Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til its’ gone.
So goes the lyrics of the Joni Mitchell song and though the Canadian singer-songwriter’s ire at the time was directed at the ongoing urbanisation of America, to Real Madrid fans her words have taken on a different meaning.
Because, when it comes to Los Blancos and former striker Alvaro Morata, the club really didn’t know what it had got ‘til it was gone.
Sold to Juventus last summer, the Spaniard returned to well and truly bite the Galacticos in the bum with two goals that helped the Bianconeri advance to the final of the Champions League in Berlin.
Morata was never really given a chance to shine at the Bernabeu and there is definitely a sense among some fans that he was allowed to leave the club too soon.
But where does he rank in our list of the five Real Madrid players who left the club too soon? Read on and cast your vote.
The Dutchman won a La Liga title and a Champions League during a four season stay at the Bernabeu but decided to leave after falling out of favour under manager Guus Hiddink. He went on to Inter and later AC Milan, where he won two Serie A titles and another two Champions Leagues.
A two-time La Liga winner and integral part of the Real side that won the Champions League in 2002, Makelele was an instrumental part of the Galacticos team that boasted Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos and Raul among others but was never properly replaced after leaving for Chelsea.
Despite scoring 11 goals and providing a further 11 assists from 66 appearances that also included a La Liga title win, Sneijder was sold to Inter Milan at a loss of €12m. He went on to win five major trophies with the Nerazzurri in his first season and featured in the World Cup final later that year.
The 22-year-old scored 45 goals in 83 games for Madrid’s B team and racked up 11 in 52 cameos appearances for Los Blancos before being sold to Juve for €20m. Though injury hampered his initial progress, Morata has managed 13 goals in 43 games – including two against Real.
Brought to Real from his native Cameroon as a teenager, Eto’o was never really given a chance to shine for the Madrid first-team. But after impressing on loan at Real Mallorca, Barca splashed the cash on the forward, who helped them to three league titles a two Champions Leagues.
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