Five players who have been at both FC Barcelona and Girona FC

The distance between the Spotify Camp Nou and Estadi Montilivi is approximately 100km and it takes less than 40 minutes by train to travel from Barcelona to Girona. Hence, it is anything but surprising that several players have played for both FC Barcelona and Girona FC over the years. Three of these footballers are currently in Girona FC’s squad and could even feature in Monday night’s LaLiga Santander clash between the two teams.

Here, then, comes a look at five of the most interesting footballers who have spent time on the books of both these clubs during their careers. 

Arnau Martínez

The talented Girona FC right-back plied his trade at Barça’s La Masia academy before joining Centre d’Esports L’Hospitalet at the age of 13. Two years later, he moved to Girona FC and made his first league start with the seniors in March 2021, when he featured in the starting XI against Albacete Balompié in LaLiga SmartBank. From that point on, he became an undisputed starter for Girona FC and featured in 36 games last season to help his team secure promotion to LaLiga Santander, before catching the eye with his performances in the top flight this term. Arnau has revealed that, as well as being a former La Masia academy player, he grew up as a supporter of Barça and even used to be a Spotify Camp Nou regular in the past.

Oriol Romeu

Another La Masia product, Romeu joined FC Barcelona’s academy from city rivals RCD Espanyol as a teenager. He debuted with Barça Atlètic, the B team, in 2008/09 and made his only LaLiga Santander appearance with FC Barcelona in May 2011 under Pep Guardiola. Just a few months later, Romeu joined Chelsea before making a short-lived return to Spain to feature on loan at Valencia CF in 2013/14. Following another one-season loan spell at Stuttgart, Romeu signed for Southampton, where he even wore the captain’s armband, making more than 250 appearances for the English side. Last summer, he returned to Spain to become the anchor of the midfield for coach Míchel at Girona FC.

Brian Oliván

The current RCD Espanyol left-back has spent time in all the three of the Catalan clubs that feature in LaLiga Santander this season. Oliván took his first steps into football at FC Barcelona’s La Masia and, following short spells at Braga and CSKA Sofia, he returned to Spain to join Real Valladolid in 2014. After also plying his trade at Granada CF and Cádiz CF, Oliván joined Girona FC, for whom he featured in 10 LaLiga SmartBank games in 2019/20. Following two solid seasons at RCD Mallorca, he signed for RCD Espanyol last summer and is one of the players who has stood out this season for Los Periquitos.

Santiago Bueno

Another player who could potentially start in Monday’s duel, Bueno joined FC Barcelona’s academy from Peñarol back in 2017. Two years later, the centre-back moved to Girona FC, where he made more than 30 appearances in each of the team’s last two years in LaLiga SmartBank. Los Blanquivermells secured promotion to the Spanish football’s top flight last season, but this wasn’t the only reason for the talented defender to celebrate over the past year. After previously standing out for Uruguay’s youth teams, Bueno made his debut with the senior Uruguay national team in a 1-1 friendly draw against Japan on March 24th.

Marc Muniesa

Currently featuring for Qatari side Al-Arabi, Muniesa made first-team appearances at both FC Barcelona and Girona FC in the past. The Catalan defender came through La Masia and made his official debut for Barça under Guardiola at the age of 17 in a LaLiga Santander game against CA Osasuna in May 2009. After featuring in just one more game with the seniors over the next four years, he departed FC Barcelona to join Stoke City. There, he played double-digit games in each of his four seasons at the club before joining Girona FC in the summer of 2017. After featuring in LaLiga Santander for two seasons, he couldn’t help the team avoid relegation and departed to Qatar in 2019.

MG Team

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