Leaving Real Madrid was the best decision of my life says: Arjen Robben and he is not the only one to share that sentiment. Normally signing for real Madrid is the holy grail for any footballer but sometimes players need to leave Los Merengues to fulfill their potential signing for the biggest club in the world. This article will highlight 10 players who needed to leave Real Madrid to prove their true talent.
Sneijder signed for Real Madrid from IX in 2007. The transfer fee was $27 Million which made him the second most expensive Dutch player in history. At the time there was enormous hype around the talented playmaker and Real Madrid was hoping he would run their midfield for years but he never quite lived up to expectations.
After a solid first season, the dutchman became a shadow of his former self in the second and was sent packing in the summer of 2009. He would reflect on his time in the Spanish capital a few years later and it was clear to see where things went wrong. Wesley Sneijder quoted:
I JUST DID NOT REALISE THAT THE BOTTLE OF VODKA BECAME MY BEST FRIEND PHYSICALLY. DETERIORATED.
I STILL PLAYED ALOT BUT NOT SO GOOD AND SHARPLY LESS CONCENTRATED, MY ATTITUDE WAS UNWORTHY OF REAL MADRID.
Real Madrid decided to make a change and brought in kaka to replace him alongside fellows, new signings Cristiano Ronaldo and Kareem Benzema. Soon after his transfer, he ended his first season by winning a treble consisting of the Champions League, the Scudetto, and the Copa Italia.
In addition to this, the same summer he led the Netherlands to the final of the 2010 world cup. He also registered 16 goals and 15 assists over the course of that season cementing his status as one of the best playmakers in the world.
Another flying dutchman arrived from Chelsea in 2007. Robin was already a player full of promise but he was not the player we know and loved today during his time with real. Arjen Robben showed glimpses of his talent but he proved inconsistent.
He struggled to produce his best form week in and week out and was blighted by a succession of injuries. After two years at the club, he was shipped off to Bayern Munich in 2009. His arrival heralded a new era for the club and a shift in output from the dutch winger, a huge shift after leaving Spain.
He entered another realm and established himself as one of the most dangerous players in the world. Along with Frank Ribery, they changed Bayern’s fortunes by winning 8 Bundes Liga, 5 German Cups, 1 champions league, and 1 club world cup.
While many observers thought that, Real Madrid had found their new right-back for the next 10 years, however, the club disagreed. They decided to let the crown jewel of their academy, leave and seek pastures new, and RM’s loss was Dortmund’s gain.
Hakimi was loaned to the german outfit for two seasons and he soon became one of the most dangerous wing-backs in world football. He terrorized defenders during his spell at the signally Duna park and quickly became a fan favorite but once his loan spell came to an end.
He was sold to Inter Milan for $42 million at least they recouped a transfer fee this time at inter he would go on to win Serie A and cement his status as one of the best in the world but after just one season with the Nehru, he joined PSG.
We’re not sure whether you remember him playing for Real Madrid and we don’t blame you as he featured in just one game for Los Merengues. One game is hardly enough time to make an impression but that’s not a fair reflection on the quality of the player.
It wouldn’t take him long to show them what they were missing. He signed for Monaco permanently in 2015. After two successful loan stints with the club, he would go on to establish himself as a midfield linchpin with the French club, driving them to the champions league semifinals and the league crown in 2017.
Liverpool would soon come calling and he is now a key player in Liverpool.
Before becoming a Barcelona legend, the former Cameroon striker played for their sworn enemy. Samuel Eto’o was even formed there but unfortunately for Samuel, he was never given a fair crack at the club. After just 7 games and 3 successful loan spells, he moved to RCD Mallorca where he became one of the most lethal forwards in Spain.
Before joining Barcelona and solidifying his status as a legend of the game, he then joined Inter Millan where he won the champions league in 2010. He excelled wherever he went apart from Real Madrid but that doesn’t stop him from having fond memories of his time there.
I WILL ALWAYS GREATFUL TO LA CASA BLANCA, DESPITE THE DECISION MADE BY
CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE CLUB. PREDISENTS MAKE DECISIONS BUT REAL MARDID
WILL ALWAYS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART.Samuel Eto’o, Marca
He may not have lasted long at real but he did make one very important decision and that was to leave. Having spent the majority of his time warming the Madrid bench, Theo Hernandez packed his bags in search of more games.
He then join fallen giants Ac Milan, and he quickly became an undisputed starter and established himself as one of the best left-backs in the world. His form for the Rossoneri propelled him into Didier Deschamps’s French side. He explained the difference between his current and former club by saying this:
AT REAL MADRID, I LACKED THE CONFIDENCE TO PLAY MORE, LOOSEAND DRIVE FORWARDBUT AT MILAN, I HAVE GOT IT. I CAN LINK UP BETTER WITH THE STRIKERS AND FORWARDS. I PLAY WITH MORE FREEDOM.
THE ATHLETIC, 2022
Juan Mata, we don’t remember him being there either but before becoming the elegant midfield Maestro, we know today Juan Mata was a Madrid youth product. He was even the face of the academy La Castilla was intensely proud of their prodigy but he wasn’t given a chance in the first team and then moved to Valencia.
He would become one of the best midfielders in Spain during his time at the Mestalla, but he soon outgrew them and joined Chelsea where he would win the Champions League before joining Manchester United.
Mateo Kovačić unlike others on this list, Kovacic had time to make an impact at Real Madrid, having played over 100 Games, and at times he showed his class. He filled his trophy cabinet too, 3 Champions Leagues no less but the competition was tough and he was often consigned to the bench.
Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro are the 3 untouchables. In order to fulfill his considerable potential, he had to leave. His destination is Chelsea and it’s worked out rather well. He became a key pillar in the Chelsea midfield and has played more games for the blues in 2 years than he did in 2 at Real Madrid. Plus he added another champion League winner’s medal to his hall in 2021.
Sergio Reguilón, Madrid really can’t spot a good fullback even if it slapped them in the face. Marcelo was not going to be around forever. was he? but that’s an argument for another day. Sergio Reguilón is real Madrid through and through. Born in the city, he came up through the ranks in the academy but he found opportunities hard to come by on the first team.
So he looked elsewhere. First came alone and moved to Sevilla before joining Tottenham in the summer of 2020. He made an impression in North London with his endeavor down the left. Let’s hope we never hear Real Madrid complain about a lack of depth, that left-back never we’re fast approaching our 10th star now but before revealing all we have compiled a list of players we could have featured.
- Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
- Van de Fart
- Gonzalo Higuain and many more.
Marcos Alonso yes another left-back but this one was harder to foresee. The Spanish international left it rather late to make his impression, having started just 1 game for Real Madrid. He signed for Bolton but struggled to make an impact.
He then moved to Fiorentina before joining Chelsea where he finally lived up to his potential and become a key cog in the side and earned himself a Premier League and a champions league winner’s medal in the process. Better late than never. So that’s the end of our episode we hope you enjoyed it if you did feel free to check out: 10 items Ronaldo owns that cost more than your life.