Former Real Madrid defender Ezequiel Garay has hit out at Los Blancos, claiming that leaving the Santiago Bernabeu was the best decision of his career. The Argentine centre-back has gone on to greater things with Benfica and has now returned to face Real Madrid in La Liga with Valencia, under the new management of Cesare Prandelli.
Speaking to El Desmarque, Garay pulled no punches while describing his move away from Real Madrid, saying “I respect Real Madrid as an institution. But I still say that the best decision of my career was getting out of the club because a footballer likes to play and I did not. I do not regret leaving there as the three years I spent at Benfica after leaving Real were spectacular.”
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Garay went on to note that his career at Benfica was superior to being on the bench at Real Madrid, saying “At Benfica I had my best years as a player. I was very happy, I won important things. We played two finals followed by the Europa League [final] and got places that the club had never been.”
Garay’s career at Real Madrid was no highlight
The Argentinian centre-back was rated one of the best prospects in world football when Real Madrid prised him away from Racing Santander in 2008. However, despite excelling whenever he got a chance, Garay continued to be fourth-choice under then Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho, not the most famed for promoting talented youngsters into the first team.
Garay grew frustrated with his situation and left Real Madrid after three years with the club, making 31 appearances, commanding a fee of €5.5 million. Given that the Argentine has now returned to La Liga for a fee of €20 million, with Valencia opting to make him one of their best-paid players, it is fair to say that leaving Real Madrid was the best decision for Garay.
However, since Real Madrid have gone from strength to strength, winning two UEFA Champions League trophies after his departure, it can also be said that Los Blancos do not particularly miss him, although, given the current defensive crisis, Real Madrid might be wishing that he was still on the club’s books.
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