Real Madrid: Picking an All-Time Best XI
Real Madrid is one of the most storied clubs in the history of world football. Playing their home games at the storied Bernabeu, Los Blancos have won an amazing 32 La Liga championships, 18 Copa del Reys and nine European Cups.
Madrid also gives us one of the best rivalries in all the sport with their titanic battles for dominance of Spanish football in El Clasico matchups with Barcelona.
Here are eleven of the best to ever suit up for Real.
Although Cristiano Ronaldo is only in his fourth season with Real, those four years have been nothing short of spectacular. In 157 appearances, he has made 162 goals and has helped Madrid cut into Barcelona’s dominance by helping Real win La Liga and the Copa del Rey since he arrived.
In his first season with Real, Ronaldo scored a stellar 33 goals. He followed that up in the 2010-2011 campaign with an earth-shattering 53 goals. Last season, he somehow managed to top that, finishing the season with an absolutely phenomenal total of 60. He is already ninth all-time in goals for Real.
The current captain of Real, Iker Casillas, has been with the club for his entire career, something virtually unheard of in modern-day football.
In his 14 years with the senior team, Casillas has made over 638 appearances and has helped Real to five league titles and two European Cups. He was named the world’s best goalkeeper for four consecutive years.
Raul is a Real Madrid legend. With 741 appearances for the club in a career spanning three decades between 1994 and 2010, Raul scored 323 goals for the club and won nearly every award imaginable.
Raul helped to win six league titles for Real and three European Cups. He was named the league’s best player on five separate occasions.
In 11 seasons with Real Madrid, the legendary left back had over 500 appearances and scored 66 goals. He won four league titles with Real and started in all three of Real’s most recent European titles in 1998, 2000 and 2002.
In a career spanning 18 seasons with Real Madrid, Manuel Sanchis appeared for Los Blancos an amazing 711 times.
As the team’s sweeper and captain, Sanchis helped Madrid win four European Cups and the league eight times, including a stretch of five straight titles between 1985 and 1990.
Fernando Hierro spent 14 seasons with Real Madrid, appearing for the side 601 times.
Hierro won five La Liga titles with Madrid and three European Cups, and he showed his versatility playing as a centre-back and as a defensive midfielder. He even showed off an ability to score when it was needed.
In 18 seasons with Real Madrid, Gento picked up 599 appearances and scored 179 goals.
In one of the greatest feats in world football, Gento started in the finals of all six of Madrid’s European Cup victories in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1966.
Gento also helped Real win La Liga an incredible 12 times.
Zarraga started in an amazing five European Cup finals for Real Madrid between 1956 and 1960 with Real Madrid winning all five.
Madrid won the league six times in Zarraga’s 11 seasons with the club, while Zarraga accumulated over 300 appearances in his storied career.
Alfredo Di Stefano
Di Stefano was another of the famed group that won five European Cups between 1956 and 1960. Di Stefano started all five finals over that period and—perhaps more amazingly—scored in each final.
In 11 seasons with Madrid, Di Stefano scored 305 goals, won eight La Liga titles and won the Ballon d’Or twice.
Carlos Alonso, better known as Santillana, played for Madrid for 17 seasons between 1971 and 1988.
He finished third all-time in Real Madrid history with 645 appearances, and he is third all-time in goals with 289 goals. During his time with Los Blancos, Real won La Liga nine times.
In seven seasons with Real, Sanchez made 283 appearances and scored 207 goals.
The Mexican striker was a part of five consecutive La Liga titles for Madrid and was La Liga’s top scorer four times while with the club.
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