Every player dreams of being able to suit up for Real Madrid or Barcelona, two of the biggest clubs in the world. Those who do make the leap must prove themselves very quickly in order to keep their spots.
Here is a list of players who made the move to LaLiga and failed to impress, for whatever reason things did not work out. Here are some flop signings in LaLiga!
Brought into Real Betis at a record transfer fee at the time the Brazilian dribbler was modest at best. Denilson played from 1998- 2005 at Betis with 14 goals in 194 games.
Considered to be one of England’s top defenders, Jonathan Woodgate went to Real Madrid for $20 million. Woodgate played only 14 times for Real Madrid and was voted one of the worst signings of the 21st century by Marca.
Shunsuke Nakamura was considered one of the best players in Japanese soccer, after a successful stint at Celtic the midfielder made the leap to Espanyol and was woeful in 13 games in 2009-2010.
Before he was denying his players water in MLS, Gabriel Heinze was a top-class defender. His stops at Manchester United and Real Madrid were less than world class. A rough and tough defender, he was switched up many times at Real Madrid, playing 44 times in two seasons. You’d expect more from one of the best defenders from Argentina.
A talented midfielder, but in Europe Andrés D'Alessandro did not shine. Ever. Be it in Germany, England or with Zaragoza, injuries and a lack of form was custom with the Argentine.
Mexican international Cuauhtémoc Blanco signed on loan with Real Valladolid in 2000 and played only 23 games in two seasons. Blanco scored 3 goals and was injured and homesick during his stint, despite all his talents the hefty number 10 failed to impress in Europe, his only spell was two seasons in LaLiga.
Fellow Concacaf rival, Jozy Altidore signed with Villarreal in 2008 for a record 10-million-dollar transfer fee from MLS. Altidore showed signs of brilliance scoring in his first few matches. But that was it, 1 goal in 9 games. Altidore would be loaned and flopped everywhere he played in Europe except in AZ in the Netherlands.
No list of flops would ever be complete without Portuguese midfielder Ricardo Quaresma, who flopped big time at Barcelona in 2003. The skilled Quaresma could not handle being benched by Frank Rijkaard and refused to play for the team. He was dumped right after that.
Considered by many to be a top goalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa sat on the bench at Malaga from 2014-2017, playing only 11 games and going on loan to Granada. For whatever reason Ochoa was never in the plans for Malaga.
Vagabond Uruguayan forward Sebastián “El Loco” Abreu was considered a top prospect coming out of San Lorenzo in Argentina back in 1998. El Loco signed with Deportivo La Coruña and rarely saw the field, playing in 15 games, scoring 3 goals, and being loaned out until the end of his contract in 2004. Abreu played for 31 teams in 11 countries during his professional career and was a star and major flop in about half of them.
Netherland’s striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar played very briefly for Real Madrid in 2009, he scored 8 goals in 20 games. The Madrid brass saw enough and quickly sold Huntelaar to AC Milan taking in about a 10-million-euro loss on the transfer.
Colombian Jackson Martinez played all but one season for Atletico Madrid, the forward scored all of 2 goals in 15 outings and was quickly let go for a record fee of € 42 million to China. Bad player, good business.
Italy’s Ciro Immobile was nonexistent in LaLiga, from 2015-2016 he played 8 games and scored 2 goals for Sevilla. Never really finding playing time in Sevilla he returned to Italy in 2016. Today he finally found a home and his scoring touch with Lazio.
Chilean Eduardo Vargas was known for his skill and speed and that caught the eye of Valencia in 2014 and was signed on loan from Napoli. Vargas failed to make any impact for Valencia and played 17 games and scored 3 goals. Vargas European career can largely be called disappointing.
Uruguayan defender Carlos Diogo was woefully out of his league when he signed with Real Madrid in 2005. Apparently, Diogo was part of a package deal and played 11 games before being shipped out in 2007. Diogo is more famous for an on-field brawl than his play in Spain.
Geovanni moved to Barcelona from Cruzeiro for €21 million and produced one underwhelming match after another, scoring 1 goal in 26 games. Geovanni would go on to flop at every other destination he landed in, including the MLS with the San Jose Earthquakes.
Much was made of the talent possessed by Argentine winger Eduardo Salvio when he moved from Lanus to Atlético Madrid in 2010. In 44 games Salvio failed to impress, scoring only 5 goals, and being shipped out to Benfica.
Eden Hazard was supposed to take command of the Real Madrid midfield and in his short time at the club that has not happened. Hazard is out of favor after a string of injuries, to his credit Hazard has asked to stay at Real Madrid to prove his worth. He has the talent, but will he get the chance?
Serbian striker Luka Jovic was supposed to fill a role, and while that might be second string, he could not even live up to that. Jovic has scored only 3 goals in 31 games for Real Madrid.
One of the most talented players in the world Phillipe Coutinho has not lived up to his billing at Barcelona. With modest numbers in his 4 seasons at the club. This season once again things have been disappointing for the Brazilian.