DEAL OR NO DEAL

Remembering Real Madrid’s worst ever transfer window

Every player Real Madrid brought in flopped while Los Blancos let some diamonds go on the cheap

What do you buy the person who has everything?

That sentence sums up why Real Madrid have to move carefully in the transfer market, despite their envious wealth.

Take 2004 for example.

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Not a bad quad

Madrid could call upon true Galacticos in Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Raul, David Beckham, Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos.

But reinforcements were needed after a fourth place finish in La Liga the previous campaign.

What happened next was a disaster. Madrid finished the season trophyless, no thanks to a shocking transfer market.

Reuters
Becks has seen who Real Madrid have just signed

Me llamo Michael

Michael Owen’s Madrid move was already slightly peculiar given they had Ronaldo, Raul and Fernando Morientes.

Was Jose Antonio Camacho planning to play four up top?

At £8mil (plus Antonio Nunez) it was too good a bargain to pass up but Owen struggled, taking seven games to get off the mark.

Morientes’ departure to Liverpool in January gave the Englishman more of a chance but after one season and 13 league goals he was sold to Newcastle.

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Hands up if you want a move back to England?

Ronaldo, meet Woody

Were Jonathan Woodgate not always injured he’d arguably be one of the finest central-defenders England ever produced.

The fact that Madrid even signed Woody, for a fee of £13.4m, shows how highly rated he was around Europe.

Unfortunately, and rather predictably, Woodgate didn’t play a single minute in his first season at Madrid.

When his debut did eventually come around he scored and own goal before being sent off. Well worth the wait.

EPA
What could have been

Walter White

With Madrid’s defensive options consisting of an injured Woodgate, Ivan Helguera and Raul Bravo, another central-defender was required.

Step forward Walter Samuel, who left Roma for around £23m after four fantastic years in Italy.

Four yellow cards and a red in his first five Madrid games point to the struggles he had adapting to Spanish football.

Another 13 yellows and a red followed before Samuel was sold to Inter Milan, having survived just one season.

Reuters
Another booking for the collection

Winter reinforcements

Entering January 2005 Madrid were on their third manager, following the sackings of Camacho and Mariano Garcia Remon.

Brazilian Vanderlei Luxemburgo needed reinforcements, in particular a new defensive midfielder to shield his glittering array of attacking talent.

What Luxemburgo got was Thomas Gravesen, from Everton, who instantly went about bullying his new-team-mates in training.

Needless to say Gravesen only lasted a year at Madrid before being sold to Celtic.

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‘Where do you get your hair cut Ronny?’

Cheap departures

It wasn’t only the arrivals that Madrid got wrong during the 2004/05 season.

Esteban Cambiasso was allowed to join Inter Milan, where he’d proved to be one of Europe’s best holding midfielders for the next decade.

Cambiasso won a Champions League medal, five Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia trophies, four Italian Super Cups and a FIFA Club World Cup during his time in Italy.

What did Inter have to pay for his services? Absolutely nothing.

Reuters
A rare photo of Cambiasso with hair