Ex-Rangers star Konterman turned down Real Madrid – because he didn’t want to learn Spanishby Alan Galindo
BERT KONTERMAN has revealed he turned down a move to Real Madrid - because he didn't want to learn Spanish.
The former Rangers defender had the chance to move to Los Blancos after they lodged a £9million-plus bid with Feyenoord.
The Dutchman had alerted the La Liga giants after two impressive displays on the international stage against Brazil in 1999.
However, he turned down the opportunity and remained in Holland.
Speaking on the Talkin Fitbaw Podcast, he said: "I was invited on a trip with the Dutch national team for two friendly games with Brazil that summer.
"I played fantastic in both games and a lot of scouts were there from big clubs in Europe.
"That summer, Real Madrid offered 20 million gilders (£9.16m) for me to Feyenoord Rotterdam.
"Leo Beenhakker was my coach and had coached Real Madrid for three years before.
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"He came to me and said 'Real Madrid want you', I said 'Nah, you're joking, I don't believe you'
"He said 'But do you want that? You'll be playing in the Champions League this year - I want you to stay at Feyenoord but I can imagine you'd want to go to Real Madrid because it's a fantastic club.'
"In my mind I always had it that my next move should have been to Germany or Great Britain because I was speaking German very well and I was speaking English pretty good so Spain was a little bit scary for me because I was a bit nervous for a big move to a club like that.
"I was a little nervous about learning Spanish, I think as a human being at that time I was not ready to make that move to Real Madrid, afterwards it was maybe a stupid move from me because they were really serious.
"The Real chairman was already in Holland for the final negotiations to make the deal but I said to the coach Leo Beenhakker 'I want to stay at Feyenoord, I'm happy here.'
"At that time I had no hard feelings, no pain, nothing of that decision but I kept all the articles in the paper because nobody believes it otherwise."
Konterman left Feyenoord in 2000 to join Dick Advocaat at Rangers.
Many Light Blues fans will remember the defender for his CIS Insurance Cup semi-final winner against Celtic in 2002.
Peter Lovenkrands had put the Ibrox outfit ahead before Bobo Balde levelled to take the game into extra-time.
But Konterman ended the Hoops' hopes of back-to-back trebles with a 25-yard effort to seal victory at Hampden.
He returned to his homeland to sign for Vitesse Arnhem after a three-year spell at Ibrox.
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