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4 Top Players That Became World-Class Players After Leaving Real Madrid

Players like James Rodriguez, Claude Makelele, and Arjen Robben have seen their careers flourish since leaving Real Madrid. 

Playing for the 13-time European champions is widely seen as the pinnacle of a footballer’s career, but several players have demonstrated that leaving the Bernabeu is not always a bad thing. 

With that in mind, let’s discuss the four of the best players that enhanced their careers after leaving Real Madrid. 

  • James Rodriguez

Everton signed the Colombian playmaker on a two-year deal in 2020, with the Toffees bringing him in on a free transfer. 

Zinedine Zidane’s treatment of the player as a result of his outstanding form infuriated Madrid’s top brass. 

His dazzling exploits were, unfortunately, short-lived for Everton. 

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  • Makelele 

The defensive midfielder joined Chelsea in 2003 after making the transition from La Liga to the English Premier League. 

During his three years at Real, he won the league twice, as well as the Champions League, Club World Cup, and UEFA Super Cup. After that, he was an integral part of Chelsea’s title-winning seasons in 2005 and 2006. 

Makelele moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2008 following five trophy-laden seasons at Stamford Bridge, where his position was named after him in recognition of his outstanding exploits. 

  • Arjen Robben

After joining Madrid from Chelsea in 2007, the Dutch striker helped the club win La Liga in his first season and went on to score eight goals the following season. 

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When the club brought in Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka in the summer of 2009, he was forced out, with Bayern Munich spending £21 million on him. He established himself as one of Europe’s most dangerous wingers during his time in Bavaria, scoring 144 goals in 309 matches. 

He announced his retirement from football in Germany in 2019, after winning the Bundesliga eight times, the Champions League once, and the German Cup five times. Robben is now the ninth highest goal scorer in Bayern Munich history. 

  • Clarence Seedorf 

Seedorf, was ejected from the club in 1999 when the club was in dire need of cash. At the Bernabeu, Seedorf won LaLiga and the Champions League, but there was no room for emotion when he was traded to Inter Milan. 

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Later, he was moved to AC Milan in exchange for Francesco Coco, and he made history with the Rossoneri. After winning the European Cup with Ajax in 1995, he became the first person to win it with three separate clubs. 

In 2007, he was named UEFA’s best midfielder for his efforts. He scored 63 goals in 431 games and helped Milan win the Serie A twice.

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