Ranking the 5 best free-agent signings in Real Madrid history

Real Madrid, David Alaba (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, David Alaba (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid hasn’t had the best of financial conditions in the past seasons. The same has also forced Real Madrid to limit its activity in the transfer market. However, the club seems to have taken a smart step towards making meaningful additions to the squad while maintaining its financial books. And, they’ve done so using free transfers.

David Alaba is the latest example, who in my opinion, is the best free transfer that football has seen since Robert Lewandowski’s free move to Bayern Munich.

For the upcoming window too, Real Madrid has their eyes on stars like Kylian Mbappe who would be a free agent then. Moreover, the links with players like Franck Kessie, Paul Pogba among others suggest that Real Madrid is all in for venturing into the free-agent market.

This made me think a little more about how Real’s past free agent signings have turned out. And, hence, here is a list of the five free agents that I think have been the best buys for Real Madrid in its limited history of signing free agents.

Bernd Schuster (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
Bernd Schuster (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images) /

5. Bernd Schuster

Arriving from the arch-rivals, FC Barcelona, Bernd Schuster’s move to Real Madrid was a controversial one as would any transfer between Real Madrid and Barcelona would be. Based on the difficult relationships he had with the coaching staff in Catalonia, he made his free move to the Capital in 1988. Although he stayed for just two seasons, he managed to win four titles with Los Blancos.

His style of play complemented the crop of homegrown Madrid players, dubbed the Vulture’s Cohort (Quinta del Buitre) in popular culture. Creating play from midfield, Schuster had taken over the creative duties although he didn’t shy away from popping up in shooting positions. He had thirteen goals from his 61 official appearances for Real Madrid.

In the very first season, he made his way to three titles, a league triumph, the Copa del Rey, and the Spanish Supercup. The domestic treble, if you will. Then in his final season with Real Madrid, he played a crucial part in another league crown. He also returned to the club as the manager in 2007 and under his management, Real won their 31st league crown in 2008 and the Supercup in the same season.