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5 Real Madrid legends who were booed at the Bernabeu

Ronaldo taunts booing Real Madrid fans
Tina Kaviraj

Real Madrid fans are some of the most ungrateful and unforgiving fans in football. While they are definitely used to higher standards than a vast majority of clubs who play the sport, their criticism of some of the best players down the years seems overly harsh. While excellence should and must be pursued, it should be done within the bounds of civility.

Not only have the Bernabeu faithful projected their full wrath and fury on some of Real Madrid’s more mediocre players, they have not spared the very best of the best – the Galacticos. Even those very talented players have been jeered at by their own fans when results have not gone their way with no regard for how much they have already done for the club.

While absolutely no one is safe, here’s a look a five Galacticos who were booed by their own fans at the Bernabeu:


#5 Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale came up with a celebration in response to fan criticism

Gareth Bale was booed at for the first time by Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeu just five months after he joined the club for a record-breaking fee. He had already scored eight goals and made seven assists but that didn’t stop a section of the fans from whistling after he misplaced a pass against Granada.

The Welshman was heavily jeered at during the second half of the 2014-15 season even on days when the Los Blancos were winning. Fans rounded on the former Tottenham star whenever he missed a shot or just failed to pass to his teammates.

He was criticised for his performances in the Champions League that year especially when Madrid crashed out against Juventus. Even though he has managed to get in the good books of the fans in the last couple of years (two Champions League trophies have gone a long way in appeasing the furious), his sending off in the draw against Las Palmas in midweek could not have made them too happy.

#4 Ronaldo

Fans at the Bernabeu jeered Ronaldo for being ‘fat’

Ronaldo, no not Lionel Messi’s ‘arch-nemesis’ but the Brazilian World Cup legend, signed for Real Madrid in 2002. After three spectacular seasons where he scored 85 goals in all competitions, things started to turn sour between the former Inter Milan player and his fans, not that they were kind to him, to begin with.

The fans at the Bernabeu never let him forget that he, O Fenomeno, had won just one Spanish league title with the Los Blancos. When the Brazilian appeared to be putting on weight, they turned against the forward completely. Ronaldo became visibly disinterested in his performances and concentrated more on parties after which the club sold him to AC Milan in January 2007.

Speaking ahead of a Champions League match with Arsenal in 2006, he said, "I have never felt loved at the Santiago Bernabéu and I don't understand why. I have never been treated with affection here.” He also added, “They make mistakes when they call me fat...”

#3 Raul

Los Blancos fans even turned on Raul

While he was not quite a Galactico in the true sense, Raul was a crucial part of the early Galacticos era that became famous for their star status in the first half of the 2000s. Signed from rivals Atletico Madrid, Raul debuted for the club when he was just 17 and settled into a side that gradually welcomed the likes of Luis Figo, Ronaldo, David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane.

He won three Champions League trophies with the Meringues in 1998, 2000 and 2002 and became synonymous with the tournament itself. He was the club’s highest scorer with 323 goals until Cristiano Ronaldo arrived on the scene, however, none of this deterred a large section of Madrid fans from booing him at the Bernabeu.

The Spanish forward was destined to end his career in the capital but the downfall of the Galacticos proved to be his death knell. Fans began to see him as part of the problem that was plaguing the club and they did not hold back. Recently, Madrid fans were furious with the club legend on Twitter when he congratulated Messi for equalling his record of scoring against 35 different clubs in the La Liga.

#2 Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid fans found reason to boo the World Cup-winner as well

An intelligent and elegant midfielder, Zinedine Zidane will always be a Real Madrid great and now that he is the manager of his former club, has further opportunity to leave his mark on their history. When Florentino Perez signed the Frenchman, he was already one of the best players in the world but remained a victim of Barcelona’s dominance in the 2000s during his spell at the club.

Zidane had a dream start to his stint at Madrid winning the Champions League in his very first season. He won just one other major trophy with the side, the league title, until his retirement in 2006.

When the trophies stopped, so did the fans’ love for the midfielder. Chants of appreciation were replaced by boos and catcalls as Zizou slowed down and struggled to keep up with the increasingly fast and physical nature of the modern game.

In January, when fans were jeering their latest victim, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane explained, “I don't understand the jeers for Ronaldo but at the same time, I look at it and note that it even happened to me.”

#1 Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo seems to feed off of the jeering fans at the Bernabeu

It should be pretty safe to say Cristiano Ronaldo is Real Madrid’s greatest player of all time. One may go so far as to say he is the only player to have kept the club at par with Barcelona, surpassing them even, on numerous occasions.

Yet Madrid fans still find reasons to boo their highest scorer (389 goals) regularly at the Bernabeu. Purchased for £80 million, the Portuguese has been a sound investment in terms of brand value and the very obvious success.

Last year, in spite of winning their Champions League match 2-0 against Napoli, fans at the Bernabeu booed Ronaldo after he missed an easy opportunity. The sheer unnecessity of the behaviour compelled Sergio Ramos to speak up. “I would tell the fans to think a little first... He's a historic player for Real Madrid, he keeps proving that year after year, look at what he's achieved,” Ramos said.

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In January this year, after a 40-game unbeaten run which broke the previous record held by Barcelona, fans booed Ronaldo yet again. However, the forward wasn’t about to take the insult lying down and shouted “sons of b******” at them as caught by Spanish TV cameras. This was in a game the Los Blancos won 3-0 against Real Sociedad and Ronaldo even scored!

It’s a good thing criticism and failure only fuels Ronaldo further or Real Madrid would be in a lot of trouble.

Edited by Staff Editor

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