There have only ever been five Real Madrid English Players in the history of the most famous football club in the world.
Those Englishman are:
- Laurie Cunningham 1979-1984
- Steve McManaman 1999-2003
- David Beckham 2003-2007
- Michael Owen 2004-2005
- Jonathan Woodgate 2004-2007
Real Madrid English Players In Review
Laurie Cunningham (1979-1984)
Laurence Paul Cunningham was born in London on March 8, 1956, to Jamaican parents. He began competing in football matches for the Orient club in Birmingham in 1974, and in 1976 he moved to West Bromwich Albion in the same English city.
In 1979 he was purchased by Real Madrid, with Luis de Carlos as president, for the “historic” amount of 190 million pesetas and an income of fifteen million pesetas yearly for the left winger.
Victim of several injuries, on November 16, 1980, the Betis player, Bizcocho, gave him a stomp that broke the capsule of the first toe of his left foot, and he underwent surgery on December 11.
A few days after being discharged from hospital, the Englishmen appeared in a nightclub, still with his foot in a plaster cast. Real Madrid imposed a two-month suspension and a fine of one million pesetas, to be deducted from the footballer’s income.
He was sent off in a match against Kaiserlautern, and Real Madrid fined him 200,000 pesetas. In July 1982, Laurie Cunningham’s sister-in-law, Norma, and two of his daughters were murdered in London, which was a severe blow to the player.
In 1982 he was loaned by Real Madrid to Sporting de Gijón, where he played for a year, and later went to Manchester United and Olympic de Marseille. He went to Rayo Vallecano in the 1986-1987 season but suffered several injuries.
In 1987 he returned to Great Britain, where he signed for Wimbledon for a year. Then, in the 1988-89 season, he signed again for Rayo Vallecano. Cunningham, 33, was killed in a car crash in Madrid on July 15, 1989, while playing for Rayo Vallecano.
Laurie Cunningham was a very elastic, elegant, and skillful footballer, to which he added a more than a remarkable point of speed. On many occasions, he also displayed an accurate shot with his left leg and excellent ball control. Cunningham was the first Real Madrid English Players on our list.
Steve McManaman (1999-2003)
The Madrid faithful loved St McManaman, perhaps even more than they did in England, despite spending just four years there. The former Liverpool midfielder won two La Liga titles and two Champions League titles, and the UEFA Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup. As a result of his goal and all-around performance in the Champions League final against Valencia in Paris in 2000, he won the match’s man of the match award.
David Beckham (2003-2007)
Beckham left a deep mark during his time at Real Madrid. During the four years he defended the white jersey and has the most impact on all the Real Madrid English Players.
Beckham was characterized by outstanding professionalism, effort, and dedication. The magnificent free-kicks and measured crosses of the English player who has played the most games in Spain will remain in the memory of the Madrid fans.
Professionalism, Effort, and Dedication
David Robert Joseph Beckham was born on May 2, 1975, in Leytonstone, a suburb of London. He began playing at the age of eight in a neighborhood team, Ridgeway Rovers, with whom he scored more than 100 goals in three years.
At the age of eleven, he won a contest for young soccer players organized by Bobby Charlton, which made several English teams interested in him. But after several frustrating tests in different teams, such as Tottenham Hotspur, he returns to Leytonstone, to play in his neighborhood team.
Despite this disappointment, the Manchester United scouts had not forgotten about him, and in 1991, he entered the lower categories of the English team.
In the youth of the Red Devils, he coincided with many of the players who would win the European Cup years later. Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and the Neville brothers formed the most powerful group in the category.
The so-called ‘Fergie Babes’ rejuvenated United by rising to the first team and taking them to the top of European football. Beckham made his debut with the first team on September 23, 1992, in an English Cup match with Brighton as rivals.
His first goal for the Red Devils was in a European Cup match against Galatasaray in September 1994, when he had yet to make his Premier League debut. That year one of the specific moments of his career came when he was loaned to Preston North End of the English Third Division, which helped him mature as a footballer.
Manchester Returned To The Golden Age
In the English Premier League, Becks debuted on April 2, 1995, in a season in which he only played four games. But everything changed with the beginning of the following season, in which he established himself as a starter (33 games and seven goals) and began demonstrating his superb free-kicks.
He soon inherits the team leader status, an honorary position previously held by the controversial Eric Cantona. For the memory of all fans remains the first great goal of his career, a shot from midfield against Wimbledon at the mythical Selhurst Park. Beckham knew how to learn from Cantona what it meant to be the soul of the fans of the Theater of Dreams.
From a historical drought, United became the great dominator of the English League during the 90s. This generation’s high point was with the European Cup’s conquest in 1999. The Camp Nou witnessed a historic match in which the English team came back from a game they had lost against Bayern Munich.
Commotion In Madrid
At noon on July 2, 2003, the former Real Madrid Sports City hosted the official presentation of David Beckham. He presented himself to the Madridistas with all the honors of a football star.
A crowd of fans and the media turned out en masse for the English midfielder’s debut, as he donned the white shirt for the first time. Four and a half years later, his numbers endorse the career of a footballer who has dazzled with his free kicks and has won over the Bernabéu with his delivery in every game.
Wearing the Real Madrid shirt, David Beckham has played 158 games in the different competitions in which the white team has participated (League, Champions League, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup) and has scored a total of 20 goals.
With regard exclusively to the Spanish League, the midfielder has played 115 games (66 wins, 21 draws, and 28 losses) and has scored 13 goals.
In the summer of 2003, he won his first title with the white team, this being the Spanish Super Cup against Mallorca. In the last season, the Englishman was one of the great architects of Real Madrid winning the League by making a prodigious second round.
The last season, he played 1,351 minutes, distributed in the 22 games in which he was present. In those four years, he became the English footballer with the most appearances in the Spanish League, thus surpassing Gary Lineker. (Gareth Bale has now broken this)
About David Beckham will always weigh one of the most challenging moments of his career. The expulsion of him in the round of 16 matches of the 1998 World Cup against Argentina. The Londoner is the only English player to have managed to score goals in three different World Cups.
In the last World Championship, he played all five games that his country lasted in the tournament, scoring a free kick against Ecuador.
Characteristics Of David Beckham
Technique, sacrifice, and goals. These have been his most outstanding characteristics. David Beckham is considered by many to be one of the best free-kick takers in the world due to his power and excellent shooting accuracy.
Michael Owen (2004-2005)
With Michael Owen’s scoring record, £8 million seemed like a bargain, but it didn’t work out for him at Real Madrid. The Brazilian duo Ronaldo and Robinho often overshadowed him despite his 16 goals from 45 appearances (many of them from the bench).
Newcastle United offered Madrid the chance to double their money on the center-forward 12 months after he arrived, and he returned to the Premier League soon after.
Jonathan Woodgate (2004-2007)
Woodgate’s Madrid career can be summarized by a line from the BBC sitcom Blackadder: “It started badly, tailed off in the middle, and the less said about the end, the better.”
Woodgate arrived injured, and he made his debut against Athletic Bilbao in September 2004 but scored an own goal and was shown a red card.
Due to injuries, Jonathan Woodgate only played 14 times in the white shirt, which led to him being voted the worst signing of the 21st century by Real Madrid fans. The Yorkshireman is the last Real Madrid English Players on our list.
Rhett is an Australian-born, globe trotter who is a UEFA ‘A’ Licence Soccer Coach. With his family, he has traveled and coached soccer in more than 30 countries, while attending World Cups, European Championships, and some of the biggest local derbies in the world!