Former Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe has described he quit football as a 29-year-old because he was not happy.
The Dutchman spent three seasons at the Bernabeu after joining from Feyenoord in 2007 but surprisingly quit football altogether last year.
“I left football as a 29-year-old as I wasn’t happy,” Drenthe told an interview with Marca.
“I have quit football and in 30 years I have lived through more than most people would live in 200.
“I wasn’t happy when I retired, I had a lot of feelings…tiredness, depressed, hopelessness – the career was not fulfilling me and I decided to quit.
“There were problems with agents, I don’t like to give names but in football there are lots of people who are dishonest.
“Many people took advantage of me and misled me, for the final few years of my career I decided not to have an agent.
“I love football, the game has been my entire life but many people involved in the sport make it not good and I now only play to enjoy myself.
“My time at Real Madrid was amazing, they are the biggest club in the world and many superstars dream of playing there but are not given the opportunity – nobody can ever take that away from me.
“I played with [Fabio] Cannavaro, [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy, [Sergio] Ramos, Marcelo, Raul, Guti, [Wesley] Sneijder, [Iker] Casillas… players who are legends. I also played with Cristiano Ronaldo, [Karim] Benzema… it was a dream come true playing with all of them.
“I felt at home in the city, it was demanding of course but I enjoyed it, just like Rotterdam.”
Drenthe describes how his career began to derail when he left Madrid to join Hercules on loan before ill-fated spells in England, Russia and Turkey.
“I am not studying to become a Coach to help younger players,” he added.
“Of course there are regrets but there is no point in worrying about that right now.”