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REAL MADRID

Six spectacular Florentino flops

Jonathan Woodgate

Jonathan Woodgate secured a dream deal to the royal city for a fee of £13.4 million, he must be considered as one of the worst signings in the club's history. Woodgate made his blanco bow against Athletic Club in September 2005, and it was a night to forget for the Englishman: first he scored, an own-goal, then he was sent off. Worse still was that this debut came after a year on the sidelines through injury. After a few games the club decided to cut their losses as the injury-struck defender was succeeding only as a source of calamity and comedy, he was farmed out on loan and then moved permanently to Middlesbrough.

Photo: JESUS AGUILERA DIARIO AS

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Kaka

Florentino's first signing of his second spell as president of Real Madrid was a big disappointment. The Brazilian had sparkled at AC Milan and Florentino brought out the chequebook to bring him to Madrid. He paid €67 million for his autograph but he was a shadow of the player who won the Ballon d'Or in 2007. His numbers are astonishingly disappointing; he played 33% of possible minutes, was plagued by injuries, particularly to his knee after an operation after the 2010 World Cup. He scored 31 goals in 6,863 minutes. On Sptember 2 2013 he returned to Milan on a free transfer.

Photo: PEPE ANDRES DIARIO AS

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Askier Illarramendi

In summer 2013 Florentino paid Real Sociedad €38.9 million for holding-midfielder Illarramendi, who in the Spain squad that won the Under-21 European Championship in 2013. However, Ancelotti never trusted him after his performance against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. He failed to make the grade and returned to the club where he made his name, then under the management of David Moyes, for a cut-price €16M.

Photo: FELIPE SEVILLANO DIARIO AS

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Lucas Silva

Signed in January 2015 for €14M from Cruzeiro, he was loaned to Olympique Marseille, who in turn wanted to loan him out in the January transfer window. The return on the investment was almost null, as he played just 428 minutes, starting against Schalke, Elche and Villareal and hasn't played a game since April 29. Benítez brought him on the preseason tour of Australia and China, but never included him in the plans for the season.

Photo: FELIPE SEVILLANO DIARIO AS

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Walter Samuel

Walter Samuel was signed by Real Madrid in 2004 for around €25 million from Italian club AS Roma, with a reputation as one of the best defenders in Europe. A big imposing Argentinian centre-back, big things were expected of him. He failed to live up to expectations in some style, finding himself banished to the stands for uncertain defending and failing to fit into the architecture of the side. Frustration marked his time at the club, and boiled over when, given a rare opportunity against Albacete, he scored the fourth in a 4-1 victory and ran around the Bernabéu screaming "Now what!". That sentenced him to being shipped out to Inter for eight million less than he had been bought for. At Inter he formed a solid central alliance with Brazilian international Lucio, which helped Inter Milan—then managed by Jose Mourinho—win a historic treble.

Photo: FELIPE SEVILLANO DIARIO AS

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Danilo

Florentino shelled out €31.5 million on Danilo from Porto in a season when his contract was coming to an end. The price outshone the value as his performances haven't convinced, and he has failed to displace Carvajal at wing-back. Benítez almost always plumped for the Florentino signing, but Zidane has favoured the academy man.

Photo: CARLOS MARTINEZ DIARIO AS

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