Francesco Totti admitted that he was very close to a transfer to Real Madrid, but the deal fell through because Los Blancos did not want to offer him more money than what Raúl González Blanco was earning.
“I was 80% ready to move to Real Madrid. It wasn’t the best period for Roma, although it’s true that the management at the time would have done everything I could ask for,” Totti said for Marca.
He went on, “Real offered a lot of money, they also offered me a lot, everything I could wish for. I should have got a 25 million euro contract, they offered me everything except the captain’s armband because Raúl was there. He was a player who had to earn most.”
The Roma legend eventually turned down that famous transfer to Real and ended up as a loyal Roma soldier who never left the club during his entire career. So it was a happy ending for the player, after all.