Real Madrid have been extremely busy in making new signings ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Following an underwhelming campaign which included three managerial changes, Los Blancos have already made five big money signings to massively bolster their squad. However, they are no strangers to making lucrative signings, as shown over the last two decades.
Here’s a look at the 50 most expensive Real Madrid signings ever.
50. Rafael van der Vaart – €15m (2008)
Van der Vaart begins this list, after his €15m move from Hamburg.
The Dutchman signed a five-year contract with Real Madrid but only spent two seasons at the Bernabeu, leaving in 2010. Following his departure, he played for five clubs over eight years before retiring in 2018.
49. Ruud van Nistelrooy – €15m (2006)
After five glorious years at Manchester United, Ruud van Nistelrooy swapped Manchester for Madrid in 2006.
He continued his goalscoring form in style, netting an impressive 64 goals in 96 appearances and helping Los Blancos to back to back La Liga titles.
48. Elvir Baljić – €15.6m (1999)
Baljić is one of just two 20th century signings on this list, having joined Real in 1999 for €15.6m.
The Bosnian-Herzegovinian winger signed from Fenerbahce, but injury problems and poor form meant that Baljić made 19 appearances in three years – scoring just one goal in his stint there.
47. Émerson – €16m (2006)
A one-season wonder at the Bernabeu, Emerson signed from then-Serie B side Juventus for €16m.
The Brazilian was a regular starter as a defensive midfielder, but that wouldn’t last long as 13 months later he returned to Italy – sold to Milan for just €5m.
46. Dani Ceballos – €16.5m (2017)
Ceballos is one of Real Madrid’s more recent acquisitions, moving to the capital from Real Betis in 2017.
While he is still in his early Los Blancos days, the Andalusian made 23 appearances in 2018/19 and has plenty of time ahead of him, with his contract running until 2023.
45. Brahim Díaz – €17m (2019)
Díaz entered this list in early 2019, after signing for an impressive fee of €17m from Manchester City.
The 19-year-old made nine league appearances last season, and while it may seem like a heavy fee for such a young player, his future potential may well make up for it.
44. Mesut Özil – €18m (2010)
Özil made his first big move in 2010, moving to the Bernabeu from Werder Bremen.
The German playmaker made 159 appearances for Los Blancos and won three domestic honours, before turning a significant profit for Real as he joined Arsenal for €50m in 2013.
43. Jonathan Woodgate – €18.3m (2004)
Widely debated to be one of the worst Real Madrid signings of all time, Woodgate joined Real Madrid for €18.3m in 2004.
The English defender mustered 14 appearances over his three-year career in the Spanish capital, before returning to his hometown club Middlesbrough.
42. Lassana Diarra – €20m (2009)
Diarra joined Real Madrid from Portsmouth in 2009, signing for a fee of €20m.
The French midfielder spent three years at the Bernabeu and was an important player for Real, helping them to the La Liga title in 2012 before he departed for Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.
41. Júlio Baptista – €20m (2005)
After two years in southern Spain with Sevilla, Baptista made a €20m move to the capital in 2005.
The Brazilian forward got 13 goals and six assists in 77 appearances, and finished his Los Blancos career in 2008 with a move to Serie A and Roma.
40. Fernando Gago – €20.5m (2006)
Real Madrid spent €20.5m on Fernando Gago, a young Argentine midfielder who had impressed in his home country at Boca Juniors.
Gago had a successful career at the Bernabeu, making 121 appearances and winning four domestic honours in his five-year stint in Madrid.
39. Mariano Díaz – €21.5m (2018)
Real re-signed Mariano Díaz from Lyon in 2018, as they splashed €21.5m on the Dominican striker.
However, it was a peculiar signing – due to the fact that Díaz had spent six years at the club before his move to Lyon, earning his breakthrough in the reserve teams at Real.
38. Theo Hernández – €24m (2017)
Hernández signed for Real Madrid in 2017, making the move across from city rivals Atlético Madrid.
After the 19-year-old spent last season out on loan at Real Sociedad, he will be eager to try and regain his place in Zinedine Zidane’s first team for the upcoming season.
37. Robinho – €24m (2005)
In 2005, Los Blancos bought Santos youngster Robinho for a fee of €24m.
While Real were hoping the Brazilian would be a star for the future, his career soon faded and he was sold to Manchester City for €43m after three years and 137 appearances.
36. Flávio Conceição – €25m (2000)
Conceição moved to the Bernabeu at the prime of his career, as he signed from Deportivo La Coruña at the start of the millennium.
Despite his limited game-time across his four-year stint in Madrid, he was part of the 2002 Champions League winning team and won two league titles.
35. Wálter Samuel – €25m (2004)
In the same window that Conceição left Madrid, Wálter Samuel came in from Roma for a fee of €25m.
The Argentine centre-back made 40 appearances for Real but ended up only staying for one season, before leaving for Inter where he spent a remarkable nine years.
34. Toni Kroos – €25m (2014)
When looking back on this signing, €25m seems like an absolute bargain for Kroos in today’s market.
Joining from German heavyweights Bayern Munich in 2014, Kroos has since made an outstanding 233 appearances and won 11 major honours, including three Champions Leagues.
33. Mahamadou Diarra – €26m (2006)
Diarra sits just ahead of Kroos in this list, as he joined from Lyon for €26m in 2006.
The Malian midfielder spent five years at the Bernabeu, and after playing a pivotal role in the Madrid midfield for years a string of devastating injury problems eventually contributed to his departure in 2011.
32. Wesley Sneijder – €27m (2007)
In 2007, Los Blancos went over to Ajax to bring in the young talented midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
While the Dutchman only spent two seasons at the Bernabeu they were two very good ones, as he registered 11 goals and 11 assists before moving to Inter.
31. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – €27m (2009)
A year-and-a-half after Sneijder switched Amsterdam for Madrid, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar followed suit in 2009.
Joining his first club outside of his native Netherlands, Huntelaar only managed 20 appearances for Los Blancos before stints at Milan, Schalke and finally a return to Ajax in 2017.
30. Sergio Ramos – €27m (2005)
Joining as a fresh-faced 19-year-old from Sevilla in 2005, Ramos turned into one of Real Madrid’s greatest ever captains. 14 years after arriving for a cool €27m, the Spanish captain has won an incredible 20 trophies and counting and made over 600 appearances for Real.
What is even more remarkable is, at the age of 33, Ramos still looks like continuing at the Bernabeu for many years to come, as he hopes to build on his fantastic legacy at a club where he has won every single trophy possible in club football.
29. Fábio Coentrão – €30m (2011)
After Coentrão put an end to his Real Madrid career last year with a move to Rio Ave, it brings an end to an, erm, loyal era at the Bernabeu.
The Portuguese arrived in Madrid in 2011 from Benfica, but found himself excluded from first team matters for a large part of his stay.
28. Isco – €30m (2013)
Isco joined Los Blancos in 2013 from Málaga, signing for a fee of €30m.
The Spanish playmaker has been at Real for the last six years, making 277 appearances and amassing a total of 100 goals and assists as he hopes to continue his time at the Bernabeu.
27. Álvaro Odriozola – €30m (2018)
Real acquired Odriozola from Real Sociedad in 2018, as they looked to bring a young full-back into the squad.
After making a handful of appearances in his debut season, the Spaniard will surely hope to establish himself in the Real Madrid backline within the next few years.
26. Pepe – €30m (2007)
After joining from Porto for €30m 12 years ago, Pepe became a crucial player in the Real Madrid defence.
The Portuguese defender went on to make 334 appearances for Los Blancos in a career spanning a decade, before spending a season at Besiktas and returning to Portugal and Porto in January 2019.
25. Álvaro Morata – €30m (2016)
Born and bred in Madrid, Real signed Spanish talisman Álvaro Morata from Juventus for €30m.
Having previously spent six years in Los Blancos’ youth and reserve sides, Morata only managed another season at the Bernabeu before his ill-fated move to Chelsea in 2017.
24. Danilo – €31.5m (2015)
Danilo joined Real Madrid from Porto for €31.5m, relocating to Madrid at the age of 23.
After two seasons and 56 outings for the La Liga side, the Brazilian went over to England to play for Manchester City in 2017, where he has since won back to back Premier League titles.
23. Asier Illarramendi – €32m (2013)
Having spent his whole career at boyhood club Real Sociedad, Illarramendi did spend two years at Los Blancos when they signed him for €32m.
However, the Basque midfielder would only remain in the capital for two years, until he returned to San Sebastian in 2015 – where he has been ever since.
22. Ángel Di María – €33m (2010)
Di María joined Real from Benfica in 2010, and went on to help Los Blancos to six major honours in his time at the club.
His career with Los Blancos would last four years, until he ended up at Paris Saint-Germain via a season at Manchester United in 2014.
21. Xabi Alonso – €34.5m (2009)
Alonso was recruited for €34.5m in 2009, as he left Liverpool to return to his native Spain for the first time in five years.
The Spaniard made 236 appearances for Los Blancos and was a key central midfielder, before finishing his trophy-laden career at Bayern.
20. Nicolas Anelka – €35m (1999)
In a career lasting 19 years and 13 clubs, Anelka’s time at the Bernabeu was short lived. Despite Real splashing €35m to bring the Frenchman in from Arsenal, he only managed seven goals in 33 appearances – playing less than he would at Fenerbahce and Bolton Wanderers.
While his transfer was not the greatest success the club had endured, Anelka did help Los Blancos retain the Champions League in 2000, as they secured their eighth European crown.
However, two months later he was gone, signing a six-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
19. Arjen Robben – €35m (2007)
Robben arrived in Madrid from Chelsea, having helped the Blues to back to back league titles.
He was signed for €35m in 2007, winning La Liga in his debut season. The Dutchman would spend two years at the Bernabeu before starting his decade-long career with Bayern in 2009.
18. Karim Benzema – €35m (2009)
When Benzema joined from Lyon as a 21-year-old, it was hard to predict that a decade later he’d still be as prolific.
Ten years after moving to Madrid, he has scored an excellent 222 goals in 465 appearances, all but making up for his initial price tag of €35m.
17. Luka Modrić – €35m (2012)
Modrić’s arrival seven years ago was almost revolutionary for Los Blancos, as he quickly established himself as a key part of their midfield.
He joined from Tottenham in 2012, and seven years later he remains just as important and just as good as he was when he arrived.
16. Thibaut Courtois – €35m (2018)
Having arrived last summer from Chelsea, Courtois’ debut season between the Real Madrid sticks has been a bumpy ride. After a controversial exit from London where he deliberately missed two days of training, the Belgian earned his dream move to the Spanish capital.
As Los Blancos’ most expensive goalkeeper ever, he has had a lot of expectations to live up to. While there have been some good moments for Courtois, his arrival during Real’s disastrous season means that he will have a crucial campaign ahead of him.
15. David Beckham – €37.5m (2003)
After 11 years at United, Beckham’s move to the Bernabeu was huge.
The Englishman was signed for €37.5m as a Galáctico, in a successful four-year tenure with Los Blancos. Beckham made 159 appearances, yet he only won two trophies before signing for LA Galaxy in 2007.
14. Mateo Kovačić – €38m (2015)
After Modrić’s big money move three years earlier, Kovačić’s €38m move from Inter made him Real’s most expensive Croat signing ever.
Four years later, he has just finished a season on loan at Chelsea and it appears he’ll be going there permanently, too. For a profit. Well played.
13. Ronaldo – €45m (2002)
Part of the first generation of the famous Galácticos, Ronaldo was also brought in from Inter after he helped Brazil win their record fifth World Cup in South Korea and Japan. Despite having spent five years at Barcelona, the Brazilian superstar was welcomed in with open arms.
Ronaldo spent five years at the Bernabeu, yet injury limited him to 177 appearances. While his appearance tally was low, his goalscoring record was clinical, as he scored 104 times before departing Madrid and returning to the other side of Milan in 2007.
12. Vinícius Júnior – €45m (2018)
16 years after the revolutionary signing of Ronaldo, Real completed the signing of 18-year-old Vinícius Júnior for the same fee.
The Brazilian joined from Flamengo in his native country, having just completed his debut season at the Bernabeu as he hopes for many more.
11. Rodrygo – €45m (2019)
The first of Real Madrid’s 2019 summer signings to enter the list, 18-year-old winger Rodrygo was signed earlier this month, following eight years with Santos.
The Brazilian has already been capped for the under-20 national side, and has signed a six-year contract at Real.
10. Ferland Mendy – €48m (2019)
Mendy is another one of Florentino Perez’s summer signings, as he recruited yet another player from French side Lyon.
Mendy spent eight years in Paris Saint-Germain’s youth academy before moving to Le Havre – he then he arrived at Lyon before moving to Madrid.
9. Éder Militão – €50m (2019)
Real Madrid spent a cool €50m on Éder Militão, the Brazilian defender who spent just one season at Porto.
Militão joins Los Blancos on 1 July, having earned his first four caps for Brazil and earning a call-up for the Selecao’s Copa America squad.
8. Luís Figo – €60m (2000)
Luís Figo is arguably the most controversial signing on this list, purely because he made the dreaded switch from Barcelona. Los Blancos managed to convince their arch rivals from Catalonia to part ways with the Portuguese, paying €60m in 2000 to bring him to Madrid.
Figo scored 56 goals in 245 appearances for Real, scoring more goals in less appearances than in his time with the Blaugrana. His five-year stint at the Bernabeu brought instant success, as Real won seven trophies in his first three years at the club in a glittering career.
7. Luka Jović – €60m (2019)
Jović earned a well-deserved move to the Bernabeu in 2019, after a stellar season with Eintracht Frankfurt.
The 21-year-old Serbian striker was red hot property, and Los Blancos will be hoping that he enjoys a wonderful career as a new Galáctico.
6. Kaká – €67m (2009)
In 2009, Kaká joined Real for a hefty fee of €67m, which Milan relished.
The Brazilian was with Los Blancos for four years, making 120 appearances and tallying 29 goals and 39 assists before returning to the Rossoneri in 2013.
5. James Rodríguez – €75m (2014)
James was intended to be the first new Galáctico, after he was signed from Monaco following an excellent World Cup with Colombia in 2014.
Unfortunately, the Colombian has struggled to fully live up to his price tag, as he prepares to return to Real after a two-year loan with Bayern.
4. Zinedine Zidane – €77.5m (2001)
€77.5m for a transfer fee is still a large fee today, so to think how enormous it was in 2001 when Zinedine Zidane came to Real Madrid is remarkable. Los Blancos paid the big money to Juventus, as he won six trophies in five years before retiring as a player in 2006.
However, Zizou would be back ten years later, as he took over at the helm as Real Madrid manager in 2016. Despite leaving in 2018 after winning three unprecedented Champions League titles in a row, he is now back in charge and ready to do business again.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – €94m (2009)
In ten years at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo’s stats are out of this world – 438 appearances, 450 goals, 131 assists and 15 trophies – CR7 did it all. While his departure marked the end of an incredible era, Real Madrid can certainly be happy that he fulfilled his hype and his price tag.
2. Eden Hazard – €100m (2019)
One of the longest running transfer speculations in recent times came to an end at the start of June, as Eden Hazard signed for Real Madrid. After seven spectacular years at Chelsea and a flourishing international career at captain of Belgium, €100m seems worth it for Hazard.
Whether he will in fact live up to his price tag is unknown, but if he continues the way he was playing for the Blues then there is no doubt whatsoever. The Belgian has huge expectations, but as he lives his dream you can only relish to see what he has to offer Los Blancos.
This one has the potential to become the highest ever fee, too, given the potential add-ons agreed in the deal with Chelsea.
1. Gareth Bale – €101m (2013)
While Hazard’s astounding transfer fee came close, Gareth Bale remains the most expensive Real Madrid signing ever. In 2013, Real Madrid paid Tottenham an incredible €101m for the Welshman, which was a world record transfer fee at the time.
Having broken onto the English scene at Spurs, Bale became hot property and Los Blancos were determined to sign him. Since then, he has scored 102 goals in 231 appearances, won 13 major honours and become a world class player at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Whether his time at Real Madrid is coming to its conclusion is still unknown, but what is certain is that he has fulfilled his hefty price tag. For now, Bale remains the most expensive signing in Real Madrid history, but there’s no doubt that that will change within a matter of years.
All transfer fees according to transfermarkt.