Jonathan Woodgate is one of the few English players to have played for Real Madrid. He was an important part of the national team and has managed his hometown club Middlesbrough. Woodgate made his debut more than a year after signing and it was one to forget. He scored his own goal and was then sent off for Real Madrid.
“People always ask me about my debut and how bad it was. I always ask them how their Real Madrid debut went. That is my answer to that one. I wasn’t bothered in the slightest because I was playing for the biggest team in the world,” former Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate said. “At the time, you don’t know you are really struggling. Nobody ever knew it was called mental health. You would just be called soft. It was obviously difficult. When I was in Spain, I found that tough because I was injured for a year. You cannot really go out on a weekend if you are injured because you are doing everything you can to get fit.”
“You never realize how you are going to get out of it. What I used to do was stay really positive and believe that I would get fit in the end. But it is hard because you are not able to play the sport you adore. A lot of the time I was rushed back as well. It was not just the manager pushing, it was me as well. I rushed myself back quicker. That was probably a flaw in my personality,” he added. “I used to hate coming off and I used to try to stay on for as long as I could, usually to half-time. Sometimes it was impossible if you tear my hamstring but if I had a little tweak in the hamstring, the calf, or the thigh, I would try to stay on.”