The Greatest Galacticos: Real Madrid's Top 3 Mega-Transfers Of All Time

Gabe LezraContributor IIIOctober 12, 2010

The Greatest Galacticos: Real Madrid's Top 3 Mega-Transfers Of All Time

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 6:  David Beckham of Real Madrid closely watched by the media during the Spanish Primera Liga match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Nou Camp Stadium on December 6, 2003 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/G
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Well, it's been a pretty slow couple of weeks for club football because of the international break, so here's a list of the top 3 biggest Real Madrid mega-transfers of all time.

    Methodology:

    It'll be important to remember later that I said mega-transfers and not "galácticos": I don't mean the top 3 best Real Madrid players ever, or even the top 3 best galácticos ever. "Best" implies best football players; I mean "biggest transfers"—or transfers that made the biggest splash. 

    When I say "splash" I mean that they set off a huge media and cultural furor; the simple arrival of the player in Madrid made everyone go into a frenzy, both journalistically and culturally. How these players went on to play has nothing to do with this list; I simply mean to analyze each transfer from a particularly cultural/mediatic point of view. 

    Please disagree in the comments!

3. Luís Figo

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    BARCELONA - NOVEMBER 23:  Luis Figo of Real Madrid prepares to take a corner with a police escort during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid played at the Nou Camp Stadium, Barcelona, Spain on November 23, 2002. (Photo by Firo Foto/Gett
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Portuguese star Luís Figo came to Real Madrid from Barça in 2000, and for his remaining years playing for los blancos, he had to be guarded when he set up to take his corner kicks in the Camp Nou. Barça fans hated Figo with such a flaming passion that they would hurl objects at him from the stands; on one particularly notable occasion, an enraged fan threw an entire pigs head at Figo's feet. 

    (Madrid and Barça would go on to draw that game, which had to be postponed for 30 minutes because the fans kept hurling objects onto the field. I remember vividly watching, shocked, in a Madrid café as everyone around me screamed profanity at the TV. What a day!)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 06: New Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo waves to fans during his presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on July 6, 2009 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Madrid shattered the transfer record when they bought CR7's rights for 80 million pounds in 2009, and even before he arrived in the Spanish capital, "Ronaldo 9" jerseys were flying off the shelves. The uproar was so huge for CR7 (then CR9), that around 80,000 fans came to the stadium to see the Portuguese phenom. 80,000! That's the highest ever for a player presentation, surpassing Diego Maradona's 75,000 when he was transferred from Barça to Napoli.

    And CR7 was presented to the fans only a few weeks after Kaká, who was only left off of this list because of our greatest Mega-Transfer!

1. David Beckham

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    Remember this hairdo? Yeah, so do I...
    Remember this hairdo? Yeah, so do I...Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

    What can I possibly say about Becks? I lived in Madrid at the time he was transfered, so I remember vividly how much passion the city had about this guy. It was incredible. I won't bore you with the numbers of the deal—they aren't astronomical like CR7 (because honestly, Becks is/was WAY worse). But I will say this: for a solid month before he arrived, and then two to three weeks after, every single headline on every single front page of almost every newspaper had to do with him—and not just sports rags like MARCA or AS—I'm talking big papers like El Mundo or El País. He was bigger than anything I've ever witnessed since, and I live in New York. Every minute of this man's life was documented by some press organization, and everyone ate it up

    Ladies and gents, your No. 1, all-time Real Madrid mega-transfer.

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