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5 flop signings by Real Madrid of all time: 5 Flop Signed Players in Real Madrid

Being a Real Madrid Galactico is difficult as many would say and it’s true! Yet, the club has been enriched by the presence of several world legends who have contributed in their own ways towards the staggering flow of silverware and major trophies, making it a giant in the footballing arena for decades now.
Most players in their prime still dream of making it to the Real Madrid XI and the club has drawn the brightest talents of their days, ranging from Raul and Ronaldo to Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, David Beckham, Davor Suker, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Roberto Carlos and many others. Yet, some of these deals have turned out to be thorns in the flesh for Real Madrid.

Here are the 5 flop signings made by Real Madrid over the years-

1. Antonio Cassano

Cassano was a promising Italian forward who played for a couple of years at Real Madrid. He quickly became famous for the wrong reasons, including his poor attitude which led to his separation with AS Roma. He then accepted the chance to join Real Madrid for €5 million in the year 2006.
It is quite intriguing as to why Real Madrid bought Cassano since they already knew about his behavioural issues off the pitch. The striker had not even crossed 20 career goals till then. The transfer was not a good move by Real Madrid who found it tough to properly handle Cassano’s attitude. The player also did not find a regular place in the starting sheet and had major fall-outs with Fabio Capello, the manager. In 2006-08, Cassano played just 19 times for Real Madrid, scoring only 4 goals in this period. He left Real Madrid for Sampdoria after playing for them on loan in his last official year at Los Merengues.

2. Nicolas Anelka

While several high-profile transfers have not worked out for Real Madrid in the past, this one deserves mention for the sheer way things went wrong. Real Madrid gambled hugely by signing the hugely moody and temperamental yet supremely talented French striker Nicolas Anelka. He was already called as Le Sulk in the EPL (English Premier League) by the media. Anelka played just one season in the Spanish La Liga and netted his first goal in the El Clasico. He scored twice in the semi-finals of the Champions League against Bayern Munich as well.
Yet, there were a total of just 7 goals from him and he remained suspended for 45 days in relation to his refusal to train with the side. At one point, Anelka said that he was being treated like a dog by his club. Before Anelka was sold off to PSG, the Real Madrid President at the time, Lorenzo Sanz, stated that something does not turn around properly in his head, capping off a forgettable signing altogether.
3. Michael Essien

In the year 2012, Jose Mourinho signed Michael Essien on a loan for the 2012-13 match season. The Ghana player was not in the best of shape after suffering from a knee injury but Mourinho wanted him on-board since he admired his playing style in the midfield and also his personality. However, things started off somewhat acrimoniously when only a few Real Madrid team-mates attended Michael Essien’s 30th birthday party.
The ex-Lyon midfielder was ignored by his team-mates since they were more interested in themselves and not others as Mourinho put it in Jose Mourinho: Up Close and Personal, his biography. Both the player and his coach left the club when the season ended and they were not really missed by the players or the fans either.

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4. Kaka

While some may disagree about this particular transfer, it remains forgettable for Real Madrid. Brazilian midfield star Kaka and the reigning holder of the Ballon d’Or was signed for a world record transfer fee of €65m at the time from AC Milan. When he joined, he was at his peak and was only 27 years old. However, he remained on the bench for the major part of his time at Real Madrid with several injuries.

His injuries put paid to what could have been an amazing combination with Cristiano Ronaldo while his regular first-team chances were also hampered by the signing of Jose Mourinho and Mesut Ozil. He did win the La Liga title with Real Madrid but as he himself stated, I lost the joy of playing football a bit during his time at the club.

5. Jonathan Woodgate

This is one of the all-time flop signings for Real Madrid in the past. He did not have much playing time or a good level of fitness but strangely Real Madrid landed him from Newcastle for £13.4 million at the time. This proved to be a bad move as Woodgate put in an own goal while on debut against Athletic Bilbao and was eventually sent off as well.

He did become a regular fixture in the playing XI for Real Madrid although there were injuries which hindered him from achieving his full potential here. He played for 3 seasons, making only 14 appearances and was also sent off to Middlesborough on loan during his time at the club. He only had a single goal for Real Madrid against his name as well.

As can be seen, these are the 5 all-time flop signings made by Real Madrid. Well, the club is certainly wiser for these bad decisions, going by their recent caution in building their team.

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