It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out who the big winners were when Real Madrid decided that Claude Makelele wasn’t worthy of a pay rise in 2003 and instead allowed him to join Chelsea.
Real Madrid still haven’t won the Champions League since Makelele’s departure and this is despite spending more fortunes on the likes of David Beckham, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Coentrao and Luka Modric.
Meanwhile, Makelele’s five-season stint at Stamford Bridge ended with two Premier League titles, a pair of League Cups and an FA Cup success.
However, it wasn’t the supporters or players that wanted Makelele to leave, with Fernando Hierro and Zinedine Zidane particularly outspoken that the wrong decision was being made.
Cristiano has seemed the most frustrated about Ozil’s departure, which may be something to do with the fact that across the last five seasons, nobody has provided more assists than the German.
Cries of ‘Ozil no se vende’, which is roughly translated to ‘Ozil is not for sale’, were heard during Gareth Bale’s unveiling and it remains to be seen how much Arsenal will gain from purchasing the 24-year-old.
One thing that does look fairly likely is that Ozil can end Arsenal’s lengthy wait for a piece of silverware, which stretches back to their 2005 FA Cup success on penalties over Manchester United. It is 1/4 that Ozil wins a major trophy with Arsenal.
Based on some other star names that Real Madrid have allowed to leave prematurely, it could even be a first Champions League success that awaits Arsenal.
Esteban Cambiasso, Sneijder, Samuel Eto’o and Robben all should have arguably been retained by Real Madrid, but have shown their qualities since departing by adding a Champions League victory to their resumes.
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