Real Madrid's worst January signings - ranked

Max Parsons
Julien Faubert really did play for Real Madrid
Julien Faubert really did play for Real Madrid / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/GettyImages
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Even the biggest clubs in the world succumb to desperation when January comes around.

With the arrival of a snappy transfer window comes limited opportunity to find the right players for the job as the season enters its final months. While Real Madrid might do the majority of their business and make their blockbuster signings in the summer, the club has still seen its fair share of laughable January signings.

Below, 90min ranks some of the very worst.


6. Thomas Gravesen

Thomas Gravesen, Ramirez Dominguez
Thomas Gravesen receiving one of his 20 bookings for Real Madrid / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Thomas Gravesen's winter move to Real Madrid from Everton in 2005 was more bizarre than anything.

A hard-hitting anchoring midfielder, the Dane wasn't a total disaster in the famously elegant and imperial white of Los Blancos. He scored in one of his very first appearances for the club, although went on to see many more yellow cards than the solitary strike he managed over the course of his 18-month Real career.

He never really got going in the Spanish capital and, at the end of his first full season at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Dane was shipped to Celtic at a loss.

5. Lucas Silva

FBL-EUR-C1-REALMADRID-PRESSER
Lucas Silva didn't have the best of times at Real Madrid / GERARD JULIEN/GettyImages

Once an incredibly highly-rated youngster, Lucas Silva arrived in Spain having thoroughly impressed during the infancy of his career in his native Brazil - a transfer fee of around €13m to bring him to Real Madrid in January 2015 would attest to that.

The midfielder, however, failed to find his feet at the Santiago Bernabeu and was sent out on loan at the end of the 2015/16 campaign after managing just 424 minutes of action.

After a less-than-inspiring stint at Marseille, the Brazilian would return on loan to former club Cruzeiro in January 2017 until the conclusion of the 2018/19 season, when Los Blancos would go on to terminate his contract.

4. Ze Roberto

Ze Roberto of Real Madrid
Ze Roberto in action for Real Madrid / Getty Images/GettyImages

You might remember Ze Roberto as a Bundesliga assist merchant but, before that, he was somewhat of a Real Madrid flop.

The club took a €9m punt on the then-Portuguesa youngster in January 1997 but, after a haul of one assist and no goals in 15 La Liga appearances, he lasted just 12 months before being sent out on loan to Flamengo.

After returning from Brazil at the end of the 1997/98 campaign, Roberto was swiftly shipped to Bayer Leverkusen where, you could say, he flourished and earned a move to Bayern Munich.

3. Rodrigo Fabri

Roberto's fortunes didn't deter Real Madrid from going back to Portuguesa a year later in January 1998, as they picked up young Rodrigo Fabri.

Fabri had already played three times and scored once for Brazil by the time he joined Los Blancos but, unlike Roberto, he never even managed an appearance for Real.

He spent five years under the employment of the Spanish giants and was sent out on loan five times before finally sealing a permanent switch across the capital to Atletico - where he did make his La Liga debut.

2. Antonio Cassano

Antonio Cassano
Antonio Cassano's stint at Real Madrid was generally pretty disastrous / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Antonio Cassano might be very fondly remembered by various fanbases in Italy, but the Real Madrid faithful see him in a very different light.

The former Italy international joined Los Blancos halfway through the 2005/06 season but had made the last of his 29 appearances by the end of the following campaign as off-field issues smeared his time in Madrid.

He might have scored minutes into his debut and put in decent performances when in the side, but weight issues saw him receive fines from the club while a suspension came his way after he disrespected then-boss Fabio Capello.

Cassano spent the entirety of the 2007/08 on loan at Sampdoria before making the deal permanent prior to the 2008/09 campaign.

1. Julien Faubert

Another truly bizarre transfer saw Julian Faubert loaned to Real Madrid from West Ham midway through the 2008/09 season.

An incredibly bright prospect in his day, the Frenchman's career had started to fade with the Hammers following a glittering time with Bordeaux - during which he'd received his one and only France cap, scoring in the process.

Reputation and raw quality got him a half-season loan spell with Los Blancos, however, and, playing a grand total of 54 minutes over two games, boy did he deliver...in a way.

Faubert gave the world as many meme-worthy events as he made appearances for the club, once completely forgetting to turn up to training and once actually falling asleep on the substitutes bench.

I mean, how could that not top the list?

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