Unbelievable: Footballer rejects Real Madrid to avoid learning Spanish
Real Madrid are at the pinnacle of club football and every player should jump at an opportunity to play at the club.
This was not the case for Dutch defender, Bert Konterman, who rejected an offer to play for Los Blancos in 1999.
The player said he turned down the offer, made by his former Feyenoord and then Real Madrid manager, Leo Beenhakker, just so he that he would not have to learn Spanish.
He later watched as the Spanish giants lifted the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League trophy against Spanish rivals, Valencia.
Konterman said, “That summer, Real Madrid offered 20 million guilder for me.
“Leo Beenhakker was my coach and he’d been Real Madrid coach.
“He said ‘Real Madrid want you’.
“I said ‘You’re joking, I don’t believe you’.
“He said ‘I want you to stay at Feyenoord, but I can imagine that you want to go to Real Madrid because it’s a fantastic club’.
“In my mind, my next move should have been to Germany or Great Britain, because I was speaking German very well and English pretty good.
“So, Spain was a little bit scary for me because I was a bit nervous for a big move to a club like that and I was a little bit nervous about learning Spanish.
“I think that as a human being, I was not ready at that time to make that move to Real Madrid.”
Konterman said he didn’t regret his decision though.
“Afterwards, maybe it was a stupid move from myself,” he admitted, according to Marca.
“They were really serious.
“But I said to Beenhakker that I wanted to stay at Feyenoord.
“At that time, I had no pain about that decision.
“But I kept all of the articles in the newspaper about it because nobody believes me otherwise.”