1. Samuel Eto’o
Although widely regarded as one of the best players in African footballing history, not many know that Samuel Eto’o began his career with Real Madrid. Eto’o joined Real Madrid’s youth academy in 1997, aged 17. After playing with Real Madrid B and a loan stint at second division Leganés, the young Cameroonian striker was handed his Real Madrid debut during the 1998/1999 season. He was never able to become a regular for Los Blancos, and was transferred to Mallorca before Barcelona signed him.
Since entering retirement, Eto’o has shed light on his time in Madrid: “I never wanted to leave Madrid, but in that company I wanted to. I’ll never understand the real reason. I have always done well. The only explanation is that perhaps the black men in that club were not loved.”