Real Madrid's best January signings - ranked

Casemiro and Marcelo are both January signings... technically
Casemiro and Marcelo are both January signings... technically / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Real Madrid don't usually rely on the January transfer window. When you think of the Galacticos they've signed in the past, you think of the grandeur of the summer reveals for the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Ronaldo Nazario and Gareth Bale among others.

However, from time to time, the Spanish giants do dip their toes into the winter window to bring in the quality they need - and, from time to time, it has worked a treat.

While it's always a gamble, Los Blancos can recall some excellent bits of business in Januaries gone by. Below, 90min ranks some of their best January signings.

5. Fernando Gago

Fernando Gago
Fernando Gago was a solid presence for Real Madrid / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

An underappreciated midfielder, Fernando Gago was often the reliable glue that allowed stars like Ronaldo and Kaka to shine so brightly.

The Argentinian arrived from Boca Juniors in the winter of 2007, staying in the Spanish capital for four and a half years before going out on loan to Roma and subsequently moving to Valencia.

During his time with Madrid, he never starred as such but always played an important role in the side's success, leaving after earning two La Liga winner's medals and a Copa del Rey title.

4. Lassana Diarra

Lionel Messi, Lass Diarra
Lassana Diarra trying to keep tabs on Lionel Messi / David Ramos/GettyImages

Lassana Diarra enjoyed a similarly solid Real Madrid career to Gago, joining in January 2009 from Portsmouth.

Having won the FA Cup with Pompey the season prior, the Frenchman would go on to enjoy further success as he played a clandestine role in Real's system.

A first-team regular in his first two-and-a-half years at the Santiago Bernabeu, Diarra would later fall down the pecking order and move to Russia after winning the 2011/12 La Liga title with Los Blancos.

3. Casemiro

Casemiro enjoyed incredible success with Real Madrid / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Okay, this one is cheating slightly, so it only manages third.

Casemiro was loaned in from Sao Paulo by Real Madrid halfway through the 2013/14 campaign and assigned to the club's B team. It won't come as a surprise, however, that the Brazilian soon went on to feature for the first team and, at the end of the season, his deal was made permanent.

Casemiro, after a loan spell with Porto in his first full season with Real, would go on to become one the greatest midfielders in the club's history.

He was a sensational midfield anchor at the heart of one of Los Blancos' most decorated eras, earning three La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey crown and no fewer than four Champions League winner's medals among other honours before joining Manchester United in the summer of 2022.

2. Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain
Gonzalo Higuain shone for Real Madrid / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

He might have become a bit of a meme character in recent years but, after his introduction to European football with Los Blancos in January 2007, Gonzalo Higuain was anything but.

The Argentine arrived as a teenager with incredible promise from River Plate and managed to fulfil his potential in the famous white of Real Madrid, stacking his trophy cabinet as he scored goal after goal.

In six and a half years with the club, Higuain featured 264 times as he netted 121 goals and assisted 56 times. In the process, the striker collected three La Liga titles among other triumphs.

1. Marcelo

Marcelo is an all-time Real Madrid great / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Quite incredibly, Marcelo - along with Gago and Higuain - also joined Real Madrid in January 2007. What came after his arrival from Fluminense was one of football's most brilliant careers.

The Brazilian is known to all lovers of the game as a gloriously fun character with an insatiable love for the beautiful game. Becoming the best left-back in the world - and one of history's greatest - during his prime, Marcelo would enjoy a trophy-littered career with Los Blancos, winning 25 honours over the course of 15 and a half years. Playing a total of 546 times, he won La Liga six times and the Champions League five times alongside so much more glory as he eventually became club captain.

He captured the minds of so many who watched him as he starred for the club for a mesmerizingly prolonged period, racking up a brilliant 141 goal contributions over his spell with Real.

For around £6m, you'd be hard-pushed to find a better January signing than Marcelo's switch to the Spanish capital in 2007 - he's a comfortable list-topper here.