‘I thought I was God… I loved women and partying too much’: Royston Drenthe claims he ‘wasn’t ready to be a pro’ when he arrived at Real Madrid aged 20… but the former wonderkid, who quit football at 29 for a failed rap career, has NO regrets
- Royston Drenthe has spoken out about his failed stint at La Liga’s Real Madrid
- The Dutchman burst onto the scene in 2007 and sealed a ‘dream’ move to Spain
- But he failed to live up to his potential as he prioritised partying over football
- Now he has revealed some of the main reasons behind his turbulent career
Royston Drenthe may not be the first player that springs to mind when you think of Real Madrid’s galacticos era, but joining in 2007 he was at the time a player Madrid were banking on for the future.
Now at the age of 35 he has opened up on his turbulent career that has seen him play for 12 different clubs at Drenthe failed to reach the heights that one of the world’s biggest club once hoped he would.
The Dutchman burst onto the world scene starring for Holland at the 2007 Under-21 Euros which they went onto win as he was named the best player of the tournament.
Royston Drenthe (left) once starred for Real Madrid alongside Cristiano Ronaldo (centre)
The Real Madrid flop (right) admitted he partied too much during his turbulent time in Spain
From there he sealed a dream move to giants Real Madrid at the age of 20 years old for a hefty £12million, but would end up departing the La Liga champions just three years later.
Drenthe made 65 appearances in all competitions for Madrid, scoring four goals in the process and registering five assists during his stint at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Now the Madrid flop has broken the silence on his tumultuous time in the Spanish capital, admitting that he ‘partied too much’ with the move to such a big club leaving him feeling like ‘god’.
‘I was twenty years old and at the peak of my career,’ Drenthe told Gazzetta.
Drenthe made 65 appearances for Real Madrid but failed to hit the heights expected of him
Drenthe was the star of the tournament as Holland beat England in the 2007 Under-21 Euros
‘It was my dream to walk into the Real Madrid dressing room, I will never forget that.
‘But you have a life as a footballer and a life as a human being. You can mix that up to a point, but I didn’t see the need to change my lifestyle right away.
‘Now I am aware that I didn’t do the right thing, that I made mistakes.
‘I wasn’t ready to be a pro. I thought I was God, loved women and to party too much and you can’t combine that with football
‘I learn something new every time, but what happened, happened.’
Drenthe would have been hoping his departure from Madrid in 2010 would have been the catalyst for rediscovering the sensational form that first earned him a move to Spain.
Former Dutch international Royston Drenthe has signed for Spanish minnows Racing Murcia
But unsuccessful loan spells at Hercules and Premier League side Everton were just precursors to him permanently leaving Real Madrid in 2012 as the Dutchman found himself without a club and at a crossroads in his career.
Since then Drenthe has become one of football’s greatest journeymen, featuring for Reading and Sheffield Wednesday along with a host of other sides before seemingly quitting football in 2016 as he went in search of stardom as a rapper and television star.
Drenthe shocked football fans after showing off a clip of himself in a crime drama in March
That career switch appeared to go as well as his years on the pitch, and after being declared bankrupt in 2021 returned to football for a second attempt.
Now playing for Spanish minnows Racing Merida, Drenthe is a prime example of how ruthless football can truly be.
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