The Spanish giants have already shown their ambitions to rule the world of football by breaking the bank the last four summers to lure some of the biggest names in the game.
Ronaldo was next on Real's hit-list and he made the switch from Inter Milan for £28.5m after helping Brazil lift the 2002 World Cup.
Beckham's transfer fee of £25m is relatively small in comparison to those paid for Figo and Zidane.
And it will be four years before Man Utd see the full benefits of the sale of their star midfielder.
1. Zinedine Zidane - £47.5m
Juventus-Real (July 2001)
2. Luis Figo - £37m
Barcelona-Real (July 2000)
3. Hernan Crespo - £35m
Parma-Lazio (July 2000)
4. Gianluigi Buffon - £32.6m Parma-Juventus (July 2001)
5. Christian Vieri - £32m
Lazio-Inter Milan (June 1999)
6. Gaizka Mendieta - £29m
Valencia-Lazio (July 2001)
7. Rio Ferdinand - £30m
Leeds-Man Utd (July 2002)
8. Ronaldo - £28.5m
Inter Milan-Real (August 2002)
9. Juan Veron - £28.1m
Lazio-Man Utd (July 2001)
10. Rui Costa - £28m
Fiorentina-AC Milan (July 2001)
16. Beckham - £24.5m
Man Utd-Real (June 2003)
The way the transfer fee breaks down means Real will only pay £5.25m initially.
They will then pay annual instalments over the next four years amounting to £12.25m.
The final £7m is incentive-based on Real's performance in the Champions League over the next four seasons.
Each time Real make it into Europe's premier trophy they will pay another £875,000, and they will pay a further £875,000 if they reach the quarter-final stages of the competition.
Beckham's weekly wage is reportedly anything between £90,000 and £120,000.
Along with his pop star wife Victoria the couple are said to be worth a combined £50m.
And Beckham's personal fortune is likely to grow significantly with his move to Real Madrid.
His various sponsorship deals are only likely to be enhanced by his move to the continent.
Both soft drinks company Pepsi and sports manufacturers adidas are sponsors of Real already, while his deals with the likes of retailers Marks and Spencer will no doubt be enhanced by the exposure of his move.
Beckham's name sells shirts
Beckham's last contract at Old Trafford was held up over a dispute about his image rights.
He was paid £20,000-a-week out of his weekly wage of £90,000 in exchange for use of his image rights, although that did not include his personal sponsorship deals.
But Beckham has agreed to Real's policy where they receive 50% of
any deal he negotiates in the future.
Appropriately enough Beckham's move was announced while he was on his way to the Far East for a promotional tour with his wife.
His status as a huge sporting icon in Asia was thought to be a key factor in Real's pursuit, with his value in selling shirts and television rights as important as his abilities on the field.
"Many fans in Asia watch a team because of the individual star players," said Samantha McCollum, a brand consultant.
"When those players are transferred quite often they will swap allegiances to a club and they will follow the player."