Real Madrid have had a fair share of Englishmen play for the club over the years and many have been successful.
Since Laurie Cunningham became the first in 1979, five English players in total have represented the most successful club in Europe and some have fared better than others.
Jude Bellingham could be the next to join the list, with Real Madrid keen on signing Borussia Dortmund’s English star having seen his rise in recent times as well as his World Cup heroics in Qatar.
They are believed to be confident of landing the 19-year-old midfielder, while a host of Premier League clubs are keen on him.
Having watched Cunningham in a UEFA Cup tie between West Bromwich Albion against Valencia, Real Madrid were convinced to spend £950,000 to sign the left winger.
He did well in his time there, scoring twice on his debut before winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey, as well as earning a standing ovation from the Camp Nou after a starring display in 1980.
After a series of injuries hampered his spell there, Cunningham left the club in 1984.
McManaman was the next to join in 1999 after a great career at Liverpool and in his four years in the Spanish capital, he became a revered figure.
He won the Champions League twice – once in 2000 and the next in 2002 – and he even scored in the 2000 final against Valencia, earning him heroic status in Madrid.
In four years, McManaman had a spell of many great moments and any player that spurs Real Madrid to European glory is fondly remembered.
He played 158 times over those four seasons, scoring 14 times, before heading back to the Premier League with Man City.
McManaman left in 2003 and his place was taken by another Englishman in the form of David Beckham, who joined on the back of a difficult ending at Manchester United.
Beckham was already a world-renowned superstar when he signed and was part of Florentino Perez’s Galacticos project of bringing the world’s biggest stars at one club.
In terms of trophies, Beckham’s four-year stay wasn’t too successful as he only won one league title and one Spanish Super Cup, but his fans adored his passing range and desire for the club.
His time there ended with the league title, before a move to Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer of 2007.
In his final months at the club when it was clear he would not be extending his deal and Beckham announced his move to Major League Soccer, President Ramon Calderon was not pleased:
“He’s going to Hollywood to be half a film star,” Calderon said. “We were right not to extend his contract, which has been proved by the fact that no other technical staff in the world wanted him except Los Angeles.”
Beckham shared the locker room with another Englishman in the form of Owen, of whom plenty was expected, but in his sole campaign, he didn’t make much of an impression, despite scoring 16 times.
Despite the short stay, Owen was often complimentary of his time there: “I loved [Real Madrid]. It was a real experience, playing with a great team,” he said.
“One of the first questions I’m often asked is ‘What was Madrid like?’ It’s got that mystique about it. It’s a magical place and a magical team, and everything about it is great.”
Perhaps the most notorious Englishman to play in Madrid is Woodgate, who’s Real Madrid career started with a sending off, and whatever happened in between over the three years was barely memorable.
He rarely did much of note, and Madrid-based Marca named him the club’s worst signing of the 21st century.
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Bellingham has plenty to look up to ahead of a possible move to Real Madrid and should he move there, the midfielder be hoping that his career in Spain is more McManaman than Woodgate.
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