Jonathan Woodgate became
the second England player to sign for Real Madrid in the space of a week
when he was unveiled by the club at their Santiago Bernabeu stadium on
The England defender signed a four-year deal with an option for an extra
season with Real, who are reported to have paid Newcastle United a
20-million-euro ($24.64 million) transfer fee.
"This is my dream to come to Real Madrid," said the 24-year-old after
being handed the number 18 shirt by honorary president Alfredo di
Woodgate, who will not make his Real debut for at least a month because
of a thigh injury, will team up with England captain David Beckham and
striker Michael Owen at the nine-times European champions.
"I've loved this club since I was young," said Woodgate.
"I used to follow this club and I'm joining a very special team. It's my
ambition to win a lot of trophies here and hopefully I'll be a success
at Real Madrid."
He becomes the 11th Englishman to sign for Real, but only the fifth to
join the club in the last 90 years, following in the footsteps of former
West Bromwich Albion winger Laurie Cunningham, Liverpool midfielder
Steve McManaman, Beckham and Owen.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said the club had signed Woodgate
because they believed he had the potential to be a world-class central
"We analysed all the options available to us and without a doubt the
choice of Jonathan is the correct one," he said. "He's a magnificent
"For many he is the centre-back with the greatest potential in Europe.
His future is now at Real Madrid and here he is going to become one of
the best central defenders in the world.
"Real Madrid want to help make him a star player in his position and in
turn he will help Real Madrid become a stronger and better team."
Perez also stressed he expected Woodgate, who made the headlines three
years ago when he was convicted of affray following an attack on an
Asian student in Leeds city centre, to be exemplary in his behaviour.
"Despite the fact that he is only 24, he is mature and serious on the
pitch," said Perez. "He knows that he is now at a club where he faces a
constant challenge and must provide an example to everyone on and off
"He is a great player who will become part of the history of a great
club. You have all our good wishes and all our confidence and we expect
you to respond with complete dedication to your work."