African legend Samuel Eto'o has explained how poorly he was treated by Real Madrid before he left the club in 2000.
The former Los Blancos striker, who turned 35 years old on Thursday, revealed some insights into his time at Real during an interview.
Eto'o insisted he still is not sure why he ended up leaving the club, but hinted that it could have been because of the colour of his skin.
"I was not quiet," he said, according to FCInterNews.
"When I was 16 and I was in the cantera (reserve team), nobody respected me. My comrades did not even greet me.
"They treated me like I was the last to arrive, despite the many goals I scored. The only people who have always believed in me were Fabio Capello and Italo Galbiati, who gave me the opportunity to train with the first team.
"I will thank them both for ever. I would bleed for them, and I was hungry for fame, money, and goals. I wanted to be somebody.
"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."
The Cameroonian joined Mallorca in 2000, and after four impressive seasons, FC Barcelona came knocking.
Eto'o enjoyed five successful years at the Camp Nou, scoring 129 goals in 198 matches, before going on to have spells at Inter Milan, Anzhi Makhachkala, Chelsea, Everton, Sampdoria and Antalyaspor.
How different do you think Eto'o's career would have turned out if he had stayed at Real? Let us know in the comments section below.