Thomas Gravesen: 15 years ago today, Real Madrid man wanted to 'kill' Robinho in training ground spat

Thomas Gravesen and Robinho involving in a Real Madrid fight

When lists citing the strangest signings in football history are compiled, you'll frequently see Thomas Gravesen's 2005 move to Real Madrid cited as one such example.

That is perhaps a little unfair given just how well the Dane was playing at Everton at the time but, it's important to remember, that this was in the midst of Madrid's first Galacticos era. Only a few months earlier, they brought Michael Owen to the Spanish capital and David Beckham was less than two years into his La Liga career.

Indeed, it wasn't a case of Gravesen necessarily being a terrible signing, it's just it didn't fit the mould. Given all the glitz and glamour on show at the Santiago Bernabeu, the arrival of a bald, no-nonsense central midfielder moving from Goodison Park just seemed a little strange.

A combustible character, the midfielder's most famous moment during his short stint as a Real Madrid player actually came on the training pitch.

15 years ago today, in fact, the former Denmark international was involved in an altercation with Robinho during a pre-season training camp in Austria, as you can see in the video below.

While, clearly, it's hard to know exactly what happened to set Gravesen off into such a rage without actually being there, former teammate Julio Baptista told Cadena SER in 2019 that the issue had started when the Brazilian forward pushed the Dane.

"He [Gravesen] gave him a kick, then another one," he said (via The Daily Mail).

"Robinho stopped, looked at him and shoved him in the chest, and then it kicked off. Gravesen wanted to kill him.

"They were separated but Robinho went back to the changing rooms and Gravesen looked and me and said, 'I'm going to kill him.'"

Somewhat of a cult-hero, Fabio Capello (Madrid manager at the time) even suggested he didn't like the midfielder's behaviour but could do little to stop it.

"The way he is, we won't have problems with him," he told Marca.

"He's just a little bit peculiar. I don't mess with him, he works well tactically. His behaviour is like this, and I don't like it, everything has to be done like he wants it to be done."

These days, Gravesen is living the high life in Las Vegas, having made millions playing poker after retiring from the game in 2009.

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