Real Madrid's 10 most expensive transfers of all time

James Shearman Updated: 11 Jun 2022 14:25 BST 6 min read
How many Real Madrid games has Eden Hazard missed through injury?

How many Real Madrid games has Eden Hazard missed through injury?

Real Madrid's status as a footballing superpower has long been indisputable, but they have underscored this in the summer of 2022, first by winning a 14th Champions League and then by completing a €100 million deal to sign Aurelein Tchouameni from Monaco.

This transfer was just the latest in a long line of blockbuster deals that Real Madrid have concluded down the years.

From Zinedine Zidane to Cristiano Ronaldo, Los Blancos have a history of breaking records and shaking up the transfer market with a ruthless desire to be the best.

But with that attitude comes lots of money spent and plenty of risk, with not every deal always turning out to be an unmitigated success.

So which are the 10 most expensive transfer deals in Real Madrid history, and how many of them have proven successful?

10. Eder Militao - €50m (from Porto, 2019)

Militao announced himself on the biggest stage with an impressive 2020/21 season after a shaky first campaign at the Bernabeu.

A remarkable £45m is plenty for a 21-year-old defender, with added pressure in knowing you are the long-term replacement for one Sergio Ramos, but the Brazilian has put Madrid fans' fears that the backline would fall apart without their former captain to bed.

Militao has formed an excellent partnership with David Alaba, as Los Blancos sit six points clear at the top of La Liga, conceding just 20 goals in 23 games.

9. Luis Figo - €60m (from Barcelona, 2000)

A switch from Barcelona to Real Madrid seems unthinkable, even to this day, but Luis Figo had other ideas.

For a world record fee, the Portuguese winger's signing marked the beginning of Florentino Perez's Galactico era of global stars.

A resounding success, 37 goals in 164 games fails to capture the genius of the Ballon d'Or winner.

8. Luka Jovic - €60m (from Eintracht Frankfurt, 2019)

When Luka Jovic registered 17 goals and five assists in 25 Bundesliga starts for Eintracht Frankfurt at the age of 20, one would have thought the Serbian would go on to achieve greater things.

Well, just two La Liga goals later, Jovic found himself back at Frankfurt last season as hopes of one day replacing Karim Benzema look nothing shy of embarrassing these days. Jovic was given a second chance in Madrid this season but has added just one league goal to his abysmal tally.

The disappointing striker will go down as one of the worst signings, not only in Madrid, but in the world.

7. Kaka - €67m (from AC Milan, 2009)

Kaka came with such lofty expectations that, in some ways, he was an anticlimactic signing for Los Blancos.

A series of injuries held the Brazilian to just 85 league starts in four years, with 23 goals signalling a decline from his near 'one in two' record at Milan.

That said, contributions to La Liga and Copa Del Rey titles mean he was far from a failure, despite the troubles.

6. James Rodriguez - €75m (from Monaco, 2014)

After a stellar World Cup showing for Colombia, Rodriguez signed for Carlo Ancelotti's Madrid and immediately proved his worth with 24 goal contributions in 29 league games.

However, the playmaker's production steadily regressed until 2017 where he was shipped to Bayern Munich on a two-season loan.

Back at Madrid, Rodriguez was made to, largely, watch from the sidelines in the 2019/20 campaign before a move to Everton. A difficult one to judge.

5. Zinedine Zidane - €77.5m (from Juventus, 2001)

A World Cup and European Championships winner, Zidane made the move to Los Blancos for a then-world record fee.

And while the team's success in his era is slightly underwhelming given the talent on show, Zidane earned himself legend status in his five years at the club, before taking charge as head coach in recent times.

An unbelievable transfer, for an unbelievable athlete, who many would argue ranks as one of the top ten players to lace up a pair of boots.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo - €94m (from Manchester United, 2010)

The greatest player to wear the famous white of Real Madrid.

A supreme talent that emerged at Manchester United was given the platform to make football history for the Spanish giants. The Portuguese legend won it all.

And, had it not been for rival Lionel Messi, Ronaldo could have been the best to ever do it.

3. Aurelien Tchouameni - €100m (from Monaco, 2022)

Aurelien Tchouameni became Real Madrid's third-most expensive signing of all time when he left Monaco for the Bernabeu in the summer of 2022.

It was a deal that raised eyebrows because of the fee that was involved - €80m of the transfer was paid up front with another €20m bonus dependent - largely because of Tchouameni's lack of top level experience.

When he joined the club, he had not played a minute of Champions League football and had only a handful of appearances for the France national team.

Tchouameni GFX

2. Gareth Bale - €101m (from Tottenham, 2014)

Gareth Bale may not get the fairytale ending that so many legends are accustomed to receiving, but history will be kind on the Welshman's achievements in Madrid.

A vital part of an all-time great front three, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, Bale will one day get the appreciation he so thoroughly deserves.

He's also, perhaps, the scorer of the Champions League final's most incredible goal.

1. Eden Hazard - €115m (from Chelsea, 2019)

Time is running out for Hazard to turn his fortunes around, after a disappointing two-and-a-half years in Spain.

A Chelsea icon, it was always a matter of when Hazard would leave England to fulfill his lifelong ambition of playing for Real Madrid and not if. But, maybe the date of the transfer was more important than we imagined.

At 31, it seems injuries have gotten the best of what was the consistently most-fouled player in the Premier League.