The Galácticos is often associated with Florentino Pérez’s presidency at Real Madrid as he sought to bring in the best players on the European transfer market for the club’s future.
And this policy has paid off. In the 2000s, Real Madrid signed many world-class players who successfully powered the club.
From 2000 to 2022, Real Madrid has won twenty-seven major football trophies, including seven Champions League trophies.
This alone is one of the most outstanding achievements in football and makes the club the most successful in the world.
So who are the most expensive Real Madrid signings? and how much did they cost the club? Although the Galácticos did not incur the most outrageous transfer fees, some of the signings made are the most expensive in world football.
The first player that heralded Florentino Pérez Galáctico’s policy was Luís Figo, who joined the club from rivals Barcelona for €60 million. Brazilian forward Kaká moved to the Spanish capital for €67 million from Inter as Chelsea prodigy Eden Hazard joined for a record €121 million to become Real Madrid’s most expensive signing.
Ranking Real Madrid most expensive signings of all time
10. Éder Militão – (£45.00m, from FC Porto in 2018)
Hot prospect and a future defensive lineup for Real Madrid, Éder Militão moved to capital club from FC Porto after the Spanish giants agreed to splash a whopping sum of £45.00m on the Brazilian.
But Éder could not find his footing in the first few months under Zidane and had to sit out on the bench due to the presence of Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane.
Fast forward to 2022, Éder Militão finally became a regular in the first team and has done quite well under Carlo Ancelotti. His position at the back also helped Real Madrid’s triumph in the UEFA Champions League final.
9. Luís Figo – (£54.00m, from Barcelona in 2000)
Luís Figo was the first Real Madrid signing in the club’s Galáctico era. The Portuguese Right Winger moved to the Spanish club from league rivals Barcelona.
Although Figo was at the epicentre of the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, with Blaugrana fans feeling betrayed, he was focused on his game.
Throughout the five seasons Figo spent at Madrid, he was outstanding and went as far as winning the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year. He won two La Liga titles, a Champions League title and Intercontinental Cup.
8. Luka Jović – (£56.70m, from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019)
Ranked to be one of the best talents at Eintracht Frankfurt in recent years, Real Madrid splashed £56.70m to land the Serbian in a move seen as Florentino Pérez’s bid to strengthen the team’s firepower.
Jović brought the sparkle and was featured seventeen times for Real Madrid. However, the high expectations were never in sight and Jović left the club without fulfilling the dream move.
Although no one saw this coming, a fracture on the heel bone had practically ruined the rest of his career with the Los Blancos, and he never lived up to his full potential at the club.
7. Kaká – (£60.30m, from AC Milan in 2009)
Real Madrid made a shock move for Kaká, who had already made a name at Inter Milan. The Brazilian who had already won the Ballon d’Or in Italy moved to the Spanish capital when Florentino Pérez had begun the second era of the Galácticos.
In the first few seasons, Kaká wasn’t in the spotlight due to injuries that prevented him from replicating his form at AC Milan.
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However, his best moment came during the 2011–12 season, where he scored eight goals and 14 assists in all club competitions to helped Real Madrid to the La Liga title while breaking the record of finishing the season with 100 points.
6. James Rodríguez – (£67.50m, from AS Monaco in 2014)
Arguably the best talent of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with the Colombian Men’s National team, James Rodríguez decided to take his career to a different height.
Real Madrid’s desire to land the Colombian was due to his form at French club AS Monaco, where he was already part of the club’s player talent pool.
He became a big part of the first team that successfully won two Champions League, La Liga and FIFA Club World Cup, respectively.
James showed flashes of brilliance, but he was never at the level he was during the FIFA World Cup many had thought he would be.
5. Zinédine Zidane – (£69.75m, From Juventus in 2001)
Zinedine Zidane was the most expensive Real Madrid player in the first generation of the Galácticos following the agreement between Los Blancos and Juventus for the transfer of €73.5 million.
Zidane won the La Liga, Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup.
Zinédine Zidane is part of Real Madrid’s history on two fronts, first as a player in Florentino Pérez’s first generation of Galácticos and secondly as the club’s manager who created the Champions League record of three consecutive titles in the current format.
4. Aurélien Tchouameni – (£72.00m, from AS Monaco in 2022)
Real Madrid splashed £72.00m amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain and other European clubs to land Aurélien Tchouameni, making him the club’s fourth most expensive signing.
Tchouameni was one of the brightest stars at AS Monaco. He’s a box-to-box midfielder and a valuable asset in attack and defense.
So far, he’s proven to be an effective signing at the club. He was introduced for five minutes in the 2022 UEFA Super Cup clash with Eintracht Frankfurt. Tchouameni is expected to be an integral part of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – (£84.60m, from Manchester United in 2009)
Arguably Real Madrid’s greatest signing, Cristiano Ronaldo made a statement in the nine seasons he spent at the club.
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The Portuguese moved to the Madrid capital club for the then club record fee of £84.60m.
Ronaldo, Luka Modrić, Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, Marcelo and Iker Casillas headlines Pérez’s second presidency at Real Madrid.
2. Gareth Bale – (£90.90m, from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013)
Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid for a club-record fee of £90.90m from Tottenham Hotspur, surpassing the initial record held by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Welshman was at his best in the first few seasons at the Bernabéu. However, his place in the team began to dwindle towards the end of his nine-year stay at the club.
Bale won everything there to be won and left the club as a legend of the club.
1. Eden Hazard – (£103.50m, From Chelsea in 2019)
Eden Hazard is Real Madrid’s most expensive signing. The Belgian joined the Spanish club for a club-record fee of £103.50m from Chelsea.
Hazard’s signing was a direct replacement for the team’s depleting attack. But years after, he’s yet to live up to expectations in a career riddled by injuries.
Although Hazard is gradually getting back on his feet, matching the same feat at Chelsea in Spain doesn’t seem to be in sight, at least for now.