The England international will join a small but esteemed set of British players to play for Real. Here, we look at those players from these shores to have played at the Bernabeu.
Laurie Cunningham (1979-1984)
England international Cunningham was the trailblazer for those that followed him after becoming the first Englishman to play for Real Madrid after signing from Albion in 1979. The left winger brought plenty of excitement to the fans and after scoring on his debut, went on to win the league and cup double in his first season. His time at the Bernabeu was hampered by injuries and he left to join Marseille in 1984, having scored 20 goals in 66 appearances. He was sadly killed six years later in a car crash, aged just 33, while playing for Raya Vallecano.
Steve McManaman (1999-2003)
Twenty years after Cunningham, Steve McManaman followed as he joined from Liverpool. The floppy-haired winger played in one of the great Madrid teams alongside the likes of Raul, Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane, winning two LaLiga titles and two Champions League titles, scoring in the 2000 final against Valencia. He made over 150 appearances and moved to Manchester City in 2003, where he spent two years before retiring in 2005.
David Beckham (2003-2007)
Already a global superstar, David Beckham’s footballing image went to the next level when he signed for Madrid in 2003. Although his time in the Spanish capital was not the silverware haul he enjoyed at Manchester United, winning just one league title, he was a fan favourite. He made 155 appearances and scored 20 goals and notched 59 assists before moving to LA Galaxy in 2007.
Michael Owen (2005-2006)
Given Michael Owen’s relationship with Beckham for the England national team, an £8million move for the striker seemed good business in 2005. But Owen never really took off in Madrid and spent the majority of his one season at the club on the bench. He was able to score when he was on the pitch, most memorably a fine goal in a 4-2 win over Barcelona. He left for Newcastle in 2006.
Jonathan Woodgate (2005-07)
The fact that Woodgate has been voted as Real Madrid’s worst signing of the 21st century by readers of a Spanish newspaper tells you how his time at the club went. He joined Owen in swapping England for Spain in the summer of 2004 but was injured at the time and did not make an appearance until September 2005. That went about as well as expected as he scored an own goal and was sent off. He managed just 14 appearances in three years due to more injury woe and he left the Bernabeu being remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Gareth Bale (2013-2022)
Bale was the hottest property in Europe when he joined Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 and his career at the Bernabeu speaks for itself. He won four Champions League titles, one LaLiga title, one Copa Del Rey, two Spanish Super Cups and three European Super Cups. He scored 106 goals in 258 appearances, often vying for the spotlight with Cristiano Ronaldo, before it turned sour at the end of his stay, where his relationship with boss Zinedine Zidane and the fans was frosty at best.
Caroline Weir (2022-present)
Weir became the first British woman – and first Scot – to play for Real Madrid when she signed on a free transfer from Manchester City last summer. The attacker scored 15 goals in her first season.