Players who said "NO" to Real Madrid
Many consider Real Madrid to be the biggest club in the world and there are plenty of reasons. Fourteen Champions League and 35 LaLiga titles. Wearing the Real Madrid shirt is synonymous with being a champion and many players would give anything to play for Madrid. Playing for Real Madrid means guaranteeing that everyone sees you play at the highest level, guaranteeing lucrative contracts with brands, and, of course, receiving monetary fees that surpass many other clubs in its category.
However, there were football players who, despite all odds, said no to the Casa Blanca. Here are some of them:
As a teenager (14 years old), Neymar traveled to Europe with his father and was put on trial at the Real Madrid facilities. The striker played with great talent and for this reason, the merengue coaches offered him a contract. But finally Neymar decided with his father that the best thing was to stay in Brazil. "It was the first time I came to Europe and at that time I didn't see myself capable of living far from Brazil. I didn't feel that it was time to change yet and I wasn't in any hurry. My priority was to be happy and become a professional player, then The time would come to come to Europe".
In his prime, Francesco Totti was one of the best strikers in the world. He was just 28 years old and had hundreds of goals in Serie A when Real Madrid made him an offer. He was very close to leaving Roma, but out of love for his club, he decided to stay and make history there. "Let's say that I had the intention of going to Real Madrid at 80%. Also, in Roma, it was not the best moment, although it is true that Sensi (President of Roma) would have done anything for me. In Madrid, they offered me a lot of money, anything. I was going to have a contract of about 25 million. Everything except the captaincy because Raúl was there."
Another case of love for the club was Steven Gerrard. The president of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, offered him a contract twice to leave Anfield, but on both occasions, he said no. "When a club like Madrid takes an interest in you, it's flattering. Twice in my career, I had options to sign for Madrid, but I turned it down because of my connection with my hometown club. I don't know if one day I'll regret not having had a change of scenery, although I think I would have regretted leaving more".
When everyone thought that Mbappé would leave PSG to succeed at Real Madrid, surprisingly, he renewed his contract with the Parisian club until 2025. Florentino Peréz negotiated for the last 365 days, trying to convince him and surely, he was very close to having achieved an agreement. But it was not like that. "I have a lot of respect for Madrid and I thank them for all their effort. They have done everything possible to make me happy and I am grateful to them. Today I sign a new contract and I hope it is my best choice. It is a new era and I don't know what will happen in the future. I don't know what will happen in three years."
Will he arrive at Real Madrid in 2025?