Speaking in an interview with Revista Líbero, Francesco Totti admitted he was very close to joining Real Madrid from AS Roma in 2004.

I had an 80 percent intention of joining Real Madrid. It was not the best period at Roma, although it has to be said that [former Roma chairman Francesco] Sensi would have done anything for me. Real Madrid paid a lot. They offered me a lot, anything. I was to have a contract of about €25m. They offered everything except the captaincy because Raúl was there.”

Raúl was the player who had to earn the most. He was the captain, the symbol of Real Madrid. Any player who went to Real Madrid had to earn less than Raúl.”