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Real Madrid legend lets slip two rivals broke same golden rule as Lionel Messi

Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado has admitted that two Barcelona legends broke the same forbidden rule as a certain Lionel Messi during El Clasico

Lionel Messi (C) once asked to swap shirts with Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane(Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The intense rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona has created an unspoken set of rules for players during El Clasico.

It is a match that has meant more than football for almost a century, with Barcelona seen as a symbol of Catalan identity and Real Madrid regarded as representing the centralised Spanish government. Layer upon layer of history has since been added into the mix, creating an emotional atmosphere each season.

In sporting terms, the two clubs have been virtually ever-present at the top of the table, winning a combined 64 of 94 La Liga titles. This historical and sporting tension means that players on both sides cannot be seen to swap shirts with one of their rivals – but it is a rule that three notable Barcelona legends have broken in recent years.

When asked if he had ever asked for a Barcelona shirt, Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado confessed to TNT Sports: “Yeah I swapped some of them, so [Carles] Puyol, Xavi. We swapped but never on the pitch, in the tunnel. I never wore it, no way!”

The crossover of Real Madrid and Barcelona players with the Spain national team meant that Salgado had formed a bond with Xavi and Puyol, away from the El Clasico cauldron. However, Lionel Messi previously revealed that he once asked to swap shirts with a Real Madrid legend, shortly after breaking into the Barcelona team.

“I don’t ask for shirts, I usually swap them, but I asked once. I asked Zidane” he told TyC Sports. “If there is an Argentine I swap it with him, but, unless someone asks me, I’m not asking anyone.”

Have your say! Is Barcelona and Real Madrid the biggest football rivalry? Tell us in the comments section below

Lionel Messi (L) faced Zinedine Zidane (R) in an El Clasico in November 2005(PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Messi and Zidane only faced off once during their respective careers, resulting in a 3-0 win for Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2005. It proved to be Zidane’s final season before retirement and a then-18-year-old Messi wanted a memento from their sole meeting on the pitch.

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