The majority of British footballers tend to spend the most productive portions of their career in England and the Premier League, but there have been some notable exceptions.
A handful of players from Great Britain have gone on to achieve great success after travelling further afield in Europe, with three of our four esteemed selections enjoying great spells with Real Madrid.
👟 David Beckham
Surely the most marketable face in world football during the early 2000s, David Beckham, or Becks, won six Premier League titles, a Champions League crown and two FA Cups with Man United before jetting off on an adventure that included stints with Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
He won LaLiga, two MLS Cups and a Ligue 1 title but more than that, he built himself into a brand. Beckham has won titles in four countries and two continents and was memorably a part of the first infamous Galacticos Era in the Spanish capital. LA Galaxy changed their badge and the colour of their kit to fit in with Beckham's image, and if that doesn't tell you how influential Becks has been, nothing will.
🧙🏼♂️ Gareth Bale
Welsh superstar Gareth Bale has an enviable medal collection after seven years in the Spanish capital. He made a then-world record 85m move to the Bernabeu in 2013 and he's won four Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), La Liga (2016-17), Copa del Rey (2014), three UEFA Super Cups (2014, 2016, 2017) and three Club World Cups (2014, 2017, 2018).
Bale has fallen out of love with the Real Madrid fans but it's difficult to ignore his incredible success with Los Blancos. Only 11 players have won more than his four Champions League titles and he has scored in two finals. Talk about a big-game player, and he's also scored 80 LaLiga goals in 167 games in the Spanish top-flight.
We might get to enjoy Bale's talents in the Premier League again too if rumours of a sensational return to Tottenham are to be believed.
🇨🇦 Owen Hargreaves
Canadian-born Englishman Owen Hargreaves gained incredible notoriety as a young, dymanic midfielder at Bayern Munich in the early years of this millennium. He lifted the Champions League title in 2001 in a golden year for the Bavarian club, who also won the Bundesliga and the Intercontinental Cup. Hargreaves won four Bundesliga titles for Germany's football powerhouse before a switch to Man United where he won the Champions League again in 2008.
⚪️ Steve McManaman
After making 364 appearances for Liverpool, Steve McManaman joined Real Madrid on a free transfer in 1999 and the tricky winger went on to win two Champions League titles, two LaLiga crowns and a UEFA Super Cup. McManaman was versatile and able to play right across the attacking midfield positions. Macca made 157 appearances for the Spanish giants. His 1999-00 Champions League win made him the first Englishman ever to win the European Cup with a foreign club. He scored a volley in the final as Real beat Valencia 3-0 and McManaman was named man of the match.
Now, the 48-year-old works as a pundit for LaLiga, BT Sport and ESPN.
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