Real Madrid‘s first ‘galacticos era’ is the stuff of legend.
Between 2000 and 2007, the years of Florentino Perez’s first reign as club president, Los Blancos splashed the cash to bring in some of the biggest names in world football.
Every single member of that quartet thrived in the famous white shirt and they regularly combined to devastating effect on the pitch.
One of the greatest examples of just that came in a match against Real Valladolid back in September 2003.
Zidane and Beckham were the two ‘galacticos’ who displayed an almost telepathic understanding to score a quite incredible goal.
Beckham picked up the ball on the right-hand side of the pitch and produced a perfect cross-field pass into the path of Zidane.
The French midfielder didn’t waste time controlling the ball and instead fired it past the Valladolid goalkeeper on the volley with his supposedly ‘weaker’ left peg.
It was from a pretty acute angle as well…
Video: Beckham & Zidane’s lethal combination
That really is footballing perfection.
It’s hard to think of many more aesthetically-pleasing goals than that, a masterpiece that only two of the most elegant players in history could have produced.
The game against Valladolid in September 2003 was certainly a successful one for Real Madrid overall, the team winning at the Santiago Bernabeu by a scoreline of 7-2.
Zidane, Figo and Ronaldo all found the back of the net for Los Blancos, as did club legend Raul Gonzalez, who scored a hat-trick in front of the fans that adore him to this very day.
But despite having all of those legendary figures in their team, Real Madrid actually ended up finishing fourth in the 2003/04 La Liga season.
Valencia were crowned champions, while Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna took the other two spots in the top three.
The first ‘galacticos era’ was certainly entertaining to watch, but it was nowhere near as successful as it should have been.