10 Years Ago Today, Julien Faubert Signed For Real Madrid On Loan
It’s the 10-year anniversary of what could well be the most bizarre transfer in football history.
On 31 January 2009, for reasons still unclear, Real Madrid completed the loan signing of West Ham right-back Julien Faubert.
The Frenchman hadn’t exactly set the world alight at West Ham and the man himself thought it was a joke when he heard about interest from Los Blancos.
He had the usual unveiling at the Bernabeu: a press conference and then the presentation/kick-up session in front of Real fans, but the memorable moment of his big day was Alfredo Di Stefano looking like he had seen a ghost when stood next to Faubert.
Faubert lasted just six months, playing just two games (54 minutes of football) and famously falling asleep on the bench during a game against Villarreal – though he later claimed in an interview with Four Four Two that he was just closing his eyes because he was bored.
The former Bordeaux man made 28,000 euros per minute and is even said to have missed a training session because he thought it was a day off. His time in the Spanish capital really is the stuff of legend.
After the bizarre stint in Madrid, Faubert returned to West Ham and ended up playing over 100 appearances for the Hammers.
He then had a short spell in Turkey with Elazigspor, returned to Bordeaux for a second spell, and later turned out for Kilmarnock, Finish outfit Inter Turku, before having a crack in Indonesia with Borneo, who released him in July 2018.