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Real Madrid legends who left through the back door

Several idols ended their long relationship with the white club abruptly and without the possibility of retiring with them .

Sergio Ramos

The white club has an extensive list of stars who did not have the opportunity to hang up their boots with a tribute with the fans at the Santiago Bernabéu. Photo: TW-realmadrid

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: Leyendas del Real Madrid que se marcharon por la puerta de atrás

Soccer is full of figures who, over time, gain the necessary prestige to become legends of a club and thus have the joy of retiring with them. Examples like these can be seen in Roma with Francesco Totti, AC Milan with Paolo Maldini, or Barcelona with Carles Puyol, and many others. However, an elite team that cannot make it onto that list is Real Madrid, which for years has chosen to let their best players leave through the back door.

The white club has an extensive list of stars who did not have the opportunity to finish their careers playing for the merengue team and becoming a "one-club man" . The most recent to join the list was Sergio Ramos, a defender who arrived in 2005 and became captain and legend after winning 22 titles during his 16 seasons . At 35, the Andalusian did not reach a renewal agreement with Madrid and his president, Florentino Pérez, did not hesitate to let him go.

Also read: A albiceleste 'Maldição': 28 anos sem ganhar um torneio oficial

Here are the most relevant cases where the merengue team and its legends abruptly closed ties.

Alfredo Di Stéfano

It's hard to believe that the honorary president of Real Madrid left on bad terms when he was an active player. Di Stéfano was a real strategist on the pitch; And if we speak in statistical terms, Madrid had won only two titles in 25 years before his arrival, but with him at the helm they conquered 8 Leagues, 5 European Cups, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 Copa del Rey  .

The beginning of the end occurred during the 1964 European Cup final. There he had a discussion with his coach over a technical decision, which could have caused the defeat that night. Days later, Di Stéfano met with the club's vice president, who explained that the squad needed a renovation and that he, at 38, was not within the parameters . His last game with the white jersey was in a preseason friendly, and after that he signed for Espanyol de Barcelona for two years.

Fernando Hierro

The first captain who was started by Florentino Pérez was the defender who had arrived in the 1989/1990 season. Hierro was considered a true leader on and off the field, and it was precisely that leadership that took its toll . In terms of titles, he managed to lift 16 (5 Leagues, 3 Champions, 1 Copa del Rey, 4 Spanish Super Cups, 1 European Super Cup, 2 Intercontinental Cups).

The president's friction with Hierro and the then coach, Vicente del Bosque, broke out after the night of celebration for the league title of the 2003 season. The club had allowed a journalist to enter the locker room and that angered the captain and others players, who threatened not to go to Plaza Cibeles as usual. The response of the board was not to renew the defender, who went to Qatar with Al-Rayyan and later to Bolton Wanderers of England.

Raul Gonzalez

Another emblem of the team that looked like it was going to end its career at the Bernabéu and ended up coming out very discreetly was the so-called “Angel of Madrid”. He made his debut at 17 and left at 33, in a last season where he lived with a young Cristiano Ronaldo. His 16 seasons are summarized in 6 Leagues, 4 Spanish Super Cups, 3 Champions League, 2 Intercontinental Cups and 1 European Super Cup .

He only played 13 games in his last season (2009/2010). The following summer, José Mourinho told him that he was counting on him for a role more as a locker room leader than as a regular player . Adding this scenario, the criticisms and doubts that arose from some sectors of the club, and the distant relationship with Florentino, Raúl made the decision to leave when he still had soccer on his feet. He was active for five more years playing between Schalke 04, Al-Sadd and New York Cosmos.

Iker Casillas

The departure of Iker Casillas was a very painful tear for most of the Real Madrid fans. At just 16 years old, he was called up to the professional team for the first time. From then on, that boy became a captain and a saint based on good interventions. A total of 19 titles speak of its importance: 5 Leagues, 4 Spanish Super Cups, 3 Champions League, 3 Intercontinental Cups, 2 European Super Cups and 2 Copa del Rey .

The arrival of José Mourinho would be the trigger for his departure. The Portuguese did not care that he was the captain and he was relegated to the bench of substitutes , to that we would have to add the criticism from a sector of the fans who called him a traitor and a snitch, a scenario that worsened when Iker failed inside of the field. The 34-year-old goalkeeper endured all he could and in the middle of a lonely press room announced his departure to FC Porto in 2015, a club where he retired four years later.

Cristiano Ronaldo

He arrived in 2009 as the great promise and over time he became the highest figure of Real Madrid in recent years. No one would have thought that the Portuguese would leave (for many) the best club in the world, especially after winning practically everything : 4 Champions League, 3 European Super Cups, 3 Club World Cups, 2 Leagues, 2 Cupas del Rey and 2 Spanish Super Cups.

The milestone of winning the Champions League for the third time in a row was overshadowed by a phrase: " It was very nice to play for Real Madrid ." That was the start of an exit that had already been anticipated for months, as relations with Florentino were not entirely good due to discussions about the possible extension of the contract. The truth of the case is that the president once again defended the interests of the club and let his greatest star - 33 years old - go to Juventus.