2012-13. That game was a 6-2 win over Malaga. Needless to say, Cristiano Ronaldo scored.


Ivan Rakitic and Mesut Ozil

Two quality attacking midfielders, Mesut Ozil and Ivan Rakitic played 15 games together at Schalke before moving on to Real Madrid and Sevilla, respectively.


Francesco Totti and Pep Guardiola

What a midfield duo this is. Sadly, football fans only saw Francesco Totti and Pep Guardiola play together on three occasions at AS Roma.


Marco Reus and Joshua King

Joshua King began his career with Manchester United but spent time on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, where he played two games with current Borussia Dortmund and Germany star Marco Reus.


Zinedine Zidane and Thomas Gravesen

Thomas Gravesen couldn’t believe that Real Madrid wanted to sign him in 2005. The former Everton midfielder had the honour of playing alongside Madrid’s Galacticos including the great Zinedine Zidane. They shared a pitch together 32 times.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kurt Zouma

Now with Arsenal and Chelsea, respectively, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kurt Zouma played 42 matches together with French outfit Saint-Etienne. They were part of the same team that won the 2012-13 Coupe de la Ligue.


Mohamed Salah and Philipp Degen

Philipp Degen played 13 matches for Liverpool before moving on to Stuttgart and then Basel. It was in Switzerland where the defender played 43 games alongside future Anfield legend Mohamed Salah.


Alan Smith and Dele Alli

Alan Smith never went back to being a centre-forward after Sir Alex Ferguson converted him into a midfielder enforcer at Manchester United. The former England international went on to play 22 times alongside Dele Alli in the MK Dons midfield.


Juan Roman Riquelme and Diego Maradona

Two of the greatest midfielder playmakers of all time, Juan Roman Riquelme and the late Diego Maradona were briefly teammates at opposite ends of their careers during the 1996-97 season. What a duo!


Shaun Wright-Phillips and George Weah

Shaun Wright-Phillips and George Weah, who won the Ballon d’Or in 1995, played 45 minutes together at Manchester City in 2000. Wild.


Ronaldinho and Mauricio Pochettino

As well as Maradona, Mauricio Pochettino also had the pleasure of playing with Ronaldinho. The two South Americans shared a dressing room at Paris Saint-Germain, where Pochettino is now the head coach.


David de Gea and Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero has scored quite a few goals past David de Gea in Manchester derbies over the past decade. But did you know they played 71 games together at Atletico Madrid?


Manuel Neuer and Raul

Manuel Neuer and Raul are so synonymous with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, respectively, that it’s easy to forget they played 51 games together at Schalke.


Aaron Ramsey and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Yes, it's true: Aaron Ramsey and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink played 14 games together at Cardiff City.


David Beckham and David Moyes

This has to be our favourite of the lot. David Beckham and David Moyes played a handful of games together at Preston while the former was on loan from Manchester United during the 1994-95 season.


Thierry Henry and John Arne Riise

John Arne Riise must have known Thierry Henry would boss it in the Premier League after playing and training alongside the Frenchman at AS Monaco during the 1998-99 campaign.


Ederson and Jan Oblak

During the 2012-13 season, Rio Ave had both Jan Oblak (19) and Ederson (18) in their ranks. The pair are now widely regarded as two of the world’s best goalkeepers.


Patrick Kluivert and Eden Hazard

Patrick Kluivert taught Eden Hazard the importance of working hard inside the gym in order to become a better all-round player.

“I remember thinking, ‘If Patrick Kluivert’s told me this, I need to do something!’ He was a top guy, a top player,” Hazard once told reporters. “That’s when I started to understand that football is not easy and you need to work if you want to arrive.”


Anthony Martial and Dejan Lovren

Anthony Martial and Dejan Lovren played a total of 11 minutes together for Lyon against Ajaccio during the 2012-13 season.


Angel Di Maria and Freddy Adu

Freddy Adu, the kid all Football Manager players thought was destined to become the next Pele, played 15 matches alongside Angel Di Maria while at Benfica.


Serge Gnabry and Darren Fletcher

Criminally underused during a loan spell at West Brom during the 2015-16 season, Serge Gnabry found himself playing alongside former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher on two occasions. Now a star with both Bayern Munich and Germany, Gnabry has proved all of his doubters wrong in recent years.


Ronaldo and Jaap Stam

One of the best strikers of all time and one of the best centre-backs of his generation, Ronaldo and Jaap Stam played three times together at PSV Eindhoven in the 1990s.


Radamel Falcao and Alexis Sanchez

At their peaks, Radamel Falcao and Alexis Sanchez were both unbelievable footballers. Together they played 25 games at River Plate.


Dani Alves and Sergio Ramos

And finally, we’ll end with Dani Alves and Sergio Ramos, who eventually became rivals after moving to Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively. Before those moves, the defensive pair played 35 times together at Sevilla.

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