Takefusa Kubo has been integral to Real Sociedad's impressive Champions League campaign.

7 former Real Madrid players who are currently thriving away from the Bernabeu

Real Madrid have one of the best squads in world football, but they also have plenty of former players shining at other clubs.

As Carlo Ancelotti’s squad chases domestic and continental success, several of their former players are faring much better since leaving the club.

We’ve identified seven former Madrid stars who are currently loving life since moving to pastures new.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has managed to score a whopping 53 goals throughout 2023, a number higher than Mbappe, Kane and Haaland. He’s simply been irrepressible.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Al-Nassr

READ: 15 elite forwards Cristiano Ronaldo has outscored in 2023: Messi, Kane, Mbappe…

Martin Odegaard

Odegaard spent six years on Real Madrid’s books but never really got an opportunity to break through into the first team, and instead could only show his quality in loans at Vitesse and Real Sociedad.

Now aged 25, the Norway international is captain of Arsenal and one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. If only Madrid had been more patient.


After spending his final years at Madrid as a bench warmer who rarely made an impact, Isco is a man reborn at Real Betis.

Such a renaissance looked unlikely after Sevilla terminated his contract in December last year and the playmaker spent the remainder of last season without a club.

Manuel Pellegrini’s Verdiblancos have been inconistent this year, but Isco has been simply wonderful to watch.

Isco in action for Real Betis.

READ: Isco’s latest masterclass in flair is too much for the mortal mind to comprehend

Takefusa Kubo

Kubo left Real Madrid in 2022 and he’s already been linked with a return to the Bernabeu thanks to his sparkling form at a La Liga rival.

Madrid snapped up Kubo from FC Tokyo in 2019, but the winger failed to make a single appearance during his time in the Spanish captial.

But the Japan international been impressive for Real Sociedad of late. The 22-year-old has nine goal contributions in La Liga this season and helped Sociedad top their Champions League group.

He’s also got quite the celebration.

Achraf Hakimi

Hakimi – a product of Real Madrid’s famous La Fabrica academy – underlined his reputation as one of the best full-backs in Europe during his one-season stint in Italy, in which he was outstanding as Antonio Conte’s Inter won the treble.

The Madrid-born Morocco international was the biggest-money signing PSG made in 2021, with a fee of €60million plus add-ons.

He’s largely lived up to the hype in Paris and looks at home at one of Europe’s elite clubs – another player Madrid should never have let go.

Angel Di Maria

An unsung hero during his time at Madrid, Di Maria eschewed moves to Saudi Arabia or the MLS in favour of a romantic return to Benfica last summer.

He’s been living his best life in Portugal, including scoring ridiculous Olimpico against Salzburg in the Champions League. It’s great to see the World Cup winner still playing.


A Copa Libertadores champion and Club World Cup finalist, Marcelo is enjoying the dotage of his career at Fluminense.

“Even though I won several titles, a lot of things in my career, I never rested on my laurels, I always wanted to improve,” the 35-year-old told FIFA before the CWC finals in Saudi Arabia.

“I always want to give the best for my team. If I’m playing better or worse football, I’m not bothered. What matters to me is that I try to improve every day.

“Every training session, everything I put in, that’s what sets me apart. It’s what I most like doing: go beyond my limit, do that bit extra every day.”

That kind of mentality has allowed the most decorated player in Madrid’s player to continue thriving away from the Bernabeu.

READ NEXT: 5 former Real Madrid players we can’t believe are currently free agents

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Real Madrid’s top scorers in La Liga since 2000?