Real Madrid is the club with the most awards in Europe, and they are known for signing the best players in the world. From the great Alfredo Di Stefano to the unpredictable Cristiano Ronaldo, football players who changed their eras have played at the Santiago Bernabeu and won important trophies.
The 14-time European champions have a long history and a lot of money, so it’s not hard for them to get the best players. But even the great clubs from Madrid have failed to get their man every once in a while.
Today, we’ll take a quick look at players who got away, which doesn’t happen very often. Here are seven great players that Real Madrid missed out on during their long history:
- Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira was one of, if not the best, midfielders in the Premier League at the beginning of the 2000s. The French star was Arsene Wenger’s trusted leader. He was very good technically and never gave up when things got tough.
In the 2003-04 season, when Arsenal won the Premier League without losing a game, Vieira was one of their best players. In 29 games, he scored three goals and set up five others.
Real Madrid tried to sign the midfielder after seeing how well he played for the Gunners. The two clubs came to an agreement, but Vieira decided to stay put for another year.
- Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti is known around the world as one of the best athletes ever. The former forward not only scored great goals, but he also stayed with his childhood team, Roma, even though he was asked to leave many times. Totti’s determination was a breath of fresh air in the cutthroat, money-driven world of football.
During his prime, Real Madrid reached out to Totti because of how good he was at soccer. The Italian ended up turning down the Whites, but he did say that he would have only left Roma for Los Blancos.
- Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard, who went to the Liverpool academy, was not only a great football player for the Reds, but he also stood for everything that was right and good about the club.
He gave his all in every game and led his team with courage and by setting a good example. Every big club took notice of the former England international’s play, and Real Madrid were no different.
Gerrard says that Los Blancos tried to sign him several times during his career, but he stayed at Liverpool because he loved the team.
- Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon is one of Juventus’ most dedicated players. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the sport. The Italian goalkeeper moved from Parma to the Bianconeri in July 2001 and stayed there until the summer of 2018.
After playing for Paris Saint-Germain for just one season, he came back for another year in 2019. During his two stints with Juventus, he played 683 games in all competitions, kept 322 clean sheets, and won 22 trophies, including 10 Serie A titles.
In 2006, when Juventus were demoted to Serie B because of the Calciopoli scandal, Buffon made one of the bravest decisions of his career by staying with the team. Sky Sports says that Real Madrid tried to get him to move to the capital of Spain, but the keeper wouldn’t go.
- Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez is known as a hero in the history of Barcelona. But if the Uruguayan hadn’t been a fan of the Blaugrana since he was a child, things could have turned out very differently.
When Suarez was free in the summer of 2014, Barca’s biggest rival, Real Madrid, said they wanted to sign him. But Suarez was only thinking about one club.
- Neymar Jr.
Neymar is a star player for Paris Saint-Germain. He is one of the best players ever in terms of technique. Before moving to PSG in 2017 for €222 million, Neymar won everything with Barcelona, where he worked well with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.
Neymar could have played for Barcelona’s biggest rival, Real Madrid, before he became the best player in Europe for Barcelona. The All Whites tried to get him to play for them, but the 13-year-old Brazilian wasn’t ready to leave his home country.
- Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe is the latest player to turn down Real Madrid. Instead of joining Los Merengues, the Frenchman decided to sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
Since 2017, when he joined the Parisians, Mbappe has said that Real Madrid is his dream club. Fabrizio Romano says that he even agreed to terms with the club from Madrid, but he ended up staying longer in Paris.