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Who are the greatest Real Madrid players of all time? Throughout their long history, Real Madrid have consistently set the bar for world football.
Having won the prestigious European Cup or Champions League title a staggering 13 times, it is no secret that some of the greatest and most iconic players in football have made their homes at Real Madrid.
10 Greatest Real Madrid Players Of All Time
From Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskás in the 1950s to Vicente Del Bosque and Zinedine Zidane in more recent times, let’s take a look back at the 10 greatest Real Madrid players of all time to grace the pitch for this legendary soccer club.
10. Luka Modric
Luka Modric is a Croatian professional footballer widely recognised as one of the best midfielders in the world.
Despite receiving relentless criticism in his career, Modric has demonstrated that small-sized players can still make an impact in the game through ball-carrying and passing.
His exquisite skills have helped bring home four Champions League titles as well as a Ballon d’Or, cementing his place among the greats of football.
9. Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has had a remarkable career at Real Madrid, first playing complementary roles to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, and then leading the club in their absence.
He is recognized not only for his amazing technical skills and prowess with the ball on the pitch, but also for his leadership capabilities.
His contributions to the club have been immense, helping them secure multiple European titles, and cementing himself as an undisputed legend at the Santiago Bernabéu.
8. Fernando Hierro
Fernando Hierro is a legendary Spanish football player, most famous for his role with Real Madrid.
He holds the record for being the club’s most prolific goalscoring defender, with 127 goals scored throughout his time at the club.
An impressive 21 of these goals were scored in the 1991-92 La Liga season where he nearly led Madrid to their title victory against Barcelona.
Outside of scoring, Hierro was also an incredibly versatile presence on-field and was able to play as a sweeper, defensive midfielder and more during his 14 year tenure at Real Madrid.
7. Paco Gento
Paco Gento is an iconic figure in Spanish football and Real Madrid’s all-time greats.
He holds the record for winning six European Cup championships, with five of those consecutive wins.
Over his 600 appearances for Real Madrid he scored 183 goals.
A strong winger, Gento was part of a legendary forward line with Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, earning immense respect from Spanish football lovers.
His crossing ability on the flanks were often complimented and his precise long shots added to his impressive repertoire. He is widely acclaimed to be one of Spain’s best ever players.
6. Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas has been a Spanish footballing legend for many years.
Starting his career at age nine with Real Madrid, Casillas, affectionately known as San Iker, would go on to make 725 appearances while continuing to show consistency, composure and saves that looked beautiful on camera.
He set records such as being the youngest goalkeeper to appear in a Champions League final and also the youngest goalkeeper to have the most Champions League clean sheets at three.
He racked up over 1,000 matches in his professional career despite standing shorter than other goalkeepers.
His departure from the Bernabeu was heartbreaking but his legacy remains with fellow rivals recognizing him as one of the greatest keepers of all time.
5. Sergio Ramos
An exceptional talent at both the attacking and defending end of the pitch, Sergio Ramos is one of the world’s premier goalscoring defenders.
During his illustrious career with Real Madrid, the 36 year old Spaniard was able to score over 101 goals in 671 appearances.
In addition to this remarkable achievement, Ramos is also a force from set pieces and has an impressive aerial ability.
After playing for Real Madrid for 16 years, he joined Paris Saint Germain in the summer of 2021. He is a five-time La Liga winner and four time Champions League victor.
As far as the international stage is concerned, Ramos holds two European Championship titles, one FIFA World Cup title, and holds the record for being Spain’s most capped player in history.
Raul is a legendary player in Real Madrid’s history, with 323 goals scored in nearly 741 games for the club.
He was Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer before he was displaced by Cristiano Ronaldo.
During his 16-year tenure with the Merengues, he contributed to six La Liga and three Champions League victories and displayed his versatility by playing as a centre-forward, second striker, winger or attacking midfielder.
He is also remembered as the youngest player to score three goals in a Champions League match – this landmark event took place when Raul was only 18 years old.
3. Ferenc Puskas
Ferenc Puskas is a legendary figure in footballing history, having been heralded as one of the best players to ever play the game.
Puskas decorated his already world-class career by joining Real Madrid in 1958 and making an immediate impact.
He made 8 seasons in Madrid a memorable one as he scored close to 250 goals and won three European Cups and five La Liga titles.
With an impeccable left foot, Puskas solidified his legacy with brilliant goal-scoring performances for the Spanish giants.
As an appreciation of his achievements, FIFA established a yearly award given to the best goal of the season named after him – The Ferenc Puskas award.
2. Alfredo Di Stefano
Alfredo Di Stefano was a remarkable footballing talent from Buenos Aires who single-handedly transformed the fortunes of Real Madrid.
As ‘the golden arrow’, he brought with him unparalleled skill and agility, which, in addition to his indefatigable stamina, made him a stand-out star in that era.
His vision was second-to-none and he managed to score an impressive 308 goals in almost 396 matches during his 11 years at Los Merengues.
Di Stefano also had an impressive record in the European Cup, scoring in all five of the first finals. His legacy for Real Madrid is extraordinary.
He brought home countless league titles and European triumphs, creating a sparkle and mystique that continues to draw stars to the Spanish capital even today.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is an extraordinary athlete, combining strength and speed with a seemingly never-ending determination to win.
He’s scored an unheard of 450 goals in fewer games than anyone else while playing for Real Madrid, the most successful club in the world.
CR7 was able to propel his team to glory almost on his own—whether they were performing well or not.
His consistent scoring helped him earn 15 titles during his nine years at Real Madrid and he left behind a legacy of spectacular overhead kicks, El Clasico heroics, impossible finishes and hat tricks.
Many believe that this legendary Portuguese footballer has achieved an untouchable status as the greatest player in Real Madrid history—and potentially the best football player of all time.
This article was updated 3 months ago