True to form, there were a number of flashy signings.

Where are they now? Jose Mourinho’s 15 signings at Real Madrid

The Special One managing Real Madrid was completely inevitable. The biggest personality in football management at arguably the biggest club in world football. Yes, please.

Real Madrid made 15 signings during Jose Mourinho’s reign and, to be quite honest, we reckon you could still make a solid squad of them now, eleven years later.

Where are they now, though? Some are retired, naturally—time and tide wait for no man—while some, unbelievably, are still lighting up the Bernabeu, and the rest… well, let’s find out.

Sergio Canales

The No.10 is far better known for his stints at Real Sociedad and Betis. First-team football was difficult to come by for Sergio in Madrid, due to a certain someone who also features in this list.

Canales is in Mexico, these days, unlocking defences for Monterrey.

Angel Di Maria

The criminally-underrated-in-the-UK Angel Di Maria has made a triumphant return to Benfica, following that year at Man United, and a season at Juventus, either side of a glorious spell at PSG. We love a homecoming.

Pedro Leon

Jose famously disliked the Spanish winger for his supposed laziness.

“You talk of Pedro Leon as if he was Zidane, Maradona or Di Stefano. I don’t have to justify his absence.” Mourinho told a curious press conference.

Leon is back at his hometown club Real Murcia in the Spanish third tier, now, aged 37.

Mourinho is one of the best managers of all-time.
QUIZ: Can you name every player to have scored 20+ goals under Jose Mourinho?

Sami Khedira

There’s a Mandela effect going on with this midfield destroyer. In our head, Khedira always had a goatee. On further inspection, there’s always been a bit of beard stretching up the jawline and connecting to the sideburns, preventing his beard from being a true goatee.

It’s upset us a bit, actually. What else isn’t real?

Anyway, he retired in 2021.

Ricardo Carvalho

The Niko Kranjcar to Mourinho’s Harry Redknapp retired in 2015. The legendary centre-back enjoyed an Indian summer in Shanghai after lovely little jaunt in Monaco.

That’s what we’d do. The man had won it all — nothing left to prove. Why wouldn’t you just start ticking cool cities off your travel bucket list?

Mesut Ozil

In his prime, Ozil might have been one of the most watchable players on Earth. What we’d have given to see him link up with Dimitar Berbatov for just one luxurious season…

Ozil retired last year, and now spends his entire life at the gym. Google it.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? The 3 Man Utd kids tipped for stardom by Jose Mourinho in 2017

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Jose Mourinho’s 35 most-used players throughout his career?

Emmanuel Adebayor

Truly think football video games are missing a massive trick by not incorporating this man’s goal celebration for Manchester City v Arsenal. Iconic. Insane. Incredible.

Adebayor retired at Semassi, in his native Togo last year, aged 39.

Jose Callejon

Callejon was used regularly by Mourinho and, in some ways, was the opposite of Pedro Leon in the manager’s eyes — Hard-working and passionate. The winger really secured his legacy at Napoli, playing roughly 79,000 games for the Italians.

He’s now at Granada, who he helped win promotion from the Spanish second tier last season.

Nuri Sahin

A Pro Evo Master League future potential semi-mythological player. The Turk was manager of Antalyaspor until last year. Now he ain’t. Only made ten senior appearances for Los Blancos but, to be honest, they didn’t need him in that stacked midfield.

Raphael Varane

Varane enjoyed ten glorious years in Madrid, winning basically every trophy it is possible to win. He completed football. Now, at 30, in his prime, the Frenchman can be found on Manchester United’s bench playing second fiddle to Harry Maguire.

To quote Jose himself, if we speak, we are in big trouble.

QUIZ: Can you name every player Mourinho has signed in the Prem for £10m+?

Hamit Altintop

Altintop barely played for Los Blancos. Must be nice being Real Madrid, just buying ballers whenever you fancy it, chucking money around for a daft laugh.

Hamit has been retired since 2018.

Fabio Coentrao

This fella has just turned 36. Don’t understand that. Could’ve sworn he’d been playing since 2001. Think it might be the frosted tips and extremely dawn-of-the-millennium style.

Anyway, Coentrao retired at Rio Ave in 2021, presumably decked out head-to-toe in Von Dutch.

Luka Modric

“Relax,” Said the gaffer, “We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.”


That’s a Hotel California reference. Because Luka is still doing the business for Real Madrid, 12 years later. How do you do, fellow kids?

READ: Remembering when Luka Modric was voted La Liga’s worst signing

Michael Essien

The truly generational centre mid retired at Sabail FK, in Azerbaijan, in 2020.

Sidenote: The Bison is one of the best nicknames in football history. Easily.

Diego Lopez

He might not be as big a name as his compatriot, but Lopez knocked Iker Casillas off his throne and replaced him as first-choice keeper at Real, playing all but two La Liga games in 2013-14.

The big man retired in December, at 42 years old.