The list of players who have represented both Real Madrid and Barcelona isn’t that long and one name from the list is Gheorghe Hagi.
Hagi spent two seasons each at Real Madrid [1990-92] and Barcelona [1994-96], before moving to Galatasaray in 1996.
The 56-year-old has now revealed Tottenham Hotspur were keen on signing him before he moved to the Camp Nou in 1994.
Ahead of the weekend clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona, Spanish newspaper AS interviewed the former midfielder, and he revealed he came close to joining Spurs.
Romania’s best ever performance in the World Cup came in 1994, where they lost to Sweden in the quarter-final.
Hagi starred for his country in the FIFA tournament and it was after the World Cup in the United States that Tottenham tried to sign him. They failed and the father of Rangers star Ianis Hagi detailed the reason when asked how a move to Barca materialised.
“We’re at the 94 World Cup. It’s that then the one who calls me is Johan Cruyff, who was my idol when I was young. Ajax had a Romanian coach, Kovacs, and we followed Ajax. If Ramón Mendoza had come looking for me the first time, the second was Johan himself,” Hagi said.
“I had other offers, but I didn’t hesitate. Tottenham offered me more money, I was very close to going to England, but Barca was already the Barca that had just won the European Cup.
“I wanted to meet my idol, talk to him, work with him. Have him close and I fulfilled it. There were also adaptation problems, but possibly he is the one who has taught the most as a player.
“At Real Madrid I learned to always want to be the best and with Cruyff, the same. It was the mentality of the club and of Johan as a coach.
“At Barca, I also learned a lot about a certain style of play that was the one I liked the most at the time and which continues to be the one I like the most.”