There may be no Mexicans in this weekend’s Clasico, but there are a few El Tri legends who know what it is, but Real Madrid or Barcelona kits as the footballing world sets its sights on Spain’s biggest derby.
It’s been nearly a decade since the last member of the Azteca International team played for either team. The first Mexican to feature in a Clasico nearly a century ago.
Jose Ramon Sauto, Real Madrid (1933-1944)
The Madridista introduced the Mexicans in El Clasico nine decades ago. Sauto played eight seasons for the capital side, playing eight games against Los Cules. He could have played more if the Spanish Civil War had not broken out. La Liga was suspended and Sauto spent some of that time on the run and hiding from the authorities, but was eventually released due to his ties to the club.
Is there anyone more famous from Mexico than Hugo Sanchez? He was an international icon and the first local Mexicans got to watch taking part in a Clasico on television. Sanchez played seasons with Los Blancos and featured in 17 Clasicos. In those 17 games, Sanchez scored 10 goals, which is good enough for 11th in the series all-time.
The former captain of the international side was at Barcelona for seven seasons. His partnership with Carles Puyol was one of the fiercest in Europe in the early 2000s. In his seven seasons with Barcelona, Marquez played eight times against Madrid winning four, drawing one and losing three. At the end of his career, he won four La Liga titles, two Champions League trophies and a Copa Del Rey.
The Dos Santos brothers
Giovani Dos Santos grew up in Barcelona’s La Maisa after moving to Spain when he was 13. He played with the Barcelona first team for just one year, but made two appearances against Real Madrid before playing for eight clubs over the next 14 seasons. He came off the bench in both matches, but Barca lost 0-1 in the first encounter and 4-1 in the second.
Johnathan, Gio’s younger brother was at the Catalan club much longer, but I could never play in a Clasico. He would play at Real Madrid later in his career but that was during his time playing for Villarreal after the Yellow Submarine snapped him up in 2014.
Chicharito was loaned out to Real Madrid in 2014-15 after four seasons at Manchester United. Chicharito found it difficult to get regular playing time in his time at the Bernabeu, sitting behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Chicharito was part of Madrid for two Clasicos but didn’t play in either one.