Finidi met with then Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello and agreed a move that never happened.
Super Eagles great Finidi George has revealed that he almost signed for Real Madrid in 1996 before he joined another Spanish side Real Betis.
Finidi was regarded as one of the best wingers in world football at that time after winning three Eredivisie titles and the Champions League with Ajax.
In the summer of 1996, Finidi was one of the players on Real Madrid’s radar but failed to meet Ajax’s deadline.
I met with (Fabio) Capello, he told me he wanted me in his team. I spoke with the directors of the club and we agreed personal terms,” Finidi told ACL Sports.
“Real were given a time schedule by Ajax by which they had to complete the transfer; by that they meant pay my club’s asking price for my services.
Unfortunately, that time came and elapsed with them not meeting it. That was it.
“Betis found out that Real could not meet the deadline Ajax asked and came in quickly.
They paid it and we discussed terms which I was fine with, then I signed. It was very simple.”
At Betis, Finidi flourished under late Spanish coach Luis Aragones, reaching double goal figures in almost every season he spent there.
“I enjoyed probably my best football period at Real Betis and in Luis Aragones, I played under the best trainer of my entire career,” Finidi further said.
“So, even though I would have earned more at Madrid and perhaps been in the team that won the Champions League in 1998, I have no regrets.
Finidi left Betis in 2000 and went on to play for the likes of Real Mallorca and Ipswich Town.
The 46-year-old is back at Real Betis where he is one of the directors of the club.