Speaking to RMC, Djibril Cissé reveals that he turned down Real Madrid for Liverpool in 2002.
“In my final year at Auxerre, I had already signed a pre-contract with Liverpool. And in 2002, during the Japan & South Korea World Cup, I get settled in my room with Sylvain (Wiltord). I am in my room all alone at this point, and I hear a knock on the door. It is Zizou (Zidane) and I am like “oh no, what have I done, I am 20, I have only just arrived, why me.” He says sit down I need to speak with you. Zizou says that at Real Madrid we are interested in you, that we want you to come and play for us. I look at him, I say honestly, I don’t know how to say no to you, but I have already signed a pre-contract… and even in training (at Real Madrid) I wouldn’t be good enough to be in the squad, look who was playing then. I thought it was impossible if I joined Real Madrid, I would stop my progress. Van Nistelrooy was still there. I didn’t think it was the right club for me. I signed for Liverpool. People speculated a lot and said I could have joined a better club.”