Soccer is the biggest sport on the planet and has billions of followers around the world. This is not a surprise when you consider the goals, tough tackles, drama and excitement which games deliver. The popularity of soccer as a sport can also be put down to the huge choice of top-level leagues to follow globally.
Of course, it is not watching the action across the multitude of awesome soccer leagues which are popular now. Finding the best odds and predictions for international soccer betting is an activity lots of fans also love to take part in. This is because betting on international soccer leagues helps to add more fun to catching games and injects more thrills into seeing how a game pans out.
Two of the most well-loved international soccer leagues are Spain’s La Liga and North America’s MLS. While there are the obvious ties between them, such as being based on the same sport and attracting global headlines, the players who have plied their trade in both competitions can often be the same. This is very true when thinking of top former Real Madrid players who went on to grace the MLS in the future.
But which players might this be?
When it comes to a top name in world soccer going from Los Blanco’s to the MLS, David Beckham must be mentioned. After joining Madrid as part of the infamous ‘Galactico’s’ team in 2003, he soon became regarded as one of the best Real Madrid midfielders ever. He eventually left after four seasons to join up with LA Galaxy in North America. It is fair to say that Beckham’s six years in the MLS were a big success.
He played 118 times for the Galaxy, scored 20 goals and showcased his awesome passing range. As well as also showing his deadball skills and accurate crossing, he helped the side to a 2011 MLS title – plus one more in 2012. In addition, Beckham was the first modern superstar to join the MLS from a top European team and helped really put it on the map.
This player was one of the most creative attacking midfielders in his prime. As such, Kaka’s move to Real Madrid in 2009 was a big deal. Known for his dribbling and passing, he also had the knack of scoring key goals in big matches as well.
While he might not have gone straight to the MLS from Real — he had one year spells at AC Milan and Sao Paulo in-between, he is one of the best former Madrid players to jet over to the North American league. After a big money move to Orlando City in 2015, he brought all his playmaking skills and impressive dribbling to Florida. Although the team did not win any trophies, his 25 goals in 78 appearances endeared him with fans.
Another of the best players to have turned out for Madrid and then go onto the MLS later in his career was the legend that is Hugo Sanchez. His stats at Real show just what a top player he was at his peak. In 283 games across all competitions between 1985 and 1992, he netted a huge 208 goals.
Sanchez was also another former Los Blanco’s player to play for a few different clubs after leaving Spain – before heading to the MLS for its very first season in 1996. Sanchez sadly only played for one season for Dallas Burn but showed he still had the knack for scoring goals. Scoring seven in 25 games was a respectable return and having such a big-name help kick the MLS off was a major coup for organizers.
Although maybe not as big a name as Beckham, Kaka or Sanchez for Real Madrid, Karanka was a very useful squad player during his spell in Spain from 1997 to 2002. Over this period, he showed he had the tackling, focus, toughness and positional awareness to step into the team’s defense when needed.
After leaving Real Madrid for Atletico Madrid in 2002, he enjoyed four years there before moving onto Colorado Rapid in the MLS for the 2006 season. Playing 27 games for them in this spell, Karanka showed all his experience of top-level soccer and the knowledge he had picked up as a defender in Spain.
Real Madrid alumni and the MLS
As the above shows, there have been some top former Real Madrid players who also enjoyed spells in the MLS. Whether they moved there directly, such as David Beckham did, or went to other clubs from Madrid before heading to the USA, they all qualify as being Madrid alumni who went on to wow fans in North America.