Real Madrid, arguably the biggest club in world football and one of the most well-known sporting institutions in the world, have millions of fans from all over the globe.
The club, which has won titles galore, has a highly-acclaimed academy structure that has produced some legendary players like Raul and Iker Casillas over the years. Real Madrid have also been successful in the transfer market where they have managed to sign a bevvy of world-class players as well as talented youngsters.
However, being a Real Madrid player is no mean task. Some like Sergio Ramos. Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo have thrived while playing for the club and looked like they were born to play for Los Blancos and don their famous white jersey. However, others haven't been as lucky.
Five Real Madrid rejects who thrived elsewhere
Due to the stature of the club in the football world and the unique challenges associated with it, not many players have been able to succeed at Real Madrid. However, after leaving Madrid, many of these players have found success at other clubs. On that note, we take a look at five Real Madrid 'rejects' who thrived elsewhere.
#5 Juan Mata
After beginning his career at Real Oviedo, Juan Mata joined the Real Madrid academy in 2003 where he spent a season in the Segunda Division with Real Madrid Castilla.
However, Mata decided to leave the club in 2007 and joined Valencia where the Spain international made his name as one of the most exciting talents in the country.
Mata later joined Chelsea for €27 million where he won the Champions League as well as the Europa League.
The 32-year-old, who is a highly creative midfielder capable of playing in a bevvy of forward positions, joined Manchester United in 2014 for €45 million. He has since made more than 250 appearances in all competitions for the EPL giants, winning the Europa League, FA Cup and the EFL Cup for the club in the process.
Fabinho is a product of the famed Fluminense academy in Brazil who joined Real Madrid on loan in 2012 from Rio Ave and played predominantly for Castilla.
He did make one appearance for the senior team, doing so in a La Liga game against Malaga. Los Blancos, however, decided not to make his move permanent.
The Brazil international joined AS Monaco initially on loan before the move became permanent and went on to make nearly 250 appearances in all competitions for the French club.
His performances for Monaco caught the attention of English giants Liverpool who splurged €45 million for his signature. The 26-year old has since been an everpresent at Anfield where he has won the Champions League and the Premier League under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp.