In the winter market of the 1997/1998 season, shortly before the 'Galacticos' era began,
Real Madrid paid 10M dollars to the Associação Portuguesa de Desportos for Rodrigo Fabri
, a 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder who it was just beginning to emerge in its native country. "I was doing very well here in Brazil, playing a lot. I had offers from other clubs, such as Roma and Deportivo de la Coruña, which were a leading team at that time.
The proposals, economically, were very similar, but for the greatness, I ended up choosing Real Madrid, "
said the former footballer in an interview for the Brazilian media
. The problem is that, until transferring to Atlético de Madrid in the winter of 2003, Rodrigo Fabri did not play a single official match with the Real Madrid shirt.
Five transfers, five teams - Flamengo, Santos, Real Valladolid, Sporting de Lisboa and Gremio - and no opportunity with the white jersey.
"Professionally, I have to say that it was a bad choice because, as they didn't take advantage of me year after year, they kept giving me
. You don't end up putting down roots anywhere, you stay a season and then come back," admits Rodrigo Fabri. However, the former Real Madrid player admits that he did not stop trying or fighting during the preseason to gain a place in the first team:
"I have never played an official match with Real Madrid
. Every year I introduced myself, I did the preseason, I played friendly games. In two preseason, I did very well, I was almost certain that I was going to stay in the team. Unfortunately, I didn't have space. "
Finally, after his multiple loans to both European and Brazilian teams and prior transfer of ownership by the mattress team, Rodrigo Fabri ended up returning to Brazil in the 2005/2006 season, where he played until he retired in 2010. And it is one of the most significant signings. failures of the "galactic" time of Real Madrid is aware that, had he made another decision, his time in European football would have been completely different:
"If I had gone to Roma or Deportivo de la Coruña I could have been five or six consecutive years in the same team
. Surely he would have had more influence in Europe than in Real Madrid ".
Rodrigo Fabri coincided with footballers such as Luis Figo, David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raúl González or Sávio Bartolini during his time in the Spanish capital, an overpopulation of players of the highest quality that deprived the Brazilian of playing with the best.
"The coach was Vicente Del Bosque. We had a very frank conversation, he was an excellent coach and a great person. He
told me: 'Rodrigo, you have incredible quality, but the competition here today is unfair. So we have to find another place to play soccer
I had to go out on loan, otherwise I would have been without doing anything all year at Real Madrid ", acknowledges the former player about his situation in the white team.
"Cristiano Ronaldo didn't catch my attention"
With whom Rodrigo Fabri also coincided is with Cristiano Ronaldo, although at that time the Portuguese star was still playing in the youth team of Sporting Lisbon and, according to the Brazilian, the player he would end up becoming was still unknown: "He was still very young, and showed quality, but,
to be honest, I did not call my attention to the point of saying, 'Oh, this guy is
going to be the best player in the world' "
. That is why the former Real Madrid player wanted to highlight the perseverance of 'CR7' to become one of the best: "Despite his refined technique, (Cristiano Ronaldo) also needed to be at his best physically and he never let that peak decayed,
it was always full,that is why it deserves to be considered one of the greatest in history "