Esteban Cambiasso said he did not fit at Real Madrid because he was not a galactico, though he did enjoy his time in the Spanish capital.
Cambiasso moved to Madrid as a 15-year-old in 1996 and later returned to the club to win La Liga, the UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup and Supercopa de Espana, before departing for Inter in 2004.
The 36-year-old Argentine midfielder – now playing for Olympiacos – remembers his time at Madrid fondly but felt he did not fit in among the likes of Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and David Beckham.
"Already in the first team, the politics of the moment meant that most of the side were made up of academy players and galacticos, and I wasn't either of those," Cambiasso told Marca.
"But it was not bad at all, it was a beautiful experience in fact."
Cambiasso continued: "There was no continuity for my characteristics, and I drew more attention being absent from the starting line-up than being present.
"[Claude] Makelele was the same. He was not considered until he left. We are players who do a lot of work for a team and when we leave, it shows."
"I understood clearly why I was going: I wasn't part of the sporting and economic model," Cambiasso added.
"It was unsustainable to have 6-7 of the best paid players in the world and some had to leave. My first five months in Madrid were perfect."