Real Madrid are one of the biggest powers in world football and have 14 European Cups to show for it.
When it comes to their transfer business, Los Blancos rarely make a big signing that fails to impress.
Jude Bellingham is the latest evidence of this, with the boy from Birmingham single-handedly dragging Real through La Liga games while also turning in stellar performances for the Three Lions at international level.
With Bellingham in mind, here is a list of Real Madrid’s 14 most expensive signings of all time.
Luis Figo, 2000
£37m from Barcelona
Luis Figo’s move directly from Barcelona to Real Madrid remains one of the most talked-about in the history of the game, and it is safe to say that the Camp Nou faithful weren’t best pleased.
Claude Makelele and Santiago Solari also joined Real that season, but their moves were overshadowed by the world record fee of £37m that saw Figo cross the divide.
The signing of the Portuguese forward is often cited as being the beginning of Florentino Perez’s Galactico era.
Vinicius Junior, 2018
£38.7m from Flamengo
Vinicius Junior’s rise to prominence at the Bernabeu has been nothing short of staggering.
Vinicius’ move from Flamengo to Madrid cost just shy of £40m, and there were clear teething problems in the early stages of his tenure.
At 23, he is now one of the most electric forwards in the world, scoring the only goal in the 2021/22 Champions League final against Liverpool and contributing to 31 goals across La Liga and the UCL combined last season.
£39.5m from Santos
Rodrygo arrived from Santos in 2019 having agreed a deal a year prior. He was instrumental in their run to the Champions League title in 2022, with his late double against Manchester City in the semi-final critical to Los Blancos’ success.
And at little under £40m, you have to say that in this day and age, that is undoubtedly money well spent. He’s also won two La Liga titles and a Club World Cup during his time in the Spanish capital, and is closing in on 200 appearances for the club at the age of just 22. Expect Madrid to get even more of a return on this signing in the years to come.
Eder Militao, 2019
£43.7m from FC Porto
Centre-back Eder Militao was another summer 2019 arrival, with the club spending a whopping £320m in that window alone.
The Brazilian has been a more established figure in the Real Madrid XI, featuring 51 times in the league last season alone.
A serious injury has curtailed his progress this term, his signing has to go down as another success given the silverware Real have accrued since he arrived – not to mention the fact that his transfer fee came to just under £44m.
Ferland Mendy, 2019
£47m from Lyon
The shift in the footballing landscape when it comes to finances is clear as we have yet another current player up next.
Ferland Mendy made the move to Spain from Ligue 1 side Lyon in the same summer that Rodrygo arrived, though the Frenchman cost slightly less at around £47m.
Mendy was tasked with being the successor to Marcelo’s throne at left-back in a lot of ways and with his 26 La Liga appearances in the 2020/21 season being his highest tally to date, the jury is still out on that matter.
Zinedine Zidane, 2001
£47m from Juventus
Zinedine Zidane is not only one of the greatest players for Real Madrid, but he also did pretty well as their manager, too.
He became the first person to lead a men’s team to three consecutive Champions League titles since the competition’s revamp in the 1990s, and is one of only three to ever win the tournament three times as a manager – the other two being Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti.
Zidane’s signing came at a world-record fee of £47m, and capped his first season in Madrid colours by scoring perhaps the greatest Champions League goals of all time, which won them the trophy back in 2002.
The Frenchman also won La Liga and the UEFA Super Cup during his playing career at Real.
Luka Jovic, 2019
£52.4m from Eintracht Frankfurt
Luka Jovic is one of only two players on this list that can be labelled as a flop for their respective transfers to the white half of Madrid.
Jovic now plays for AC Milan having originally swapped Madrid for Fiorentina, but not before he went back on loan to Frankfurt.
£56m from Milan
The Brazilian trend can now be resumed with Kaka, who joined Real Madrid in 2009 – another of their supremely busy transfer windows.
Kaka signed for £56m from Milan in a summer that saw Real’s total spend reach in excess of £230m.
It isn’t all about numbers with a player who boasts as much flair as Kaka does, but issues with injury and form saw him only reach double figures for goals or assists in a season on one occasion.
James Rodriguez, 2014
£63m from Monaco
The 2014 World Cup may have been won by Germany, but the tournament belonged to James Rodriguez of Colombia.
Lionel Messi won the tournament’s Golden Ball award, whilst it was Rodriguez who took home the Golden Boot – with the best of his six goals undoubtedly being the thunderous strike that went in off of the underside of the crossbar against Uruguay in the first knockout stage.
This was a big year for him as he won the Puskas Award for the aforementioned wondergoal as well as earning a major move from Monaco to Madrid.
£63m was the amount that Real parted ways with to sign James Rodriguez – and his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu is perhaps underrated.
37 goals and 42 assists represents a solid return from 125 outings, yet he was playing for Everton by 2020, marking a true fall from grace.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 2009
£80m from Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo is a figure surrounded by controversy off of the pitch, but his on-pitch exploits are undeniable.
Once again, Real broke the world-record transfer fee when they paid Manchester United £80m for the dynamic forward.
He won all there is to win in the famous white shirt and can now be seen playing for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
Gareth Bale, 2013
£85.3m from Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Bale has to go down as one of the Premier League’s finest exports, as while there were several low points during his stint in Spain, the highs are about as lofty as one can get.
The Welshman joined Real from Tottenham Hotspur for £85.3 million and went on to win three league titles and five Champions Leagues, among others.
His stay in Madrid will be most fondly remembered for his first El Clasico goal which saw him accelerate around the helpless Marc Bartra to score the winner in the Copa del Rey final, as well as for his match-winning double in the Champions League victory over Liverpool in the 2018 final.
Aurelien Tchouameni, 2022
£87.5m from Monaco
Zidane isn’t the only French midfielder to make this list, with Aurelien Tchouameni being snapped up in the summer of 2022.
At just 22, he had nearly reached 100 appearances for Monaco, and so had plenty of top-level football under his belt ahead of the major move to Madrid, with Tchouameni costing Los Blancos a reported £87.5m.
He continued to show that availability is the best ability by playing in an impressive 50 games during his debut season, having also starred for France at the World Cup last winter.
Jude Bellingham, 2023
£88.5m from Borussia Dortmund
Jude Bellingham is the lifeblood behind this list, and he is just a pure footballing enigma at the moment.
He signed for Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund for £88.5m – and that fee is sure to rise thanks to performance-related add-ons.
Scoring ten goals in his first ten games to kickstart his La Liga career, he has broken countless records and also turned in a man-of-the-match performance for his country as England beat Italy at Wembley to secure qualification for Euro 2024.
Eden Hazard, 2019
£89m from Chelsea
Bellingham is sure to remain at the very top of the game with the world at his feet, and it is a shame that the same couldn’t be said for Eden Hazard.
His move from Chelsea to Real Madrid for an initial £89m is the highest in the history of the Spanish giants, with BBC Sport claiming the total eventual fee could have reached £150m. However, for various reasons, Hazard was unable to deliver.
The Belgian winger was a joy to watch in the Premier League, but injuries came back to bite him in La Liga and he was simply unable to play on a regular basis, yet alone perform to the lofty heights expected of him.
Hazard recently hung up his boots and called it a day on his career at the age of 32.