Real Madrid’s 10 worst transfers of the last decade including James Rodriguez and Danilo

Real Madrid have had a strange last 10 years.

If you measure success by European titles, they have enjoyed a wonderful time by winning four Champions League titles in the last six seasons – more than any other club has won this century.

Yet domestically they have won just two league titles, finishing third three times in six years. They have also claimed just two Copa del Rey titles since 1993.

They remain one of world football’s biggest names, arguably its biggest. But they sure do make a mess in the transfer market from time to time.

Mirror Football takes a look at 10 of the worst transfers Madrid have conducted over the past decade.

Fabio Coentrao



Coentrao never pushed Marcelo for a starting role

An established starter for Benfica and Portugal, Coentrao joined Madrid in 2011 in a £27million deal which saw Ezequiel Garay move the other way.

He was primarily signed to provide competition for Marcelo but never came close to matching the Brazilian’s standards.

As it transpired, he was often deployed at right-back or in midfield under Jose Mourinho but was clearly not comfortable in either position.

The Portuguese made 89 appearances for Madrid and was sent on loan to Monaco and Sporting CP. He did not appear at all for Los Blancos in his final three seasons on the books.

Nuri Sahin



Nuri Sahin of Real Madrid
Sahin made just four La Liga appearances for Los Blancos

The Turkish international moved to the Spanish capital from Borussia Dortmund in the same window as Coentrao, joining in a £9million deal.

However, he was beset by injuries and made just 10 appearances for the club despite being on their books for three years.

Sahin, who had a short loan spell at Liverpool before rejoining Dortmund, is now at Werder Bremen.

Asier Illarramendi



Illarramendi became Real’s most expensive Spanish signing in 2013

After helping his boyhood club Real Sociedad reach the Champions League in 2013, Madrid sanctioned a £28.8million transfer for Illarramendi – their record deal for a Spaniard.

Despite being a player of obvious talent, he made 90 appearances for los Blancos but was an unused substitute for the 2014 Champions League final.

The midfielder returned to the Basque club just two years later for half the original fee.

Lucas Silva



Lucas Silva and Real Madrid President Florentino Perez
Silva returned to his native Brazil in 2017

The Brazilian joined Madrid in a deal reported by Marca to be £10.5million in January 2015, with his debut seeing him replace the aforementioned Illarramendi.

He only made a further eight appearances for the club and joined Cruzeiro on a free transfer in 2019 after a successful loan spell, having spent the 2015/16 campaign at Marseille.

The 27-year-old now plays for Gremio.

James Rodriguez



Rodriguez joined from Monaco for an eye-watering £63million

The playmaker joined Madrid after his starring role at the 2014 World Cup, and while he enjoyed some good moments at the club, he never fully justified his £63million price tag.

After Carlo Ancelotti’s departure at the end of the Colombian’s first season, James failed to win the same level of trust from either Rafael Benitez or Zinedine Zidane.

He then spent two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich and, despite returning to Madrid last summer, has been a peripheral figure this campaign.

James looks set to exit this summer for a fraction of the price he was signed for six years ago.

Danilo



Danilo was very much a back-up option to Carvajal

The Brazilian defender joined Madrid from Porto in 2015 for an initial fee of £23million. He never fully lived up to expectations, though, and Dani Carvajal was often preferred at right-back.

Danilo made 41 appearances across two seasons and joined Manchester City in 2017 for a similar fee – winning five major honours at the Etihad – before moving to Juventus last year.

Theo Hernandez



Theo raised eyebrows by joining Real from local rivals Atletico

The left-back became the first player to move between Real Madrid and city rivals Atletico since Santiago Solari in 2000, breaking an unwritten pact between the clubs.

His £21.6million release clause was triggered after a season starring on loan at Alaves but he played second fiddle to Marcelo throughout the 2017/18 season.

Theo was loaned to Real Sociedad the following year and joined Milan permanently last summer.

Brahim Diaz



Diaz has struggled for game time since joining from City

Brahim joined los Blancos from Manchester City in January 2019 but has only featured for 23 minutes across three substitute appearances in La Liga this campaign.

Like James, the playmaker is well down the pecking order of attacking options – Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, Vinicius Junior, Gareth Bale, Marcos Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Rodrygo Goes are among those who Zidane prefers.

Diaz has repeatedly turned down approaches from Getafe and Rayo Vallecano but risks missing out on regular game time during a crucial period in his development.

Mariano Diaz



Diaz has not replicated his Ligue 1 form in La Liga

Dominican striker Mariano has made just three La Liga starts from a possible 64 since returning to Madrid from Lyon in the summer of 2018 in a deal worth up to £30million.

He starred in his sole season in Ligue 1 – netting 21 goals for Lyon – before returning to the Spanish capital, but Mariano has failed to convince any of Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari or Zinedine Zidane that he should be a regular.

He scored Madrid’s second after coming on as a substitute in the recent El Clasico win over Barcelona, but nevertheless looks set to depart this summer.

Luka Jovic



It has been a debut campaign to forget for Jovic

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Madrid spent £50million on the Serbian striker after his standout season with Eintracht Frankfurt, for whom he netted 27 goals last campaign, including 10 in the Europa League.

But like Mariano, Jovic has failed to threaten Karim Benzema’s spot in the team, starting just four games to date and scoring only twice.

The 22-year-old’s nightmare debut campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu was capped by him breaking his foot while training at home in May.

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