A Champions League winner both at Liverpool and Madrid but it’d surely be the miraculous 2005 final in Istanbul with the Reds that would edge it for Alonso. He scored Liverpool’s third goal – the equaliser – from a rebound after missing a penalty.
The Spain midfielder had five years at Liverpool before moving back to his homeland with Madrid for six seasons.
‘I have feelings for both clubs,’ Alonso said ahead of the final. ‘I was lucky enough to win this trophy with both clubs so for me it’s difficult to pick one and I will be happy whatever happens.’
Anelka’s time at Real Madrid was unsurprisingly awry; he didn’t score in the first five months and had a bust-up with manager Vicente del Bosque but found the net in both legs of Madrid’s Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich and started in the final in Paris against Valencia, which Madrid won 3-0.
He only ever played for Liverpool on loan, joining in December 2001 and impressed until the end of the season. But curiously, Reds boss Gerard Houllier opted to sign El-Hadji Diouf in the summer of 2002 instead.
Arbeloa began his career at Real Madrid but only made a couple of first-team appearances before leaving for Dpeortivo La Coruna in 2006.
He was signed by Rafa Benitez a year later and his Liverpool first start came away to Barcelona in the Champions League. Benitez fielded him at left back rather than his usual right to negate Messi cutting inside on his left foot. The plan worked, Liverpool won 2-1 and eventually progressed into the quarter-final.
Arbeloa returned to Madrid from Anfield in 2009 and spent seven years there, winning La Liga once and the Champions League twice.
At Liverpool, Dudek will forever be a hero for his display in the 2005 Champions League final. Not only did he pull off a wonder save from point-blank range to deny Andriy Shevchenko in extra time, but he replicated Bruce Grobelaar’s wobbly legs in the penalty shoot-out to seal Liverpool’s fifth – and latest – Champions League title.
Pepe Reina’s arrival that summer demoted Dudek to No 2 and he left Liverpool for Madrid ahead of the 2007-08 season, arriving as back-up to Iker Casillas. He played for Madrid for three seasons and worked under Jose Mourinho before leaving in 2011.
McManaman left Liverpool for Spain on a free transfer in 1999 and starred in their Champions League final victory over Valencia in 2000, before lifting the trophy again two years later when Madrid defeated Bayer Leverkusen in Hampden.
Despite the success of his time in Madrid, McManaman will be supporting his boyhood side at the weekend and believes the three-pronged attack of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane can prove the difference.
‘They know whether they are watching quality or rubbish,’ McManaman said about Liverpool fans. ‘But, right now, they are seeing quality. Of course they can win it. With that front three? Dear me.’
At Madrid, Morientes partnered Raul in attack during eight trophy-laden years at the Santiago Bernabeu. He had three Champions League titles and two La Liga medals when he arrived at Anfield, via a loan spell at Monaco, in January 2005.
He started brilliantly in England, following up a fabulous first goal in a 2-1 comeback win against Charlton with a towering header against Fulham at Anfield.
But from then on, he struggled for goals. When he left Liverpool in 2007 for Valencia, his record was 12 goals in 61 games.
Synonymous with Liverpool, where he scored 158 goals in 297 games after bursting into the first-team as a 17-year-old. He won the European Footballer of the Year gong in 2001, the then equivalent of today’s Ballon d’Or.
Owen departed Liverpool for Madrid for £8million plus Antonio Nunez in 2004, the summer Benitez became Liverpool boss, with a year left on his contract. In a solitary season in Spain, he scored 15 goals in 40 matches before returning to the Premier League with Newcastle.
‘I loved playing at Real Madrid,’ Owen told Marca. ‘ I think I started 20 games, and I was substitute for the same amount. But it was almost impossible for anyone to play all the minutes of all the matches with Raul, Ronaldo, Morientes.’