Real Madrid continue to be the home of world class football talents. Thanks to their Galacticos policy, the Spanish giants have been represented by some of the greatest players the sport has witnessed across several decades.
The contributions of these legendary superstars have enabled Los Blancos to dominate football, both at domestic and continental levels. With 13 Champions League crowns and 34 La Liga titles in their cabinet, there's no doubt Los Blancos are the most successful club in history.
Having given so much to the club during their time at the Santiago Bernabeu, one would expect these players to be treated with great respect. However, it is unfortunate to learn that some of them were disrespected in the Spanish capital.
Without further ado, let's quickly take a look at five top players who were disrespected by Real Madrid.
#5 Fernando Hierro
A rock-solid presence in Real Madrid's backline in the 90s, Fernando Hierro was a force to reckon with. He formed an unbreakable wall with Manolo Sanchis at the heart of the defense and they took Europe by storm.
The Spaniard enjoyed a spectacular spell at the Santiago Bernabeu. During his 14-year stint, Hierro helped Los Blancos claim 16 trophies, including three Champions League crowns and five La Liga titles. He also made 601 appearances in the white jersey, bagging 126 goals and 24 assists.
Everyone expected the Spaniard to retire at Real Madrid but things changed quickly after Florentino Perez became the club's president in 2000. The pair reportedly fell out, leading to the defender not being offered a new contract. Hierro left as a free agent in July 2003, joining Qatari outfit Al-Rayyan.
#4 Raul Gonzalez
Raul is regarded as one of the greatest players to ever don the Real Madrid jersey. The attacker holds the record for the most appearances in the club's history. Following his debut on October 29 1994, Raul moved forward to make a whopping 741 appearances for Los Blancos before leaving in 2010.
At the time of his departure, the Spaniard wasn't thinking of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu. In fact, he signed a contract with the club in 2008 that was supposed to keep him in the Spanish capital until retirement.
However, Los Blancos' hierarchy later considered the Spaniard to be too old and forced him out in 2010. He joined German club Schalke 04 on a free transfer before leaving for Qatar two years later.
Raul's former teammate Luis Figo later shed light on the situation during an interview in 2014, saying:
"Raul was forced out of Madrid. He wanted to retire at the club, but it wasn't to be. I hope he's happy in Qatar"
#3 Sergio Ramos
The most recent account on the list, the football world was shocked as Real Madrid announced the departure of former captain Sergio Ramos this summer. Prior to his exit, the defender had always insisted on retiring at the Santiago Bernabeu.
His statement shortly after leaving the club made it clear he was forced out as well. Ramos reflected on the situation:
“Many things have happened. The first thing I’d like to make clear is that I never wanted to leave Real Madrid. That was always my mindset.
"The club offered me a one-year extension with a salary reduction. I want to clarify that money was never the problem. It was the years, because I wanted stability for my family. I wanted two years and they offered one. In the later conversations, I said I would accept it, but then I was told the offer wasn’t there anymore."
Regardless, Ramos remains an influential figure in Real Madrid's history. The centre-back won an impressive 22 trophies at the Santiago Bernabeu, bagging 101 goals and 40 assists in 671 appearances.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid's all-time greatest goalscorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, bagged a whopping 450 goals in 438 appearances for the Spanish giants. He led the club to several titles, including three consecutive Champions League triumphs between 2016 and 2018.
Despite his heroics, the Portuguese was severely disrespected at the Santiago Bernabeu. He was often greeted with jeers and boos by a section of fans, even during matches in which he scored hat-tricks. The 5-time Ballon d'Or winner realized he was undervalued at the club, prompting his departure in July 2017.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened up on his exit:
"I felt within the club, especially from the president, that I was no longer considered in the same way as I was at the beginning. For the first four or five years, I felt like Cristiano Ronaldo. Less so after.
"The president looked at me in a way that suggested I was no longer indispensable if you know what I mean. That is what made me think about leaving."
#1 Iker Casillas
In one of the most emotional exits ever, Iker Casillas broke down in tears as he announced his departure from Real Madrid in 2015. It is alleged the legendary goalkeeper was shown the way out of the club after falling out of favor with Florentino Perez.
While the Spaniard remained tight-lipped, his mother Mari Carmen held nothing back when discussing his son's exit from the club. She revealed:
"Iker has put up with a great deal, he has suffered psychological pressure and they treated him differently to other players. I have watched him suffer for many years. It is Florentino who is pushing him out because he wanted to end his career at Real Madrid."
Iker Casillas remains the greatest goalkeeper in Real Madrid history. The Spaniard made a massive 725 appearances during his spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning 19 trophies across 25 seasons.