I loved partying and women.. I wasn’t ready to be footballer, says ex-Real Madrid star Drenthe who’s now a health worker
FORMER Real Madrid ace Royston Drenthe has opened up about how his party days put a premature end to his turbulent football career.
Drenthe, now 36, burst on to the scene after being named player of the tournament at the 2007 Under-21 Euros, where the Netherlands beat England to win the competition.
The winger then sealed a “dream” move from Feyenoord to Real that same year for £12million and experienced some initial success alongside the likes of Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But the former Netherlands international eventually fell down the pecking order and was sent out on loan to Hercules as well as Everton before his departure in 2012.
And Drenthe admits his lifestyle got in the way of success at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Dutchman added that he wasn’t ready to meet Real’s high demands as a professional as he thought he was “God” and loved to party.
Drenthe told AS: “I was twenty-years-old and at the peak of my career.
“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.
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“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.”
As well as playing for Everton, he also had spells with Reading and Sheffield Wednesday during his storied career.
He made a total of 65 appearances for Real Madrid.
Drenthe made eight appearances for Murcia last season, in which he failed to find the back of the net.
Last month, he revealed a new career as a self-employed healthcare worker in his homeland.
‘My entire family has always been in care,’ he told NOS.
‘Aunt Helen is a nurse. My mother and aunt work in healthcare. A few years ago I already thought: “Why don’t I also do training and courses and see what that does to me?”‘
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