Real Madrid generally gets what they want in the transfer market.
The 13-time European champions have made a habit of raiding the English Premier League for some of its finest talents, and plenty of EPL stars have thrived in the Spanish capital.
Here are ten of the best.
🏴 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. "Macca" made 157 Los Blancos appearances in a number of attacking midfield roles. His 1999-00 Champions League win made him the first Englishman ever to win the European Cup with a foreign club. The cherry on the cake of that game was him scoring a volley as Real beat Valencia 3-0 and McManaman was named man of the match.
🏴 David Beckham
Surely the most marketable face in world football during the early 2000s, 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 PSG. He won LaLiga and became the global face of the infamous Galacticos Era under Florentino Pérez when he swapped Manchester for Madrid in 2003. The €30m transfer fee didn't take long to pay itself back.
🏴 Gareth Bale
Welsh superstar Gareth Bale has an enviable medal collection after seven years in Madrid. He made a then-world record £85m move to the Bernabéu 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). He's never been a fan favourite, but it's difficult to argue with his record.
🏆 Four-time #UCL winner— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) July 16, 2021
🏦 First player to break the €100m transfer barrier
⚪️ 105 Real Madrid goals to date
🚲 Scored in two separate #UCL finals
🗣 Put some respect on the birthday boy’s name! @GarethBale11 pic.twitter.com/D5JK3R9RJX
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo
The great man's record speaks for itself. 450 goals in 438 Real Madrid appearances is not a number we will ever see again in this or indeed the next lifetime. His final LaLiga goal at the Santiago Bernabéu was a typically acrobatic effort against Athletic Bilbao in 2016. It seems insane to call the €94m fee that Real paid to Man United for CR7's signature a "bargain" but that's how it turned out. The best player in Real Madrid's history bar none.
🇭🇷 Luka Modrić
Little Luka has been the heartbeat of a superb Real Madrid team for almost a decade, pulling the strings and dictating the tempo alongside Toni Kroos and Casemiro. The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner initially struggled in Madrid after signing in 2012, but he's been absolutely immense ever since. It's difficult to envisage a Real Madrid midfield without Modrić in it. Now 35 years old, Modrić and Madrid is a love affair that we must enjoy before it's too late.
🇳🇱 Ruud van Nistelrooy
46 goals in 68 LaLiga appearances is a superb record by anyone's standards. The prolific Dutchman moved to Madrid after his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson broke down at Man United, and he can look back fondly on his time with the Spanish giants because he made a quick impact.
ON THIS DAY: In 2006, Ruud van Nistelrooy joined Real Madrid from Man Utd for just £10.3m.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 28, 2021
👕 96 games
⚽ 64 goals
He won La Liga & the Pichichi Trophy in his first season. pic.twitter.com/WcEZxrCv0b
🏴 Michael Owen
With his contract winding down at Liverpool in 2004, Real Madrid pounced on Owen in a cut-price deal for €12m. He scored 16 goals in 45 appearances during his one-year stint in Madrid.
🇪🇸 Xabi Alonso
One of the most complete midfielders of his or any other generation, Xabi Alonso was a stylish quarterback type of defensive general. An elegant ball player who did things at his own pace on a football pitch, Alonso enjoyed most of his success with Liverpool but his five seasons with Real Madrid were accompanied by five trophies, including the Champions League and LaLiga.
🇳🇱 Arjen Robben
In 2009 Real sold the Dutch trio of Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart to accommodate the impending big-money arrivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká. Despite that, the brilliant left-foot of Arjen Robben bewitched defenders on a regular basis in Spain.
Real Madrid got their fair share of the Robben cut-inside-and-shoot 🤩— Goal (@goal) January 23, 2020
🏆 La Liga
🏆 Supercopa de Espanapic.twitter.com/UmdqBDmaw7
🇧🇪 Thibaut Courtois
The Belgian shot-stopper has been dominant between the sticks for Los Blancos, ending Jan Oblak’s four-year run as the Zamora (LaLiga's top goalkeeper award) in 2019-20. He's now made over 200 LaLiga appearances after initially turning out for Real's rivals Atléti before his move to Chelsea.
Who has been your favourite Premier League export to Real Madrid?
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