Played for both: Arsenal and Barcelona

Thierry Henry

We’ll face Barcelona in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 26, in what is sure to be an exciting end to our 2023 US Tour.

There is plenty of history between the two clubs, including a host of players who have pulled on the famous colours of both teams during their careers.

Ahead of the fixture, here is a selection of some of the most star-studded names to appear for both teams:

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Emmanuel Petit

Emmanuel Petit

Central midfielder Emmanuel joined us in June 1997 from Monaco, where he also played under Arsene Wenger. He had a memorable first season at Highbury, making up an important part of the Premier League and FA Cup double-winning team. 

He made a total of 118 appearances during his three seasons at the club, scoring 11 goals, before moving to Barcelona in the summer of 2000. 

Emmanuel spent one season at the Nou Camp, making 38 appearances, before returning to London when signing for Chelsea the following year.

Marc Overmars

Marc Overmars

Speedy winger Marc became an Arsenal player in 1997, joining from Ajax - where he had won three Eredivisie titles and the Champions League during a five-year spell.

The silverware kept coming after he switched to Highbury. Marc was a key member of Wenger's double-winning team in 1997/98, netting 16 times in all competitions. Among those goals was a vital winner at Old Trafford in the Premier League and the opener in the FA Cup final win over Newcastle United.

He scored his first Arsenal hat-trick against Middlesbrough the following year and left alongside Petit in 2000, having scored 40 times in 142 matches for us. Marc would go on to spend four seasons with Barcelona, making 141 appearances. 

Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Gio van Bronckhorst

A skilful midfielder who could also play at left-back, Giovanni joined from Rangers in 2001 and spent two years with us.

During that time, he was a Premier League and FA Cup winner - lifting both trophies in his first season - and also helped us to retain the latter competition the following campaign.

He left to join Barcelona in 2003, initially on loan, after appearing 64 times and netting twice for us. Giovanni was a Barca player for four years in total, lifting the Champions League and becoming a two-time La Liga title winner.

Aleksandr Hleb

Alex Hleb

The talented and creative midfielder became a Gunner in 2005, after arriving from Stuttgart. He netted his first goal for the club during an empathetic 7-0 win against Middlesbrough, and also featured in the Champions League final en route to making 40 appearances during his debut campaign.

Having established himself as an important first-team player, Aleksandr featured regularly during our first season at Emirates Stadium and scored a memorable winner against Fulham at the start of 2007/08.

He left us in the summer of 2008, joining Barcelona where he went on to win the treble in his first season.



The first Brazilian to play for our men's first team, Sylvinho joined us from Corinthians in 1999. A dynamic left back, he helped us to win the Community Shield shortly after signing and featured regularly during the 1999/2000 season - a campaign in which he made 46 appearances.

Sylvinho was dependable in defence but he also offered plenty of attacking threat. He scored five times in the 80 matches he played for us, including a powerful strike against Chelsea. His performances in 2000/01 saw him named in the PFA Team of the Year but, with Ashley Cole continuing to flourish, Sylvinho was on the move at the end of that season.

He spent three seasons in Spain with Celta Vigo before making the move to the Nou Camp, and spent five years at Barcelona, winning three La Liga titles, two Champions League trophies and the Copa del Rey.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry

Thierry arrived from Juventus in the summer of 1999, reuniting with Wenger who had coached the French international at Monaco. It took him nine games to score his first Arsenal goal - but once he did, he didn't stop for the eight years he spent with us.

In the 2001/02 campaign. Thierry played a crucial role in helping us win a Premier League and FA Cup double, finishing as the division's top scorer with 24 goals, and would net 30 times in 2003/04 to help us go through the entire league season unbeaten. 

Two more 30-goal Premier League campaigns would follow before he departed in 2007 as a bonafide Arsenal legend, joining Barcelona where he scored 49 goals in 121 appearances over the course of a three-year spell - winning the treble in 2008/09.

Thierry briefly returned to north London in the winter of 2012 - scoring twice to take his tally for us to a club-record 228.

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc started his professional career with us, having spent six years of his childhood honing his skills at Barcelona's La Masia academy. The midfielder became our youngest-ever first-team player - at the age of 16 years and 177 days - when he featured in a League Cup win against Rotherham United.

Our youngest appearance-maker became our youngest goalscorer when netting during a 5-1 win over Wolves in the same competition, and by 17, Cesc was a regular in the middle of the park. He played 46 times during the 2004/05 season, winning the FA Cup, and followed that up with a further 50 in the next campaign.

Cesc was just 21 when named as our captain and went on to be named Arsenal Player of the Season in 2006/07 and 2009/10 and, along with being named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2007/08 and 2009/10, he also voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 2007/08. 

Cesc departed Emirates Stadium for Barcelona n the summer of 2011, having scored 57 goals in 303 appearances for us. He tasted success via a La Liga triumph and Copa del Rey success during his three years at the Nou Camp, before spells with Chelsea, Monaco and Como.

Alex Song

Alex Song

Alex was still a teenager when he made the move, initially on loan, from Bastia to Arsenal. A midfielder with fine vision, he played 204 times for us during his seven seasons in north London.

Alex scored 10 Gunners goals, notably including our 1,000th under Wenger in the Premier League, before agreeing to join Barcelona in 2012. He won the league title during his time at the Nou Camp - but was loaned to West Ham United for two of the four years he spent in La Liga. 

After leaving Barcelona, Alex joined Sion in Switzerland.

Thomas Vermaelen 

Thomas Vermaelen

Thomas became a Gunner in 2009, joining after a successful spell at Ajax. Sporting the No 5 shirt, the Belgium international announced his arrival in style when scoring on his debut in a 6-1 win over Everton on the opening day of the Premier League season, before netting a brace against Wigan Athletic soon after.

The defender scored 15 goals during his time at Arsenal - with eight of those coming in his first season alone. He was made captain in August 2012 and lifted the FA Cup in 2014, before joining Barcelona that summer.

Thomas would go on to make 53 appearances during his time at the Nou Camp, winning four La Liga titles before departing in 2019.

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez

The livewire Chile international forward arrived from Barcelona in the summer of 2014, having scored 47 goals in 141 appearances under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.

He netted 25 goals in his debut season with us - scoring in the FA Cup final victory over Aston Villa and winning the PFA Fans' Player of the Year award. Silverware also came at international level - with Alexis lifting the Copa America in 2015 and 2016, scoring the winning penalty in the former.

In 2016/17, Alexis scored 30 times, including in both the FA Cup semi-final and final wins over Manchester City and Chelsea. His performances over the course of the campaign resulted in him being named Arsenal Player of the Season for the second time.

He left for Manchester United midway through the 2017/18 season, having contributed 80 goals in 166 matches for us.

Denis Suarez

Denis Suarez

Midfielder Denis joined us from Barcelona in January 2019, on a loan until the end of the 2018/19 season.

Signed by Unai Emery, Denis made six appearances for us in all competitions - four in the Premier League and two in the League Cup.

He had previously featured 71 times for Barcelona in all competitions, winning La Liga in 2018, and he stayed in the division after returning to Spain in the summer of 2019, joining Celta Vigo on a permanent deal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick joined from Borussia Dortmund at the end of the 2018 winter transfer window and he marked his debut by scoring in a 5-1 win over Everton, going on to net 10 times in just 13 games in the second half of the 2017/18 season.

The Gabon international scored 22 goals in each of the 2018/19 and 2019/20 campaigns, sharing the Golden Boot with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in the former.

He lifted the FA Cup in 2020, captaining us to a 2-1 win over Chelsea - a match in which he scored both goals, having also struck a brace in the semi-final victory over Manchester City.

In all, Auba netted 92 times in 163 games before joining Barcelona in February 2022. The striker scored 13 goals in 24 appearances but, after seven months at the Nou Camp, returned to the Premier League with Chelsea, and has recently joined Marseille. 

Hector Bellerin

Hector Bellerin

Like Cesc Fabregas before him, right-back Hector was at Barcelona’s La Masia academy before joining us at the age of 16.

He made his competitive debut in the League Cup as a 17-year-old and broke through into Wenger's first team in 2014/15. He ended the season an FA Cup winner after starting in the 4-0 final victory over Aston Villa, and would lift that trophy again twice more during his Gunners career, having been included in the PFA Team of the Year in 2015/16.

In all, he made 239 Arsenal appearances before joining Barcelona in the summer of 2022. Hector featured seven times for his boyhood club before moving on to Sporting CP, whom he signed for in January 2023. 

Our game against Barcelona will be streamed live on Arsenal.com and our official app, which kicks off at 3:30am UK time in the early hours of Thursday morning.

All this can be viewed on desktop, mobile devices or the app by buying a Match Pass for just £4.99 - but only if you purchase before the day of the game, when the price rises to £6.99.

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