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Jonathan Woodgate lived very complicated days in the Real Madrid. Although with the passage of time his perspective has changed, his stay in a club of the demand and level of the white team was not really positive. However, seen from his own point of view, for him it was a dream come true and a career achievement.
The English defender arrived as one of the central revelation of British football. His performance in the Leeds and especially in the Newcastle they made Real Madrid jump right into his signing. It could be one of the pieces that propped up the rear and made players like Fernando Hierro. However, his injuries weighed down and in what way his time at the Madrid club.
Now, over the years, he has learned to appreciate what it means for a player to become part of such a great club, with such good players. It’s even worth training with them. However, he does not forget that the injuries made him go through difficult times, as he has confessed in the podcast of Jamie Carragher, Greatest Game.
This is how he recalled how it was the day he received the confirmation of his signing and the mess with the medical examination: “The signing was done and then, I traveled to Munich by private plane to see a specialist who punctured my thigh, because it was broken at the time.
“Then, I flew to Madrid and something funny happened. I had just signed for five years and, while the examination was going on, the doctor came to me and said, ‘Jonathan, there’s a problem with your MRI. It’s not the thigh, it’s the back. You have a broken back and it moves. May be a problem…'”.
“The signing of Night milito He already fell for the medical examination and he never signed on so I thought: ‘Oh no, my dream is over.’ The doctor was on the phone with Florentino Pérez chatting in Spanish. He finished and told me: ‘I told him that your back is somewhat damaged and he replied:’ Don’t worry, we will sign him for four years instead of five. “
His memory of Madrid
Woodgate has great memories of his time at Real Madrid, where he met many coaches and world-class players who impressed him: “I had more than one coach, Camacho, Luxembourg… The language was complicated, but I learned a lot. At first it was a bit of a nightmare, the language, the injuries … But I was with extraordinary players. Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, the Brazilians helped me a lot. When you go to such a big club you can’t lose even in training sessions. Losing a game was like losing the World War. I was surprised Guti, how he controlled the balls, his elegance … He was incredible in possession drills, with that left foot. “
He also wanted to reveal how his signing for Real Madrid had been forged from seasons before his arrival, since his level in England was growing by leaps and bounds: “My agent told me that Real Madrid followed me since I played the Champions with Leeds. They were monitoring my progress and then I went to Newcastle. “
“They also had me under surveillance there. We had a great streak in the UEFA and then it came Drogba with the Marseilles. I was playing my best football and I knew it was my chance. So, they signed Walter Samuel, of the Rome, the great Argentine rock and I thought it was all over but, my agent called me and said: ‘Real Madrid are going to offer 20 million to Newcastle for you tonight. You want to do?’. ‘What do you think?’, I replied. You always want to play for the best team in the world if you have ambition. “
[Más información: Qué fue de Woodgate: el inglés con peor debut en la historia del Real Madrid]