Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema: Real Madrid's blockbuster signings of 2009 - where are they now?

  • Tom Ward
Real Madrid's blockbuster signings of 2009 - where are they now?

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez loves spending lots of money on some of the biggest names in world football

The Spaniard is currently in his second spell in charge of the La Liga giants during which time he has brought some of the best players in the world to the Bernabeu.

Perez, 73, is widely credited as the godfather of the ‘Galacticos’ – a tradition he has continued to this day. 

In his first spell, from 2000 to 2006, he shocked the world by signing Luis Figo from Barcelona for a world transfer record at the time, before breaking that same record again a year later when he signed Zinedine Zidane from Juventus for £47million.  

And while Madrid have recently been linked to the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, the transfer window of 2009 will arguably take some beating even by Perez’s standards.

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Perez incredibly broke the world transfer record twice in the same year after signing Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo from AC Milan and Manchester United for £56million and £80million respectively in the summer of 2009.

Together with Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema, under Jose Mourinho they formed one of the greatest sides the world has ever seen two years later. 

Mourinho’s side won 32 of their 38 games as they finished a staggering nine points above bitter rivals Barca to capture the title for the 32nd time in the club’s history.

But what happened to that famous class of ’09? Read the list below to find out for yourself…

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Esteban Granero

Esteban Granero – £3m

‘El Pirata’ never quite did enough to impress the fans at the Bernabeu, although he still managed to win two major trophies, albeit being used sparingly by both Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini.

Following several stints at various clubs including Real Sociedad and Queens Park Rangers, he retired earlier this year at the age of 33. 

Alvaro Arbeloa – £4m

Arbeloa returned to the Bernabeu three years after moving to Liverpool to play in the Premier League. He made over 150 appearances for Madrid before losing his position to new right-back Dani Carvajal.

The Spaniard retired aged 34 in 2017 after a playing career which spanned 15 years in total. 

Alvaro Negredo tussles with Toni Kroos

Alvaro Negredo – £4m

Negredo’s Madrid career was pretty much over before it had even started after Pellegrini told him he couldn’t guarantee him first-team football after the arrivals of Benzema and Ronaldo that same year.

The 36-year-old is now back in Spain’s first tier with Cadiz CF. 

Ezequiel Garay – £8m

Racing Santander may have agreed an £8million deal with Los Blancos in 2008, but he didn’t actually ‘officially’ join the club until a full year later, having spent the previous season on loan with the Highlanders.

Like Granero, Garay’s time in the Spanish capital was one to forget, as the centre-back only made 31 appearances before being shipped out the door. He also announced his retirement earlier this year because of a long-term injury.   

Xabi Alonso celebrates with Raul Albiol

Raul Albiol – £12m

Another one of Perez’s success stories, Albiol racked up over 80 appearances during a four-year spell in the Spanish capital.  

He currently plays for Villarreal after a four-year spell in the Serie A with Napoli. 

Xabi Alonso – £29m

Originally from Real Sociedad, Alonso joined Madrid by way of Liverpool in 2009 for £29 million. 

The 40-year-old finished his career with Bayern Munich and is now back at the White and Blues as second-team manager. 

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When did Cristiano Ronaldo make his debut for Manchester United?

Karim Benzema – £29m

Another favourite within the Madrid faithful, the Frenchman was signed for Madrid from Lyon also for £29 million.

Currently the last man standing, Benzema has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon, having won the Golden Boot last season.  

Kaka – £56m

Kaka joined in the summer window of 2009, despite interest from Chelsea. He would go on to score 23 goals in 85 appearances in all competitions across four seasons.

The Brazilian – who won the World Cup with the Brazil national team in 2002 – retired in 2017 after a year at boyhood club Sao Paulo.  

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Cristiano Ronaldo – £80m

The Portuguese arrived at Madrid in 2009 with both a big price tag and boots to fill but certainly lived up to expectations as he would go on to score 311 goals in 292 appearances across all competitions. 

The 36-year-old currently plays for Manchester United in the Premier League. 

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