New Real Madrid signing Ferland Mendy says he was told he might never play football again after hip surgery as a 15-year-old left him in a wheelchair.
The France defender, 24, joined Real on a six-year contract from Lyon last week in a deal worth up to £47.1m.
“I was in a wheelchair for a while and I spent between six and seven months in hospital doing rehabilitation so I could walk again,” Mendy said.
“They told me I wasn’t going to play again. Now I’m at Real Madrid.”
Only two years ago, Mendy was still playing for French second-tier side Le Havre before joining Lyon in June 2017. He made his international debut against Uruguay in November.
“At the beginning I just couldn’t believe it,” Mendy said of his move to the La Liga giants.
“This is a great club and being able to sign a contract with them to me is something absolutely incredible, fantastic. I’m absolutely overjoyed and hopefully everything will go well here.”
Mendy’s arrival has taken Real Madrid’s summer spending to close to £300m.
In March, they signed Porto defender Eder Militao for £42.7m.