Eden Hazard and Kaka feature in Real Madrid's XI of flops

  • Kobe Tong

Real Madrid love to sign themselves a ‘Galactico’.

From Zinedine Zidane to David Beckham and Luis Figo to Ronaldo Nazario, FIFA’s ‘Club of the Century’ aren’t afraid to open their chequebook whenever a world-class player is on the market.

However, even the biggest institution in world football isn’t immune to dropping transfer clangers and their record in the market has been patchier than ever since Cristiano Ronaldo‘s departure.

Real Madrid’s legendary spending

And with Eden Hazard’s heartbreaking injury problems highlighting the latest error in Real‘s spending, we wanted to look back on other occasions where the Spanish giants got it wrong.

Now, we’re sure some ‘Real Madrid flops’ are already coming to mind, but we’ve decided to take a unique look at the situation by aligning the struggling players into their own starting XI.

It’s worth adding that the reasons for said Real Madrid players failing to deliver the good at Europe’s most successful ever club are not always their own fault and often worthy of great sympathy.


XI of Real Madrid flops

But without further ado, be sure to check out the starting XI of players who failed to make the grade after upping sticks for Real Madrid down below:

GK: Kiko Casilla

Truth be told, there’s not too much to write home about when it comes to goalkeeping flops, so poor Casilla practically makes the squad by default after failing to really challenge Keylor Navas despite making 43 appearances.


RB: Danilo

If any statistic sums up how woefully misjudged Real’s £31million move for Daniel really was, it’s the fact that he started in every game that the Spanish giants lost during his debut season. Seriously.

CB: Jonathan Woodgate

Yeh, let’s just say that things didn’t get much better for Woodgate after a debut that has gone down in footballing folklore, scoring an own goal and receiving a red card on the back of months out with injuries.


CB: Walter Samuel

Samuel might have been ‘The Wall’ at AS Roma, but he was ‘The Fence’ at the Bernabeu and that’s being generous with the Argentine only lasting a single season after bemusing Fabio Capello with his unexpected decline.

LB: Theo Hernandez

Dumped in Marca’s ‘flop XI of the 21st century’ for Real Madrid, it speaks volumes that Hernandez has since explained that breaking up with the Spanish giants was the best move for both parties.


RM: Pedro Leon

Yeh… of all Jose Mourinho’s spats with his players, we’re not sure any of them were as brutal as his clash with Leon, leaving the Spaniard feeling ‘humiliated’ and confused at being constantly dropped.

Sid Lowe even reported: “One day, Mourinho told León that even if the team plane crashed without him on it and he was the only man available, he still would not play the following week.”

CM: Kaka

One of the biggest disappointments in Real Madrid history, Kaka faded from a Ballon d’Or winner to a shadow of his former self after knee surgery in 2010, failing to justify his £56 million price tag with just 29 goals.


CM: Nuri Sahin

An absolute mess of a transfer that reaped just four La Liga appearances, Real really dropped the ball moving for Sahin, watching as he struggled out on loan with Liverpool before finally cutting ties in 2014.

LM: Eden Hazard

It has been heartbreaking to see Hazard’s career fall to pieces at Real with no less than 11 injuries even leading a high-profile sports doctor to suggest that a further round of ankle surgery could mean he never plays again.


ST: Antonio Cassano

A dismal return of four goals in 29 appearances was just the tip of the iceberg amidst a disastrous spell that Cassano has openly admitted saw his diet nosedive, piling on 14 kilograms in just seven months.

ST: Nicolas Anelka

Yes, we could have gone for Luka Jovic, but we’re inclined to think Anelka’s lone season at the Bernabeu, albeit one that reaped a Champions League title, is underrated when it comes to flops.

Real president Lorenzo Sanz claimed: “Something does not turn around properly in his head,” after the French striker was suspended for 45 days for refusing to train, claiming that Real were treating him ‘like a dog’.


So, yeah, it’s fair to say that not every transfer that Real secures turns out to be a Ronaldo or Sergio Ramos.

And from potentially career-threatening injuries to eating Nutella out of a jar for months on end, it goes to show that moving to the biggest club in the world isn’t always the dream it appears to be.

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