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Real Madrid legends – Top 10 greatest players of all time



Records, records, and only records. These are the right words to describe Real Madrid, one of the biggest clubs when it comes to European football. Football came to Madrid in 1895, thanks to students and professors from the ‘Institucion Libre de Enseñanza.’


The club was initially called Football Sky in 1900, where they split into New-Football-de Madrid and Espanol de Madrid. In 1902, they disbanded, and then Madrid FC was founded.

Read: What does C.F. mean in Real Madrid?

1920 was a turning point when the king renamed Madrid FC by adding Real to it, and since then, it has been operating as Real Madrid. Some of the greatest footballers wore the jersey of Real Madrid in the world in their time and choosing the 10 best is certainly not an easy task.


10. Francisco Gento (1953 – 1971)


One number and two words: 6 Champions Leagues. He is considered one of the best footballers whose left foot was a powerful weapon, similar to Ronaldo or Bale. A brilliant player, in the trio he formed with di Stefano and Puskas, he made Real one of the most influential clubs of the 20th century.


9. Fernando Hierro (1989 – 2003)


The legendary stopper dominated the back line of the Royal Club for more than 10 years and played over 600 games for the club. The most brilliant moment probably happened in 1998 when he completely stopped Alessandro Del Piero in the final of the Champions League. It is also an impressive fact that he scored 147 goals as a defensive player.


8. Luka Modrić (2012 – ?)

Luka Modric against Sevilla

LauraHale, CC BY-SA 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another winner of the Ballon d’Or, Luka Modric, received this award in 2018, the same year he won the third consecutive cup for the European champions with Real. The Croatian magician has been the creator of Real’s game since the middle of 2012 and declared himself a master of his craft at the world level.


7. Sergio Ramos (2005 –2021)

Sergio Ramos 5275968400

Jan S0L0, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Since his arrival at the Bernabeu from Sevilla in 2005, Ramos has made all the pundits tear up their football manuals and given the position of centre-back an entirely new definition. Real’s charismatic leader scored at least one goal in his 15 seasons at the club, complementing his 90 goals for Real with five La Liga triumphs and four Champions League trophies.

Read: Real Madrid all time top scorers 

6. Raul Gonzalez (1994 – 2010)

When president Florentino Perez introduced the Galacticos at the beginning of the last decade, Raul was still one of the key figures in the lineup. He will be remembered for scoring over 200 goals and numerous Spanish and Champions League titles. He was an icon of the club, captain, and role model for everyone – for his goals, he was rewarded with six La Liga titles and three European Cups. In a word, a legend.


5. Alfredo di Stefano (1953 – 1964)


“People argue whether Pele or Maradona was better. Di Stefano was the best, a much more complete player than both” – Pele.

“The complete football player since the beginning of this game” – Eusebio.

Di Stefano is truly considered one of the greatest footballers ever and is the only winner of the Super Golden Ball, which was awarded to him in 1989. The “Blue Arrow” won five consecutive European titles with Real during the 1950s, scoring a goal each season. He is also the winner of two Golden Balls.


4. Ferenc Puskas (1958 – 1966)

Incredibly, the Hungarian arrived in Spain when he was 31 years old, but he showed that age is just a number because, in 262 games, he scored an impressive number of goals – 242.

His incredible sense of goal helped Madrid to three European crowns and five La Liga titles. He had such a good “feel” for scoring goals that in 2017 FIFA posthumously awarded him great recognition and named the award for the goal of the season after him.

Read: Real Madrid biggest Rivals – Top 8 teams ranked including La Liga, England and Europe

3. Iker Casillas (1999 – 2015)

Iker Casillas 5098204948

Jan S0L0, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

He also deserved to be on this list. He has been with the club since the beginning. He may not be the greatest legend in Real, but he is a Real goalkeeping legend and among the TOP 5 goalkeepers in history. He took the captain’s armband from Raul and continued in his direction, modestly as befits him.


2. Zinedine Zidane (2001 – 2006)


He arrived in the Spanish capital as the most expensive player. His ease of playing football did not leave anyone indifferent. This art of touching the ball, only Zidane could do that. His volley against Bayer Leverkusen is still one of the best goals in the Champions League.


1. Cristiano Ronaldo (2009 – 2018)

Despite the many true greats representing Real Madrid, CR7 stands above them with five Ballon d’Ors won. Man is not from this planet. He scored more goals than he made appearances for Real – a staggering 451 goals in 438 games.


He broke all goalscoring records, and although the “Ronaldo or Messi” debate will forever be present, there is no doubt that he is the best footballer in the history of Real Madrid who played for this club.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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