The lure of Real Madrid is unlike anything in football. Madrid are one of the most illustrious and successful football teams in the world, and some of the very best players have graced the club's venerable white shirt.
The club's lofty ambitions mean trophies, the biggest ones in the sport, but not all players are able to shoulder that burden and subsequently fail to light up the Santiago Bernabeu.
Six players whose careers dipped after joining Real Madrid
Since Fiorentino Perez took over as the Real Madrid president, lavish spendings under the 'Galactico' project have seen numerous stars come and go. However, some of them were unable to step up to the plate and experienced a dip in their careers. Let us have a look at the top six such players.
#6 Walter Samuel
Despite possessing some of the biggest stars in world football, Real Madrid were struggling defensively during the early years of the millennium.
Walter Samuel was thought to be the panacea to Madrid's defensive woes. The centre-back's quality, having starred back home in Argentina with Boca Juniors and then in Serie A with AS Roma, attracted Real Madrid who splashed €25 million to acquire his services in 2004.
Samuel, however, failed to justify his price tag as well as his worth to the side. He just wasn't the leader at the back which the club were hoping him to be as Los Blancos continued to ship goals at an alarming rate.
He played 40 times for Real Madrid during the 2004-05 season, but his underwhelming performances prompted him to return to the Italian top-flight later in the summer. Samuel joined Inter Milan where he successfully revived his career and even won the continental 'treble' in 2010.
#5 James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez's stellar Golden Boot-winning performances in the 2014 FIFA World Cup were enough to convince Real Madrid to splash €75 million for his services.
Rodriguez impressed in his first season at the club, but it all went downhill for him once Zinedine Zidane took over as the manager as the player was relegated to a bit-part role from the bench.
Even a successful two-season loan spell at Bayern Munich wasn't enough to convince the Frenchman of the player's worth as Rodriguez was left high and dry on the bench last season despite Los Blancos marching to the La Liga title.
His plethora of injuries also didn't help his cause as Rodriguez, tipped for stardom when he first arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu, saw his career go horribly off the rails. Luckily for him, the 29-year old has arrived at Everton hoping to resurrect his career.