Thibaut Courtois joined a long list of players that have swapped the Premier League for Real Madrid when he completed a £35 million move from Chelsea to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
The Premier League may be considered the strongest league in the world but the lure of playing for the most successful club in Europe is just too tough to turn down for many players.
And Courtois is actually the 23rd player to swap England’s top-flight for a chance to play for Los Blancos.
But what happened to the other 22?
Well, we all know how Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham fared. But what about the lower-profile signings?
We take a look at every Premier League player that has signed for Madrid and decide whether they were a success or a failure:
Steve McManaman | Liverpool | free transfer | 1999 - SUCCESS
The first Premier League player to make the move to Real Madrid. McManaman lasted four seasons at Madrid, winning two La Ligas and two Champions Leagues - scoring a goal in the triumph in the 1999/00 season.
Nicolas Anelka | Arsenal | £23m | 1999 - FAIL
Anelka perhaps moved to Madrid too early in his career and lasted just one season at the club. During the 1999/2000 campaign, he scored just seven times in 31 appearances - although did help them win the Champions League.
David Beckham | Manchester United | £23m | 2003 - SUCCESS
Beckham may not have been able to replicate his performances for Man Utd in Madrid but he can be considered a success. Beckham made 155 appearances in four seasons but he only managed to lift one La Liga trophy and one Spanish Super Cup trophy during his spell.
Jonathan Woodgate | Newcastle | £13m | 2004 - FAIL
Woodgate had to wait almost a whole year after arriving at Madrid to make his debut. When he did, he scored an own goal and was sent off. He only played 14 times before returning back to England.
Michael Owen | Liverpool | £8m | 2004 - FAIL
Moving to Real Madrid is supposed to take your career to the next level. But it appeared to stunt Owen’s. He was considered one of the best strikers in world football at Liverpool but struggled for regular first-team football at Madrid. Owen scored 16 goals in 45 matches for Madrid during his one and only season at the Bernabeu before signing for Newcastle.
Thomas Gravesen | Everton | £3m | 2005 - FAIL
Well, this was a strange one. Madrid wanted a defensive midfielder - a position he didn’t play at Everton. But the Dane lasted two seasons at the club, playing 49 times.
Jose Antonio Reyes | Arsenal | Loan | 2006 - SUCCESS
Real Madrid making a loan signing seems bizarre - but it worked on this occasion. Reyes' spell had been fairly uneventful until the final day of the season when Madrid needed to beat Real Mallorca to win the title. Reyes came on for Beckham and scored twice to help the club win their first La Liga for four years.
Ruud van Nistelrooy | Manchester United | £14m | 2006 - SUCCESS
He might have struggled with injury towards the end of his Madrid career but 64 goals in 96 appearances, including two La Ligas, represents a pretty good return from £14m.
Jerzy Dudek | Liverpool | free | 2007 - FAIL
Dudek had been Liverpool’s hero in the Champions League two years previously but the Pole had to play second-fiddle to Iker Casillas.
He played just 12 times in four seasons.
Gabriel Heinze | Manchester United | £8m | 2007 - FAIL
The Argentine was a regular during his two seasons in Madrid, playing 58 times. But it was in a fairly poor era for the club - although Heinze did help them win La Liga during the 2007/08 campaign.
Arjen Robben | Chelsea | £25m | 2007 - SUCCESS
Still going strong at 34, Chelsea may feel they allowed Robben to leave a bit early. The Dutchman only lasted two seasons at Madrid but was a regular, playing 65 times scoring 13 goals.
Julien Faubert | West Ham | Loan | 2009 - FAIL
Real Madrid loaning a player from West Ham. It was never going to go well. 54 minutes of football later, Faubert headed back to London.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Manchester United | £80m | 2009 - SUCCESS
This one went slightly better. 450 goals in 438 matches. Two La Ligas, two Copa del Reys, two Spanish Super Cups, four Champions Leagues, two Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups. Probably the greatest player to have ever played for the club.
Alvaro Arbeloa | Liverpool | £5m | 2009 - SUCCESS
Just £5m for a player that played for seven seasons at the Bernabeu, making 233 appearances. A very shrewd signing indeed.
Lassana Diarra | Portsmouth | £19m | 2009 - SUCCESS
Madrid signing a player from Portsmouth for £19m. Madness. The Frenchman did last three-and-a-half seasons at the Bernabeu, making 117 appearances. The fact that he now finds himself at Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 33 shows he always had quality.
Xabi Alonso | Liverpool | £30m | 2009 - SUCCESS
Five seasons, 236 appearances, one La Liga, two Copa del Reys and a Champions League. Alonso is a bit of a Madrid legend. His incredible passing range wowed fans.
Ricardo Carvalho | Chelsea | £7m | 2010 - SUCCESS
The peak of his career was at Chelsea but that didn’t stop Carvalho spending three seasons at Madrid, playing 77 times. Most of those appearances came in his first campaign, where he helped the club win the Copa del Rey.
Emmanuel Adebayor | Manchester City | Loan | 2011 - FAIL
A strange one from Jose Mourinho. Eight goals in 22 appearances and a Copa del Rey trophy summed up Adebayor’s six-month spell at Real.
Michael Essien | Chelsea | Loan | 2012 - FAIL
Another fairly odd loan signing from Mourinho. Essien played during the 2012/13 season, playing 35 times. Madrid failed to land a trophy that season.
Luka Modric | Tottenham | £30m | 2012 - SUCCESS
Still going strong six years later. Modric has helped Madrid win countless trophies and he seems to be getting better with age. Still one of the best midfielders in world football at the age of 32.
Gareth Bale | Tottenham | £86m | 2013 - SUCCESS
Cursed with injuries but the Welshman has still scored 89 goals for the club, inspiring them to a Champions League triumph against Liverpool last season - his fourth at the club.
Javier Hernandez | Manchester United | Loan | 2014 - FAIL
It’s easy to forget that the Mexican represented Madrid during the 2014/15 season. But his season-loan ended with nine goals in 33 appearances, only lifting the FIFA Club World Cup.
Thibaut Courtois | Chelsea | £35m | 2018
Despite starting his career at Atletico Madrid, it's clear Courtois is delighted to be a Madrid player - kissing the badge twice at his unveiling. Looks set to compete with Keylor Navas for the starting spot but, at the age of 26, £35m represents good value for money for the goalkeeper.News Now - Sport News