Real Madrid’s 15 best signings of all time

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As Los Blancos look to strengthen for the 2017-18 season, Goal picks out the greatest transfers in the history of the 12-time European champions


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So many great players. Real Madrid have been blessed with some of the finest footballers in the game throughout their illustrious history and many of those have been brought in from other clubs.

The 12-time European Cup winners have relied on homegrown talents at times (including the likes of Raul, Iker Casillas, Emilio Butragueno and others), but it is in the transfer market where they have excelled and cemented their status as the world's biggest club,

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Here, Goal takes a look at the very best signings in Real Madrid's history...


AMANCIO AMARO | From Deportivo | €72,000 (and four players) | 1962


Amancio Real Madrid

Real Madrid bought Amancio Amaro from Deportivo La Coruna in 1962 as the club's president at the time, Santiago Bernabeu, pushed for his signing despite opposition from the rest of the board.

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Los Blancos were in financial difficulties at the time, but struck a deal which saw four of their players move to Deportivo in part exchange and the 22-year-old striker went on to be a huge success in the capital.

Amancio stayed for 14 seasons, winning nine Liga titles and three European Cups. He also scored 224 goals for Real and came third in the Ballon d'Or vote in 1964.


ALFREDO DI STEFANO | From Millonarios | €24,000 | 1953


Alfredo Di Stefano Real Madrid

If there is one player who has changed the history of Real Madrid more than any other, that man is Alfredo Di Stefano.

Prior to his arrival in 1953, Los Blancos had won only two league titles, but they went on to become the dominant force at home and on the continent, winning eight championships and five European Cups.

Di Stefano, whose transfer provoked a bitter battle with Barcelona for his services, scored over 300 goals for Madrid and was the club's top scorer until he was overtaken by Raul and later Cristiano Ronaldo. He is still considered by many to be the side's best-ever player.


LUIS FIGO | From Barcelona | €60m | 2000


HD Luis Figo Real Madrid

Luis Figo may not be one of the most successful transfers for Real Madrid in terms of trophies won, but the Portuguese winger was a huge statement signing for Florentino Perez, who rode to power at the Santiago Bernabeu after promising the arrival of the Barcelona winger.

Perez had been second in the election race, but claimed he would bring Figo from Barca and came good on his election promise to confirm one of the most controversial moves in the history of the game.

Figo did do well on the pitch too, helping Madrid win the Champions League in 2002, while his move signalled something of a shift in power as Barca fell into decline until 2004.


PACO GENTO | From Racing Santander | €7,000 (plus Espina) | 1953


Gento Real Madrid

Paco Gento has won more European Cups than any other player in history (six) and also has more than Real Madrid's biggest rivals Barcelona (five).

The talented left-winger signed for Los Blancos after a season at Racing Santander for around €7,000 plus Espina (who replaced him on the left wing for the Cantabrians) and went on to star for the capital club between 1953 and 1971, winning 12 Liga titles as well as those six European Cups.

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Also a European champion with Spain in 1964, the pacy midfielder is now Real Madrid's honorary president and was hailed by both Michael Owen and Gareth Bale when they were unveiled as new signings at the Santiago Bernabeu.


FERNANDO HIERRO | From Valladolid | €1.2m | 1989


Fernando Hierro

Fernando Hierro was told he was not good enough at Malaga as a youngster, but got a chance at Valladolid on the recommendation of his brother and never looked back.

He signed for Real Madrid in 1989 for a fee of €1.2m and went on to become a defensive leader for Los Blancos and also Spain, while he was equally adept in midfield and netted an impressive 127 goals during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

After five league titles and three Champions League crowns, he had a spell in Qatar and ended his carrer at Bolton, before returning to assist Carlo Ancelotti in the Italian's second season in 2014-15.


JUANITO | From Burgos | €162,000 | 1976


Juan Gomez Gonzalez 'Juanito'

Juanito tragically died in a car crash in 1992 and is remembered by Real Madrid fans in the seventh minute of every home match (because he wore the number 7 during his time at the club) with the chant "Illa, Illa, Illa, Juanita maravilla".

The forward, who arrived from Burgos in 1976, stayed at the club until 1987 and is remembered for his fierce competitiveness and heroic performances, especially in European comebacks.

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After leaving Madrid, he moved to Malaga and retired in 1991 before sadly losing his life the following year.


LUKA MODRIC | From Tottenham | €35m | 2012


Luka Modric Juventus Real Madrid UCL 03062017

Jose Mourinho made Real Madrid much more competitive, but the Portuguese realised he needed more creativity in midfield after winning La Liga in 2012 and so he decided to sign Luka Modric.

Nicknamed "Lucky Luka" by his team-mates after helping to win the Spanish Supercopa on his debut, it is no coincidence that Madrid have won three Champions League titles in his time at the club.

As important as almost anyone in the team these days, the Croatian remains a fan favourite at the Santiago Bernabeu and admitted recently that he hopes to stay at the club for some time to come.


FERNANDO MORIENTES | From Zaragoza | €6.6m | 1997


Fernando Morientes Real Madrid

Bought from Zaragoza for €6.6m in 1996, Fernando Morientes was a huge hit at Real Madrid and won three Champions League titles for the Spanish side - in 1998, 2000 and 2002.

The former Spain striker opened the scoring in the 2000 final against Valencia and went on to score 91 times in eight seasons for Los Blancos, before spells at Monaco, Liverpool, Valencia and Marseille.

Eventually forced out after Madrid brought in Ronaldo and then Michael Owen, he is still hugely popular and turned out for Madrid's legends against a Roma XI in June.


FERENC PUSKAS | From Budapest Honved | Free | 1958


Ferenc Puskas

Ferenc Puskas fleed Hungary in 1956 and was unable to sign for another European club after serving a two-year suspension that frustrated the attempts of both AC Milan and Juventus to sign him.

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Despite question marks over his weight and his fitness, he signed for Real Madrid in 1958 and even though he was 31 at the time of his arrival, he went on to secure legend status at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Puskas won five league titles and three European Cups, as well as netting an amazing 242 goals in his eight seasons with Los Blancos.


SERGIO RAMOS | From Sevilla | €27m | 2005


Sergio Ramos Malaga Real Madrid LaLiga 21052017

Sergio Ramos joined Real Madrid from Sevilla in 2005 as a 19-year-old in a €27m deal that seemed expensive at the time, but appears less so now given the defender's success at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Initially a right-back, Ramos switched to central defence under Jose Mourinho and is now the club captain as well, playing a pivotal part in the side's recent successes with key goals in the 2014 and 2016 Champions league wins against Atletico.

Now 31, Ramos is the team's talisman and also its leader, popping up with vital goals when it matters most. He has also now been at the club longer than any of his team-mates.


ROBERTO CARLOS | From Inter | €3m | 1996


Roberto Carlos, Real Madrid

Roberto Carlos moved to Inter from Palmeiras, but was unhappy at being played out of position at San Siro and decided to leave the club after a sole season in Italy.

Real Madrid obliged, handing the Brazilian the left-back slot and Roberto Carlos made the position his own in more than a decade at the club, winning three Champions League titles and a host of other trophies in that time.

He also won a 125 caps for Brazil, which included the nation's World Cup win in 2002.


CRISTIANO RONALDO | From Manchester United | €94m | 2009


Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid presentation

Cristiano Ronaldo has been at the forefront of Real Madrid's most memorable moments in recent years and the Portuguese forward finished last season by firing Los Blancos to Champions League glory with victory over Juventus in Cardiff.

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The 32-year-old struck two goals as Madrid won their third title in four years and is now heading for a fifth Ballon d'Or which would see him draw level with Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo, who threatened to leave earlier this summer, is the club's all-time top scorer with 406 goals in just 394 appearances and, providing he stays in Spain, looks set to go on making history for Los Blancos in the coming campaigns.


HUGO SANCHEZ | From Atletico | €1.2m | 1985


Hugo Sanchez

Hugo Sanchez first featured for Atletico in Spain, but after four years at the Vicente Calderon, he was set on a move to Real Madrid and made the controversial switch to Los Blancos in 1985.

The Mexican striker finished as La Liga's top scorer on five occasions (four with Real) and was part of the Madrid team that won five straight titles between 1985 and 1990.

He also helped Real to a UEFA Cup success in 1986, netted over 200 goals for the Spanish side in total and is still considered one of the club's all-time greatest strikers.


SANTILLANA | From Racing Santander | €138,000 (for Santillana, Pedro & Ico) | 1971


Santillana

Real Madrid signed Santillana and two other players from Racing Santander in 1971 for a fee of around €138,000 that wiped out the Cantabrian club's debts at that time.

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Santillana was the most successful of the three, hitting 289 goals (many of which were headers, his speciality) in his 17 seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu between 1971 and 1988.

The former Spain striker won nine league titles in his Madrid career, along with four Copas del Rey and two UEFA Cups.


ZINEDINE ZIDANE | From Juventus | €75m | 2001


Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane was a legend as a Real Madrid player and is now a legend for what he has achieved as a coach, having led Los Blancos to back-to-back Champions League titles in his short time in charge.

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The Frenchman first arrived as the world's most expensive player in 2001 and his stunning strike in the Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen at the end of the 2001-02 season gave Real their ninth European Cup.

He was assistant to Carlo Ancelotti as they claimed their 10th against Atletico in Lisbon, before leading the club to their 11th in Milan and their 12th in Cardiff. As a player, he won six trophies at Real and netted 49 goals (many spectacular) as part of the great Galacticos side. 

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