Jose Mourinho signed 13 players for Real Madrid - what happened to them?

  • Rob Swan

Jose Mourinho isn’t remembered particularly fondly by many people at Real Madrid.

The revered Portuguese coach’s three-year tenure at the Bernabeu ended on a sour note in 2013 and very few of the players, club officials or supporters were sad to see him depart.

However, Mourinho still delivered three trophies to Madrid between 2010-2013: the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Super Cup and, most importantly, the La Liga title.

Mourinho managed to win the Spanish league title despite the fact their nearest challengers were Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, the side many football fans regard as the best team they’ve ever seen.

Real Madrid picked up a remarkable 100 points that season, scoring 121 goals in the process, and prevented Barça from winning their fourth successive league title.

For that reason alone, Mourinho will always occupy a place in the hearts of Madridistas. His time at the Bernabeu was far from a disaster.

But what happened to the 13 players Mourinho signed during his spell at the Bernabeu? Let’s take a closer look.

Angel Di Maria

As a close observer of Portuguese football, Mourinho knew precisely what Angel Di Maria was all about when he convinced Madrid to sign the Argentine winger from Benfica in the summer of 2010.

Di Maria would spend four seasons at the Bernabeu before leaving the club for Manchester United in 2014 following the big-money signing of James Rodriguez.

The 30-year-old, who was named Man of the Match by UEFA after his performance against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final, has spent the past three years with Paris Saint-Germain following a disappointing spell at Old Trafford.

Mesut Ozil

After watching him light up the 2010 World Cup finals, Mourinho decided to bring German playmaker Mesut Ozil to Madrid.

He would prove to be another excellent addition to the Madrid squad and it came as a big surprise when he left the Spanish giants in the summer of 2013.

Ozil opted to join Arsenal after Madrid broke the world record transfer fee on Gareth Bale and is still playing for the Gunners now.

Sami Khedira

Madrid were blessed with an array of attacking talent in 2010 but Mourinho knew the club were in need of a midfield enforcer to protect the back four.

Sami Khedira, who also shone at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, was signed from VfB Stuttgart and spent the next five seasons with the European heavyweights.

He left Madrid for Juventus in 2015 and still plays for the Italian outfit today.

Ricardo Carvalho

Mourinho had worked with Ricardo Carvalho at Chelsea, so knew exactly what type of player and character he was signing in 2010.

The Portuguese defender played 77 times for Los Blancos before leaving the Bernabeu in the same summer as Mourinho.

Now 40, Carvalho’s playing days are over. He ended his career with Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG in 2017.

Sergio Canales

A wonderkid at Real Betis, the signing of Sergio Canales had already been agreed before Mourinho’s arrival.

However, as Mourinho could have vetoed the signing on his arrival, we thought it was worth including the former Spain Under-21 international on this list.

Canales sadly failed to live up to the hype and left Madrid for Valencia in 2012. After two years at the Mestalla, the attacking midfielder spent four seasons with Real Sociedad.

The 27-year-old is now back at Betis.

Pedro Leon

After shining for Getafe during the 2009-10 campaign, Madrid signed Pedro Leon for €10 million shortly after Mourinho’s arrival.

However, the winger barely played for Los Blancos and soon found himself back with Getafe.

Leon scored two goals in 14 appearances for the Spanish giants.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Unquestionably the strangest signing that Mourinho made as Madrid boss, Emmanuel Adebayor arrived at the Bernabeu from Tottenham in January 2011 on a loan deal.

The inconsistent Togolese striker, in fairness to him, worked hard to succeed at Madrid and scored eight goals in 22 games.

Adebayor then returned to Spurs before joining Crystal Palace in 2015. The 34-year-old has spent the past two seasons with Istanbul Basaksehir in the Turkish top flight.

Jose Callejon

Another player who struggled for game-time at the Bernabeu, Jose Callejon returned to boyhood club Real Madrid in 2011 after catching the eye at Espanyol.

The one-time Spain international scored 20 goals in 77 appearances at the Bernabeu before being offloaded to Napoli in 2013.

Callejon has been a key player for Napoli, netting 74 goals in 257 games.

Nuri Sahin

Turkey international Nuri Sahin established his status as one of Europe’s most promising midfielders at Borussia Dortmund and subsequently sealed a move to Real Madrid in 2011.

However, injuries limited him to just 10 appearances during his debut campaign. He was then loaned to Liverpool in August 2012 but failed to make an impact in England.

Sahin returned to Dortmund in 2014 and the 29-year-old is still plying his trade at the Westfalenstadion today.

Raphael Varane

Despite interest from Manchester United, Raphael Varane agreed to join Mourinho at Real Madrid in 2011.

The France international, who won the World Cup this summer, is now widely regarded as one of the world’s best centre-backs.

The 25-year-old is still a Madrid player and should be for many years to come.

Fabio Coentrao

Like Di Maria, Fabio Coentrao caught Mourinho’s eye thanks to his superb performances for Benfica.

The energetic defender was reasonably impressive for Madrid but wasn’t able to become the club’s first-choice left-back over Marcelo.

Despite loan spells with Monaco and Sporting Lisbon, 30-year-old Coentrao is still a Real Madrid player.

Luka Modric

Mourinho’s best signing for Madrid, without question, Luka Modric deserves to be recognised as one of the club’s greatest ever midfielder thanks to his achievements over the past six years.

The Croatia international was voted the worst signing in La Liga just months into his spell at the Bernabeu but has since made his doubters look very silly indeed.

Modric has played a pivotal role in Madrid’s success in recent seasons, including those four Champions League wins.

Diego Lopez

Midway through his final season, Madrid re-signed goalkeeper Diego Lopez from Sevilla.

Mourinho made the hugely unpopular decision to drop club legend Iker Casillas in favour of the one-time Spain international and that was the beginning of the end for the Portuguese coach at the Bernabeu.

Lopez went on to spend three seasons with AC Milan and currently plays for Espanyol.

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