Since the turn of the millennium Real Madrid have become synonymous with star power.
In fairness, it has been that way for decades, but they’ve really taken it to new levels throughout the last 22 years.
No period exemplifies this more than during the first presidency of Florentino Pérez, between 2000 and 2007, also known as the Galácticos era.
Check out a list of 5 players who once played for Real Madrid.
1) Samuel Eto’o
Many people are unaware that Samuel Eto’o began his professional football career with Real Madrid, where he progressed from the youth squad to the first team.
He did not make the cut at the club, though, and only made three first-team appearances before being sent to Mallorca.
2) Esteban Cambiasso
While many people will remember Cambiasso for his heroics at Inter Milan, the midfielder also played for Real Madrid from 2002 to 2004.
3) Emmanuel Adebayor
Togolese football legend Emmanuel Adebayor is the second African player on our list.
He is well-known for his exploits with a number of European clubs, including a brief loan spell at Real Madrid in 2011.
4) Javier Hernandez
Javier Hernandez, a former Manchester United and West Ham striker, also spent time on loan with Real Madrid from 2014 to 2015.
5) Michael Essien
Michael Essien, a former Chelsea midfielder, was one of those African footballers that played for Real Madrid between 2012 and 2013, spending a year with the club.
6) Dani Parejo
After coming through the youth levels at Villarreal, Dani Parejo spent a brief time with the main squad at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
While Juanfran rose to prominence with Atletico Madrid as a right back, it was at Real Madrid that the Spanish fullback began to realize his full potential before being moved to the club in 2006.
8) Marcos Alonso
Marcos Alonso, the veteran wingback who is currently at Chelsea, spent two years with Real Madrid before joining Bolton in 2010.
In his early years, Fabinho, a Brazilian defensive midfielder, also played for Real Madrid.
However, he was moved to Monaco in 2013 after failing to make the club’s cut.
10) Juan Mata
Legend of the English Premier League Juan Mata was one of the rare players in his early career to play for Real Madrid.
However, the midfielder was unable to get into the first squad at the club and was subsequently transferred to Valencia.