Real Madrid are one of the biggest and the most successful clubs in Europe. They are known for splashing a huge amount of money on players so that they are able to compete with the very best in European and domestic competitions. While some of their signings have repaid the money spent on them by the club courtesy of their exceptional performances, there have also been some signings in the club’s history that have failed to live up to the expectations. Here, we are discussing the Top 5 Real Madrid signings that didn’t work out.
#5 Danilo Luiz
In 2015, it was expected that Alvaro Arbeloa, the club’s former RB will leave the club the next summer due to his declining performances. Even though Dani Carvajal was available to occupy the position, the club wanted a player who could provide a backup to Dani and also serve for the team in domestic cup matches where the managers prefer their B team to play. For that, Real Madrid targeted Danilo from FC Porto. An agreement between Real and Porto was reached prior to the summer transfer window of 2015. Both clubs settled for a fee of €31.5 million.
However, Danilo couldn’t meet the expectations at the club. In 2015/16, he was part of every single defeat of Real Madrid. In 2016/17, Carvajal suffered many physical issues, and it was a chance for Danilo to prove himself but his below-par performances and criticism from the fans saw him moving to Manchester City after spending only 2 seasons at the Spanish club.
#4 Nicolas Anelka
Bought for a huge sum of £22 million in the summer of 1999, Anelka wasn’t quite able to replicate what he did for Arsenal in the previous seasons. In the early stages of his Real Madrid career, he struggled a lot and went goalless for five months. He only managed to score 7 goals for the club, which were too less than what was expected from him.
Apart from his on-pitch performances, his off-the-pitch antics were not appreciable by the club’s coaching staff. He was suspended in March for 45 days since he refused to train with the team because of some personal differences with the gaffer Vicente del Bosque. In the next summer, he was offloaded to Paris Saint Germain.
#3 Asier Illarramendi:
Illaramendi was signed by the Los Blancos in the summer transfer window of 2013 for €35 million which was the highest amount the club had paid for any Spanish player. He was expected to be the successor of an aging Xabi Alonso at Real Madrid.
Unfortunately, several injuries and lack of confidence hampered his chances of being a top player for the club. He started only 30 games in two seasons and couldn’t really impress the coaching staff. In 2015, he was sold back to Real Sociedad for half the price.
#2 Ricardo Kaka:
Having won the Ballon d’Or in 2007, Kaka was at the peak of his career when he joined Real Madrid in a revolutionary transfer window of 2009 which also saw great players like Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Alvaro Arbeloa, and Raul Albiol joining the Meringues. He was bought for a massive €67 million fee having signed a six-year contract. However, with the sky-high expectations from him, he wasn’t able to reproduce his Milan performances.
Suffering various injuries and the signing of Mesut Ozil in 2010 saw him going down in the pecking order. He contributed in 51 goals for the club in 120 appearances over the course of 4 years. In 2013, he handed a transfer request and was sold back to AC Milan.
#1 Eden Hazard:
One of the best players in the Premier League, Eden Hazard was signed by Real Madrid for a transfer sum of over £100 million. Hazard had always dreamt of playing for the Spanish giants since he was a child. However, he got unlucky with the injuries as soon as he joined the squad in 2019. Eden has missed many important games for Real to date because of nine different injuries.
He hasn’t quite been able to soak up the pressure of playing for such a big club and also of the special #7 jersey, which was previously worn by a club great, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Belgian has contributed to only 14 goals till now in the relatively lower 2500 minutes he has played for Los Blancos. Being the most expensive signing in the club’s history, it won’t be wrong to term Eden as a flop signing as he tops the list of the Top 5 Real Madrid signings that didn’t work out.