From Ronaldo in 2002 to James Rodriguez in 2014, Real Madrid have a proud history of spending big on the biggest talent at the World Cup. Here we predict the 2018 Galacticos...


Cristiano Ronaldo

Okay, so he might already be their player but the first thing that new Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui should do once he unpacks his suitcases and packs away his Spain World Cup 2018 memorabilia, is sign Cristiano Ronaldo to a new long term deal.

So what if he's 33 and already contracted through to 2021? This man clearly isn't human in the conventional understanding of our species and the longer he goes on, the more likely his claims of playing at the top level until he's 40 actually look like being a realistic aim.

Such is the search for a sign that he's a mere mortal like the rest of us that there was a lot of pre-match talk surrounding his World Cup free-kick record. In the hope of finding some kind of chink in his armour the fact that he hadn't scored from free at the World Cup finals became a reason to talk him down.

So what does he do? He scores two goals and allows Spain to take a 3-2 lead just so he can wait until the last minute of a World Cup game against his country's biggest rivals before he steps up to smash home an inch-perfect free-kick for his 51st career hat-trick and draws level with the great Ferenc Puskás on international goals. All from a stunning free-kick.

That's what you get for doubting him, and if he says he can play to 40, he will.


David de Gea

Never will Manchester United supporters have been so happy to see their talismanic goalkeeper produce such a poor performance.

De Gea has been United's best player for the last couple of seasons and their supporters have had to deal with what has felt like a never-ending summer transfer saga linking him to Real Madrid. 

Florentino Pérez has made no secret of his desire to lure the Spanish international goalkeeper to the Bernabeu and there's always been the suspicion that de Gea may eventually find that offer too tempting to turn down.

Well worry not United fans because judging him on the back of his display against Portugal, not even Liverpool would want de Gea and they watched Simon Migonlet and Lorus Karius stink the place out for a couple of seasons now.

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