Voted by FIFA as the most successful club of the 20th century, Real Madrid have reached even greater heights in the second decade of the 21st century. Having won a record 33 La Liga titles and 13 European Cups, the club takes pride in its endeavours and associations.
To play for Real Madrid is often a career-defining move and some players have etched their names in history while playing for the esteemed club. Here we look at the five top players who have donned the jersey of the Los Blancos over the years.
Raúl started his youth career with Atletico Madrid but was scouted by Jorge Valdan, who insantly brought him to Real. Without further ado, Raul made his debut in 1994 with Real’s first team and went on to become their most beloved and prolific goal scorer of all time.
7 years ago Raul became Real Madrid's all-time record appearance maker in all competitions. Legendary! pic.twitter.com/OrIyZJOf0L— Real Live (@rmfcstuff) October 1, 2016
Raúl achieved greatness at the club as he went on to win six La Liga and an incredible three Champions League titles. He possessed a high work rate and was undoubtedly one of the most creative forwards of his era. He was instrumental in shaping Los Blancos’ attack over the course of an extraordinary career.
The Santiago Bernabeu welcomed Cristiano Ronaldo with arms wide open back in 2009. Over a total span of nine seasons at Real, Ronaldo turned the club into a force to reckon with once again. In his 438 appearances for the club, the Portuguese racked up a record 450 goals and became their highest goal-scorer in history, leaving behind club icons such as Di Stefano and Raul.
On this day in 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Real Madrid with a world record fee of £80m.— B3 (@b3naldo7) July 1, 2019
And then the rest is history..🐐👑 pic.twitter.com/ei1hxW51yi
During his tenure, Ronaldo won four Ballon d’Ors at the club, etching his name in history. Before his move to Juventus in the summer of 2018, the 34-year-old had lifted four Champions League titles with the club.
A true magician on the pitch, Zidane’s artistry was unmatched. The Frenchman is easily one of world football’s most technically gifted players, and the ease with which he delivers at the highest stage was what forced Real to get him on board. With the world’s best first touch and unparalleled skill with the ball, he made a name for himself.
Zidane went to Real Madrid from Juventus for a World record fee of £48m to Real Madrid in 2001.— Best Footy Transfers (@TheBestTransfer) April 25, 2019
He went on to do stuff like this... pic.twitter.com/6yXmLK6j5p
His brilliant volley against Bayer Leverkusen to win Real Madrid their ninth European title was a sight few would ever forget. Zidane has now taken the reigns as Los Blancos’ coach and has delivered three consecutive Champions League titles, along with a La Liga title in 2017.
Alfredo di Stefano
Alfredo Di Stefano’s name is entirely synonymous with Real Madrid. Di Stefano's legacy is unparalleled as he remains till date the most iconic player for the All Whites. He made Real a formidable force in Europe and established Los Blancos’ connection with the Champions League.
Di Stefano made 344 appearances for Real, scoring 266 goals in the process but what caught everyone’s attention was his innate versatility. He was an all-round player having capabilities of both a forward and a defender. He left an indelible mark on Real’s history when he ended his illustrious career with two Ballon d’ Ors, five European Cups, and eight La Liga titles.
Real Madrid’s most prolific goalkeeper of all time, Iker Casillas possessed lightning reflexes and a one-on-one ability second to none, but he also had the humility, composure, and leadership qualities that have made him Madrid’s best captain.
St. Iker, as referred by the fans, lifted innumerable trophies with the club and was one of the most celebrated legends to have graced the pitch for Los Blancos. Although his spat with Mourinho made headlines, his unceremonious departure wasn’t well received by the media and the Real faithful.
Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Franck Fife