How Real Madrid spent £1billion since 2002 in search of ‘La Decima’

La Decima is a big number at Real Madrid. Larger still is the amount of money the club have spent pursuing it.

Since Zinedine Zidane won Real’s ninth European Cup in 2002, the cash sprayed across the continent chasing No 10 has totalled an astonishing £999million.

That, of course, includes two players bought for £80m or more in Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale and three times breaking the world record transfer fee (twice in one summer). 

Target: Real Madrid have spent £999m since last winning the Champions League in 2002

Stunner: Zinedine Zidane scores an amazing goal in front of Michael Ballack of Bayer Leverkusen in 2002

Winning the big one: Zidane celebrates with the Champions League trophy in Glasgow 12 years ago

Number of players signed: 62
Most expensive player: Gareth Bale £86m
Players signed from Premier League clubs: 20

Most spent in one season: £226.51m in 2009/10

It also includes Thomas Gravesen, signed from Everton for £2.5m, and Lassana Diarra, signed from Portsmouth for a quite remarkable £20m. 

Cheques were written for the best and the rest at an average of £83.5m per year.

In for £13.4m came Jonathan Woodgate, who scored an own goal and received a red card on his debut; in for £22.8m came Mahamadou Diarra, last seen getting relegated with Fulham; in for £11.5m came Royston Drenthe, who scored twice in 24 appearances for Reading this season.

Big money: Madrid spent £80m on their star man Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009

Brilliant orange: Real topped the Ronaldo transfer with the £86m signing of Gareth Bale in the summer

Flashing the cash: Madrid spent big in 2009, signing Kaka (left) for £56m and Karim Benzema for £25m

Yet there was also Kaka at £56m, once world footballer of the year; there was Karim Benzema at £25m, one of the most sought-after young strikers in Europe; and, at £39.6m, there was Brazilian Ronaldo, the first player bought after Real’ s last European triumph.

The most outlandish splurge came in 2009/10 when more than £220m was spent as Ronaldo joined from Manchester United, Kaka from AC Milan, and Benzema from Lyon.  

Despite all this the furthest the club had progressed in the Champions League in 11 seasons prior to this season was the semi-finals. For six straight years they failed to get beyond the last-16.

That is an astonishing feat when you count the number of European Cup winners’ medals amassed by players either before or after their stay at the Bernabeu.

Icon: David Beckham moved from Manchester United to Madrid for a fee of £25.5m

David Beckham won with United before he joined in 2003. Xabi Alonso did it with Liverpool in 2005 before moving to Madrid four years later.

Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben were both shifted on in the summer of 2009 after the arrivals of Ronaldo and Kaka as Real searched for that elusive breakthrough. They could have looked closer to home. Sneijder went on to lift the Champions League that season with Inter, while Robben scored the winning goal in the final for Bayern Munich last May.

In total Madrid have had nine Champions League winners on their playing staff in the last 12 barren years, almost a full starting XI – including wobbly-legs himself Jerzy Dudek. 

Fabio Cannavaro had won the World Cup with Italy the summer before he signed but was unable to bring the biggest piece of club silverware to Real. 

Were they to beat city rivals Atletico and claim their 10th European Cup, the exorbitant cost would still be questioned – but it would then become an afterthought as celebrations began.

Team-mates: Michael Owen (right) joined Beckham in Madrid from Liverpool in 2004

Season by season guide to Real’s spending since 2002

Gareth Bale (Tottenham) £85.3m, Asier Illarramendi (Sociedad) £34m, Isco (Malaga) £23m, Daniel Carvajal (Leverkusen) £5m, Casemiro (Sao Paulo) £4.8m = £152.1m

Luka Modric (Tottenham) £33m, Diego Lopez (Sevilla) £3m = £36m

Fabio Coentrao (Benfica) £26.4m, Nuri Sahin (Dortmund) £8m, Jose Callejon (Espanyol) £5.5m, Raphael Varane (Lens) £11.5m = £51.4m

Angel Di Maria (Benfica) £29m, Mesut Ozil (W Bremen) £16.4m, Sami Khedira (Stuttgart) £15.5m, Pedro Leon (Getafe) £8.1m, Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea) £6.7m, Sergio Canales (Racing) £4m = £79.7m

Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd) £80m, Kaka (Milan) £56m, Xabi Alonso (Liverpool) £30m, Karim Benzema (Lyon) £28m, Raul Albiol (Valencia) £15m, Alvaro Negredo (Almeria) £5m, Estaban Granero (Getafe) £4.5m, Alvaro Arbeloa (Liverpool) £4.5m = £223m

Dutch of class: Rafael Van Der Vaart cost Real 11.4m in 2008

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Ajax) £23.8m, Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth) £20m, Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg) £13.4m, Ezequiel Garay (Racing Santander) £10m, Ruben De La Red (Getafe) £3.8m, Javi Garcia (Osasuna) £3.2m = £74.2m 

Arjen Robben (Chelsea) £31m, Wesley Sneijder (Ajax) £25.7m, Pepe (Porto) £24m, Royston Drenthe (Feyenoord) £11.5m, Gabriel Heinze (Man Utd) £8m, Christoph Metzelder (Borussia Dortmund) Free, Javier Saviola (Barcelona) Free, Jerzy Dudek (Liverpool) Free = £100.2m

Mahamadou Diarra (Lyon) £22.8m, Gonzalo Higuain (River Plate) £18m, Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors) £15m, Ruud van Nistelrooy (Man Utd) £11m, Marcelo (Fluminese) £7.8m, Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus) £6.9m, Emerson (Juventus) £6.9m = £88.4m 

In the goals: Ruud Van Nistelrooy swapped Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2006

Sergio Ramos (Sevilla) £23.7m, Robinho (Santos) £21m, Julio Baptista (Sevilla) £17.9m, Cicinho (Sao Paolo) £6m, Carlos Diogo (River Plate) £5m, Antonio Cassano (Roma) £4.2m, Pablo Garcia (Osasuna) £2.5m = £80.3 

Walter Samuel (Roma) £20.2m, Jonathan Woodgate (Newcastle) £13.4m, Michael Owen (Liverpool) £8m, Thomas Gravesen (Everton) £2.5m = £44.1m

David Beckham (Man Utd) £30m = £30m 
Ronaldo (Inter) £39.6m = £39.6m

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