Real Madrid are arguably the biggest club in world football and it is a dream of many to join them one day. It is one of the key reasons why they have remained one of the best in Europe despite not even coming close to the figures that many Premier League clubs have splashed out over the years.
That does not mean that players have not turned down the chance to join Real Madrid over the years. In fact, some pretty big names have. One of them is David Silva.
Silva came through the ranks at Valencia and spent quite a few years there, establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in Spain in the process. He was part of the iconic Spanish national team that won the World Cup and two EUROs on the trot.
When Silva did end up leaving Valencia he made the move to Manchester City, when they were not the European juggernauts that they are today. In the long run, it certainly worked out. But at that point in time, many might have confused his decision to pick the Citizens over Real Madrid.
Manchester City legend rejected Real Madrid move
"“Firstly because they bet very hard on me. I felt their trust and support from the first call.”“Then because in those conversations they already told me that the project was going to be what it finally was. The ambition was to become one of the greats of Europe and today it is.”"
Silva went on to have a legendary career at Manchester City. He spent 10 years at the club, made more than 400 appearances and won numerous trophies with them.
Perhaps even more importantly, he was part of the team that went from an exciting project to one of the biggest in all of Europe. He did end up returning to Spain in the twilight of his career.
Silva joined Real Sociedad and it was clear that he was a top quality player even in his mid-30s. The Spaniard would spend three seasons at the club before retiring earlier this year.