⭐️ Onefootball's greatest ever teams: In 19th place is ...
Our countdown of the 20 greatest club teams ever continues today.
And in 19th place we have …
Real Madrid 1999-2003
Why are they here?
- Won two Champions Leagues (2000 and 2002)
- Boasted two Ballon d’Or winners (Figo in 2000 and Ronaldo in 2002)
- Won the 2002 Intercontinental Cup and the 2003 LaLiga title
- Zinedine Zidane – the icon
- Ronaldo – the greatest number nine of all-time
- Luís Figo – the man who bravely crossed the Barça-Madrid divide
No team in history has been more of a magnet for the world’s best players than Real Madrid were at the turn of the millennium.
It didn’t matter who you were, who you played for or what you’d won, if the Galácticos wanted you, you answered their call.
One of the most successful periods in Los Blancos’ history began when Vicente del Bosque took over as coach in November 1999.
Deportivo La Coruña won the LaLiga title that season but it was Real Madrid who won the Champions League for the eighth time in the club’s history, with Steve McManaman, Fernando Morientes and Raúl scoring the goals which beat Valencia in the final.
Florentino Pérez was elected club president in the summer of 2000 and a re-zoning of the club’s training facilities freed up funds to sign, amongst others, Claude Makélélé from Celta Vigo and Luís Figo from arch-rivals Barcelona.
The following summer they signed Zinedine Zidane from Juventus and the summer after that Ronaldo joined from Inter.
Pérez had made a pre-election promise to sign at least one global star every season, and he was true to his word.
A brilliant blend of Galácticos and homegrown heroes like Iker Casillas and Raúl saw Madrid win the Champions League again in 2002 thanks to Zidane’s incredible volley against Bayer Leverkusen in the final.
In 2003, 23 goals from Ronaldo in his debut season helped the club to their 29th LaLiga crown.
But while they had money and world class players in abundance, it was Del Bosque’s tactical ingenuity and supreme man-management which really sewed everything together during that period, and it’s no coincidence that it all fell apart when the future Spain coach was sacked in the summer of 2003.
Those four years were some of the greatest in Real Madrid’s long and illustrious history, but they were not quite the greatest.