English players have been a mixed bag when it comes to gracing La Liga. Gary Lineker and David Beckham are two players who coped admirably but Gareth Bale should look carefully at a few others before listening too much to the reported interest from Real Madrid.
Jermaine Pennant left parent club Liverpool in 2009 to go and play for Real Zaragoza in a similar position Bale plays for Spurs. He played 25 matches for the Spanish side, didn’t score a single goal and was then loaned to Stoke City before completely a permanent move back to England in 2010.
Woodgate joined Real Madrid in 2004 in a big money move from Newcastle United. He was meant to be the next Bobby Moore-esque English centre back but he played just nine times during an injury plagued three years in Spain. He also got scored an own goal and got sent off on his debut.
Granted Collymore moved to Real Oviedo at the end of his career while Bale is being touted for a move before the peak of his career, but Collymore is another example of a British player who went to Spain and failed. He played just three times and didn’t hit the back of the net once before deciding to hang up his boots.
Owen scored just 16 goals in 45 games for Real Madrid which was effectively the last serious move of his career. He did go on to play for Manchester United but he went to Real Madrid with all of Spain expecting greatness but what they got instead was a mixture of injury and inconsistency.
Mark Draper was one of Aston villa’s most consistent players between 1995 and 2000 but he was sent out on loan to Ray Vallecano, where he made just four appearances for the club. He came back to England after injury and was never the same again spending three years at Southampton with just 24 appearances.
Can you think of any more examples?
image: © Jan S0L0