Real Madrid were Spanish and European champions in 2022, but that didn’t stop them from having something of a clear-out last summer.
Carlo Ancelotti decided to cull a whole XI’s worth of players from his squad, making room for the arrivals of Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni at the Bernabeu.
We’ve taken a look at the 11 players that left Madrid last summer, or shortly afterwards, and judged how they’ve fared after leaving one year later.
With 25 trophies, Marcelo left Real Madrid as the most decorated player in the club’s history.
The Brazilian left-back joined Greek side Olympiacos in September, where he was afforded a hero’s welcome. Sadly, Marcelo never lived up to expectations there and his contract was terminated in February.
Marcelo has since rejoined Fluminense, the club where he made his professional debut, and over 30,000 fans gathered to greet him in the Maracana. He’s still making us smile – and infuriating opponents – with his tricks.
That smile from Marcelo after the nutmeg 😂pic.twitter.com/Voy059ChD8
— Dr Yash (@YashRMFC) July 17, 2023
Isco was another long-serving Madrid player whose first transfer away from the Bernabeu didn’t work out.
Despite a host of injury problems, the former Spain international remains a talented player and Sevilla were enticed to bring him to Andalucia. But his two-year deal was terminated by the end of 2022 after just 19 appearances and one goal for the club.
A move to Union Berlin in January fell through, but Isco wasn’t desperate enough to return Everton’s calls.
“A team with a competitive project and that tries to play good football. I will never give priority to money, if not, I would not have gone to Sevilla,” Isco recently told Marca of his next priority in a rare interview.
“I have and had many offers from Qatar and Arabia, with large salaries, but I want to play, compete and have fun.”
Sevilla’s fierce city rivals Real Betis have just signed the playmaker on a one-year deal. Next season’s El Gran Derbi will be appointment viewing as ever.
Scorer of Wales’ first
and only World Cup goal since 1958, Bale spent the period between leaving Madrid and the tournament in Qatar honing his fitness in America with Los Angeles FC – where he scored a last-minute equaliser to help them win the MLS Cup.
Come the World Cup, in truth, the forward was largely unimpressive during defeats to Iran and England, retiring at half-time in the latter match.
He announced his retirement in January 2023 and, in keeping with his passion for golf, competed in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California earlier this year. Of course he did.
Chust made just three appearances for Madrid, all in the 2020-21 season, before being loaned to Cadiz for the following season.
The defender impressed during his time in the coastal city, making 25 appearances as Cadiz avoided relegation to the Segunda.
The two clubs arranged his permanent transfer last summer and Chust remains an important squad member for the La Liga plankton.
After banging goals at an almost indecent rate for Eintracht Frankfurt, Jovic was signed by Madrid for a reported fee of €60 million in 2019.
But his time in Spain was a nightmare; the Serbia international scored just three times in 51 appearances and was gladly shipped off to Fiorentina last July.
“Everything went wrong from the start,” Jovic told AS in March 2023. “I left Eintracht too soon, after only one season at the highest level. All eyes were on me, and it’s tough for a 21-year-old to adapt to the biggest club in the world.
“You have the chance to play with the best, but you also need time – some make it, some don’t. Between injuries, COVID, and unfair pressure, it was an unhappy experience.
“It was an honour, but I’ve moved on and am solely focused on Fiorentina.”
With 13 goals last term, Jovic seems to be regaining his mojo in Tuscany. We wish him well.
Gila only made his Madrid debut in April 2022, appearing as a substitute in a 4-0 win over Espanyol, but was sold to Lazio for a fee of €6million.
The 22-year-old defender made just four substitute appearances in Serie A last season and failed to get regular opportunities under Maurizio Sarri.
Rather (over)-excitedly described by some as the ‘Japanese Messi’, Kubo never kicked a ball in anger for Madrid.
But the winger shone at Real Sociedad last season, scoring nine times in 35 appearances and wowing the Basque crowds with his wing-wizardry.
He also played his part in Japan’s famous World Cup victories over Germany and Spain. His future remains bright, and we can’t wait to see him turning out in the Champions League for La Real next term.
Mayoral was used to plug gaps in Madrid’s attack by Zinedine Zidane, with the majority of his 22 La Liga appearances from Los Blancos coming under the bald genius.
After loan spells across Europe, the striker moved to Getafe on a permanent basis last summer and scored eight La Liga goals. Not bad.
Once desired by Jose Mourinho for his Manchester United side, Gutierrez struggled to dislodge both Marcelo and Ferland Mendy from the left-back role and made just 10 appearances for Madrid.
He swapped the capital for Catalonia last summer, moving to Girona and going on to play a prominent role at one of La Liga’s most fun and watchable sides.
He’s done alright…
Fuidias was Girona’s second signing from the La Liga and Champions League winners in 2022, but the goalkeeper has made just one Copa del Rey appearance for his new club.