The Galácticos: Real Madrid’s five most expensive signings of all time

Bayern Munich‘s David Alaba has agreed to join Real Madrid this summer, according to reports.

Alaba has spent 13 years at Bayern, originally starting out in the club’s youth system.

The Austrian has won practically everything there is to win with the club, including nine Bundesliga titles, two Champions League trophies and two Club World Cups.

But his Bayern contract is set to expire this summer, and he announced in February that he would be leaving the club.

If his move to Real Madrid is confirmed, it would represent somewhat of a shift away, on this particular occasion, from the big-money signings we normally see Real make.

When Florentino Perez took over as president of the club in 2000, he soon implemented a ‘Galacticos’ policy – in other words, an aim to sign the best players in world football. And the signings quickly arrived.

Let’s take a look at Real’s five most expensive signings (all values according to Transfermarkt):

5. James Rodriguez (£67.5m – 2014)

Rodriguez Galacticos
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James Rodriguez joined Real Madrid from Monaco after a sensational 2014 World Cup with Colombia.

The midfielder’s six goals won him the Golden Boot, and he is best remembered for his two goals in the last-16 against Uruguay (although others will say that legendary newspaper headline – ‘the name’s Bond, James Rodriguez’).

He had a successful opening season with Los Blancos, scoring 17 goals in all competitions. He featured less frequently in the following campaigns and was loaned out to Bayern between 2017 and 2019.

Rodriguez returned to the Bernabeu at the beginning of last season, but struggled for game time and moved to Everton last summer.

4. Zinedine Zidane (£69.75m – 2001)

Zidane Galacticos
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Real Madrid broke the world record transfer fee in bringing Zinedine Zidane to the Bernabeu.

The Frenchman spent his final five seasons with Real, winning the FIFA Club Footballer of the Year award in 2002.

He also scored the match-winning goal in the 2002 Champions League final, and was named in the FIFPro World XI in both 2005 and 2006.

One of the first ‘Galacticos’ signed by the club, Zidane has won three Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles as manager of the club he achieved so much success with as a player.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (£84.6m – 2009)

Ronaldo Galacticos
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When Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009 for a world-record fee, it ended a pursuit that had lasted for over a year.

The Portuguese midfielder left Old Trafford as one of the greatest footballers to play in the Premier League, but he went up a level at the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo scored 450 goals for Madrid at more than a goal a game, hitting 40 goals in a season on three separate occasions. His on-field rivalry with Lionel Messi provided fans with one of the most thrilling periods in footballing history.

2. Gareth Bale (£90.9m2013)

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World-record fees are a common theme in this list. Real paid another to secure the services of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.

The Welshman had lit up the Premier League in his final two seasons, and carried that form into life at the Bernabeu, though was no doubt hampered by injuries.

His winner against Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final – where he sped past Marc Bartra on the halfway line – is one of the most memorable goals of the past decade.

He then scored an famous bicycle kick in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool.

The 31-year-old is now back at Spurs on loan, having seen his game time at the Bernabeu dwindle down in the two seasons prior.

1. Eden Hazard (£103.5m – 2019)

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Eden Hazard’s nine-figure move to Real Madrid simply hasn’t worked out thus far.

Signed from Chelsea in 2019, big things were expected of the Belgian winger, who took the number 7 shirt.

But Hazard has struggled with injuries throughout his time at the Bernabeu, and has made just 14 appearances in all competitions so far this season.

However, he is due to return to face his former club in the Champions League semi-finals next week, so we may well see him produce some of the magical football we’ve seen plenty of evidence of in the past.

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