RACING MURCIA

'Portly' Royston Drenthe carries out first training session with Racing

The Dutch player met up with the Racing de Murcia squad for his first training outing with the Spanish Tercera división outfit.

The former Real Madrid player signed for Spanish third division (fourth tier) Racing Murcia on 6 January with the Spanish side the 14th club of his career. His last club was a third tier side in Holland.

His career post-Madrid included brief spells in United Araba Emirates (with Baniyas), Turkey (Erciyesspor), England (Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Everton) and Russia (Spartak Vladikavkaz). In Spain, he also spent time with Hércules on loan from Real Madrid. In recent years, he has made the news more for issues off the field of play for economic problems and his struggles with alcohol. With Real Madrid, he won the league title and the Spanish Super Cup in 2008. He arrived at the Santiago Bernabéu on a 14 million euro deal from Feyenoord. With Los Blancos, he played 65 games and scored four goals.

Drenthe's signing is part of Racing Murcia's bigger plan to gain promotion to the Second Division B. Club president and owner, Morris Pagniello now has a star signing to lead his project. After announcing to fans the arrival of big name players (Samuel Eto'o was one who was considered), Joleon Lescott joined instead. Now with Drenthe, Racing Murcia's fans can dream of making the ascent to the next tier.