The footballing world was shocked this week after reports emerged that reigning World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to leave Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old fired Real to victory in the Champions League final earlier this month, but it’s believed that he’s been left “upset” after being accused of tax fraud and no longer wants to be in Spain.
Having moved to the Bernabeu for £80 million from Manchester United, Ronaldo has incredibly scored 406 goals in just 394 matches, in addition to winning several trophies and individual awards.
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The latest news prompted us to take a look at the eight other players Madrid signed alongside Cristiano back in the summer of 2009 and where they’ve ended up – here they are.
Antonio Adan was promoted to the senior squad from Real’s youth system, but the Madrid-born goalkeeper only made seven appearances for the club before leaving in 2013.
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The 30-year-old spent a season at Cagliari before joining Real Betis, for whom he’s played 129 league games and established himself as first-choice between the sticks.
Alvaro Arbeloa returned to Madrid from Liverpool in 2009 and racked up 233 appearances across a seven-year stay at the club.
The right-back left for West Ham last summer, however, he featured just four times for the Hammers before being released a few weeks ago.
In the same summer, Madrid also brought in Xabi Alonso from Liverpool for £30 million, and the midfielder enjoyed five successful seasons back in Spain.
After winning the 2014 Champions League, the midfield maestro moved to Bayern Munich, winning the Bundesliga in each of his three seasons and eventually announcing his retirement.
Raul Albiol signed for Real from Valencia in 2009 but found himself behind Sergio Ramos and Pepe in the pecking order for the majority of his time at the club.
The centre-back, capped 51 times by Spain, joined Napoli in 2013, where he’s played 167 times and helped the Serie A side to win two Italian cup competitions.
Having let him join Getafe in 2008, Real snapped promising midfielder Esteban Granero back up a year later but he never established himself as a first-team regular.
In fact, he scored more goals in his one permanent season at Getafe than he managed in his entire Real career between 2009 and 2012.
Granero joined Queens Park Rangers in 2012 but was riddled with injuries, and he’s been at Real Sociedad since 2014.
Arguably the biggest deal Madrid pulled off besides Ronaldo was the acquisition of Brazilian superstar Kaka from AC Milan for a £56 million.
The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner played 120 games for Real, however he failed to reach double figures for goals in all of his four seasons in the Spanish capital.
Kaka went back to Milan for the 2013-14 campaign before leaving European football for MLS side Orlando City, for whom he’s scored 22 goals.
Real exercised their buy-back option on Alvaro Negredo after he impressed at Almeria, however new coach Manuel Pellegrini told him to leave immediately in order to get game time.
With Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema (to name a few) in the squad, Negredo duly moved to Sevilla, scoring 85 goals in 182 games for Los Blanquirrojos.
Despite scoring 23 goals in his debut year, Manchester City offloaded him to Valencia in 2014 and he spent last season at Middlesbrough – where his eight goals couldn’t prevent relegation.
Last but not least, current Real Madrid talisman Karim Benzema - the only one of these eight players who is still at the Bernabeu.
The Frenchman signed as an exciting youngster from Lyon but he quickly became an ever-present in the starting XI and has since developed into a world-class centre-forward.
Benzema has scored 180 goals in 365 matches for Los Blancos, linking up tremendously well on occasions with Cristiano, and fighting off some stiff competition for the striker’s role.
What do YOU make of the other players Real signed with Cristiano? Will he really leave the club this summer? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!
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