The first of many for Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane and Kaka say goodbye, an unforgettable day for Samuel Eto’o…
May 4 – Kaka’s last LaLiga goal (2013)
Injuries affected Brazil star Kaka’s time as a Real Madrid player, but the 2007 Ballon D’Or winner did leave many reminders of his talents during his four years in LaLiga Santander. A long-range derby strike against Atletico de Madrid in November 2009 gave the Santiago Bernabeu an early introduction to his skills, while Valencia CF fans have not forgotten when he scored two and made two more in a 6-3 Real Madrid win at Mestalla in March 2011. Kaka’s final LaLiga Santander goal came on 4 May 2013 at the Bernabeu, a clinical left-footed strike from Karim Benzema’s pass to gift Real Madrid to a 4-3 victory over Real Valladolid.
May 5 – Cristiano Ronaldo’s first LaLiga hat-trick (2010)
Cristiano Ronaldo scored 22 goals in his first 26 LaLiga Santander games but didn’t manage a hat-trick in a Real Madrid shirt until a visit to RCD Mallorca on 5th May 2010. That situation was rectified with three different but equally unerring right-footed finishes from the Portuguese superstar, to help Los Blancos come from 1-0 down to win 4-1 at the Visit Mallorca Estadi. Ronaldo went on to score an amazing 33 more trebles during his nine years as a Real Madrid player, including five ‘poker’ four goal hauls, and five goals in a single game on two separate occasions.
May 7 – Zinedine Zidane says goodbye… for now (2006)
Zinedine Zidane was at the peak of his playing career when he joined Real Madrid in 2001, decorating many games with his Galactico style and technique while winning the 2002/03 LaLiga Santander title, plus the 2001/02 Champions League. So 7th May 2006 was an emotional occasion at the Santiago Bernabeu, as Zidane wore a Real Madrid shirt there for the final time. Zizou characteristically marked the occasion, heading to the net from David Beckham’s cross during a 3-3 draw with Villarreal before saying a tearful goodbye to the fans in the stands.
May 8 – Samuel Eto’o returns in style (2004)
Not everyone may know that Samuel Eto’o actually made his LaLiga debut as a Real Madrid player, aged just 17, in May 1998. Things did not work out long term at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Eto’o returned in style six years later, scoring twice as RCD Mallorca shocked a Galactico-filled Real Madrid side to win 3-2. Months later the Cameroon international joined FC Barcelona and the rest was history… he notched 108 goals in 144 appearances over five seasons, winning three LaLiga Santander titles, plus the top scorer award in 2005/06. But that evening back at the Bernabeu with RCD Mallorca remains one of his career highlights.