Real Madrid is undoubtedly the greatest club with an enviable winning mentality and incredible traditions that stand them out amongst other clubs.
However, have you ever wondered why Real Madrid worship, cherish their star players when they’re on top of their game, but forced them out during their lull period?
It’s glaring to the blind and clear to the deaf that with the current contract situation of Sergio Ramos at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid ain’t a club that celebrates legends or gives them some sort of elaborate farewell they deserve as a legend after serving the club painstakingly.
Los Blancos are strictly a club obsessed with winning and most importantly an institution that put the interest of the club before a legend, rather than focusing on giving their legends a befitting farewell when the time to depart comes calling.
Does Real Madrid really respect their legends? Apparently, your sentiment is as good as mine, these players are only been used as an object of victories perhaps because they earn a huge amount of money.
But when they’re going through a torrid time or they’re in a phase where the respect and love of the club are what they needed, they’re often denied that respect and love.
Having said that, let’s take a look at both present and past legends of Los Merengues stars, that’s has been treated like a piece of rag despite their legendary status at the club.
- Raul Gonzalez Blanco
The unceremonious exit of 90 percent of Los Blancos legends is one way or the other has to do with the contractual agreement between the club hierarchy and the players. Surprisingly, Raul’s case was quite different from other greats who left through the back door.
Following Los Rojiblancos then-President Jesus Gil decision to close their youth academy as a cost-saving measure, the Real Madrid great moved on to the neighboring rival Madrid’s cadet team in La Fabrica, where he was promoted to the Juvenile C, B, and A team, and subsequently went on to play for the senior side.
Raul served Los Blancos seamlessly during his reign as captain and was even seen as the poster boy of the team for many seasons, before the arrival of other Galacticos. The current Castilla gaffer played over 741 matches in the white shirt with 323 goals to his name during his illustrious 16 seasons at the Bernabeu, winning 3 Champions League and 6 Spanish Liga titles.
The legendary forward left the Bernabeu upon the arrival of Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho, and most importantly due to a loss in sporting importance for the team after the arrival of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo who went on to break every record that needed to be broken at Madrid including Raul’s records.
Raul’s contract was meant to end in a year’s time, as such the club board was skeptical about giving him a contract renewal due to his age, plus the fact that he isn’t that active in front of goal. As a result of that, he subsequently joined Schalke in Germany.
Raul in his statement before leaving Madrid, “it was a decision that I felt was right at the time for me and my family, as I felt somewhat constricted at this time”, “it was time to move on all concerned“.
- Iker Casillas
Considering the kind of respectful exit the likes of Paolo Maldini, Francesco Totti, Xavi Hernandez, and Ryan Giggs received from their respective clubs, you would understand why Saint Iker was so pained with the kind of exit he received from his childhood club.
After a long career at the Bernabeu, Casillas would have wished for a more dignified farewell to the end of his time with the Spanish giant. But for him, his departure wasn’t even close to something of the sort, as he was treated poorly by the club.
Following Casillas’s move to Porto, his parents claimed he was been forced out of the club, perhaps due to his obvious dip in form in between the sticks towards the end of his unceremonious Real Madrid’s exit. However, even as that, a player with such legendary status shouldn’t have been treated in such a manner that got many infuriated and criticized the club’s hostile act of treating its legends.
Iker’s parent’s statement “Porto are a team at the level of the Segunda B for a person at the level of Iker, a word champion cannot finish his career at Porto”. “He could have finished where he wanted to and he would not have minded if it had been at Barcelona because they’re a gentleman”.
Such a statement shows how disappointed Iker’s family is with his horrendous treatment of the club.
Iker and Real Madrid may have mended their burnt bridges and comes back to work with the club. However, the ugly treatment he got from his childhood club would certainly remain a period he wouldn’t forget in a hurry, while it would also be seen as a black mark in the history book of Real.
- Fernando Hierro
Following Hierro agreeing on a deal to join Atletico Madrid and even possed with their shirt, but never signed a contract while still with Real Valladolid in his formative years was when the news that Real Madrid wanted him at the Bernabeu came.
The report got Jesus Gil infuriated and described him as “an immature boy“, without minding Gil’s statement t Hierro went on to had a stellar career at the Bernabeu playing as both midfielder and a defender.
Hierro’s illustrious career during his time with the Spanish giant could be said to be a semblance of the current Los Blancos captain Sergio Ramos in terms of scoring crucial goals whether as a defender or midfielder and the leadership skill he showed off and on the pitch.
Having won the league in 2003, the board grew more ambitious and decided to let go of one of the finest managers in the club history Vincente del Bosque and Hierro who was also nearing the end of his contract.
As usual Hierro’s contract renewal talks went on and on without the club reaching any form of agreement with the veteran captain which eventually led to his exit.
Before the horrendous exit of Hierro, it was gathered that his relationship with the club’s president had declined in the final weeks of the season, especially after exiting the Champions League and with the announcement of new signing David Beckham from Manchester United.
The former captain echoed the sentiments of the Real Madrid dressing room, who didn’t take the announcement of Beckham lightly claiming “LaLiga is more important than Beckham”. In the end, Hierro left on bitter terms when his contract expired.
- Sergio Ramos
Contract renewal between Real Madrid’s players, most especially their legends and the club’s boards has always been a soap opera that goes on for a long time, without any form of agreement been reached with the player involved in the end. As a matter of fact, we’ve seen that with quite a number of their greats who eventually left the club with a heart that felt disrespected and perhaps betrayed.
Ramos’s contract situation at the Bernabeu is also going through that unappreciated end that the club’s hierarchy often deploys to ease their legends out.
As at this moment, having been a dedicated leader, captain, warrior, and a beast of a defender in the heart of Los Merengues defense Ramos’s contract agreement hasn’t been sorted out ahead of the expiring date in June.
This wouldn’t be the first time a number of Real Madrid greats has left the club through the backdoor after a breakdown in contract renewal talks. Ironically the man that has been more involved in all of that unceremonious exit is no other than the current president Florentino Perez.
Looking back at the close relationship both Perez and Ramos have shared in time past really left much concern why his contract renewal has been left this late to conclude every detail.
As it stands both Real Madrid and Ramos have been stuck in opposing positions throughout the contract negotiations, with the club not budgeting over their short-term renewal for older players. As such, that has given Ramos the headway to speak with another team once his current expires in June, should Madrid fail to settle things with their captain.
Irrespective of the club Ramos join should he leave Madrid, the fact would remain he’ll never leave as a happy man with the current situation of his contract talk. He has shown his frustrations in one of his recent post on Instagram with, “that’s how we treat our legends, heartbreaking”.
With the reoccurring unacceptable manner of Los Blanco’s ways in maltreating and disrespecting their greats, it’s very glaring that the club isn’t an institution that puts the interest of players at heart.
Moreso, with the names, mention above they ain’t the only greats treated badly without a proper farewell. There’s the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Hernandez Guti, and perhaps Gareth Bale if he’s considered great.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.
Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1
Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.
As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.
Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1
- Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )
Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.
After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.
With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.
Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.
- Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)
As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.
The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.
His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.
However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.
- Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)
Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.
As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.
The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.
According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.
As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.
- Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)
Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.
Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.
The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.
- Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)
When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.
After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.
With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.
Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.
As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1
READ ALSO: 10 Richest Club Owners In World Football
- Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)
The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.
The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.
Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.
- Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)