Real Madrid is one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of on-field achievements and global fan following. With 91 trophies in all competitions - a tally that consists of a record 34 La Liga and 13 UEFA Champions League titles - Real Madrid (along with Barcelona) are the most successful club in Europe's top five leagues. The reigning La Liga champions are the first club in the Champions League era to successfully defend their title. Their three-peat between 2016 and 2018 was the first time in over four decades that a team won three consecutive titles in the competition.
Real Madrid's all-time greatest XI
Real Madrid is one of three clubs that have never been relegated from the Spanish top-flight during the competition's nine-decade history, with the others being Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. Considering their pedigree both in Spain and Europe, some of the best players in the world have donned the colors of the legendary Spanish capital club. On that note, let us have a look at Real Madrid's greatest all-time XI.
Goalkeeper- Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. He played in 16 glorious seasons for Real Madrid. In 725 appearances for the club, he kept an impressive 264 clean sheets. He made his debut for the club back in 1999. Casillas had outstanding reflexes, agility, shot-stopping prowess and composure in one-on-one situations. He won five La Liga trophies and three Champions League titles among a host of other honours with Real Madrid. The most-capped player in the Champions League (177 appearances) also captained Spain to their first-ever FIFA World Cup title in 2010 either side of consecutive successes in the European Championships.
Left-back - Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos is arguably the most offensive left-back in the history of the sport. During 11 successful seasons at Real Madrid, the Brazilian scored an impressive 70 goals and provided 88 assists in over 500 appearances in all competitions for the club. His goal-scoring prowess and versatility meant that Carlos was also deployed as a winger at times, but it was as a left-back that he had the greatest impact. Carlos, not surprisingly, was renowned for his goal-scoring ability, dribbling skills, crossing expertise, work rate, long throw-ins and set-piece prowess. The 2002 FIFA World Cup winner won four La Liga trophies and three Champions League titles, among other domestic and continental honours, before leaving Real Madrid in the summer of 2007.
Centre back- Sergio Ramos
One of the finest goal-scoring defenders of all time, Sergio Ramos arrived at Real Madrid from Sevilla in the summer of 2005 and has never looked back. The Real Madrid captain is renowned for his tackling ability, aerial prowess, eye for goals and set-piece ability. Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ramos assumed penalty-taking duties for Real Madrid and has scored all of his 15 spot-kicks. His formidable central defensive partnership with Raphael Varane played a key role in Real Madrid conceding a meagre 25 goals all season as they won their first La Liga title in three years. Now Sergio Ramos plays for PSG.
Centre back - Fernando Hierro
During a successful 14-year stint with Real Madrid, Fernando Hierro scored over 100 goals in 522 appearances in all competitions for the club, which is an impressive tally for a defender. Hierro was particularly renowned for his solid defensive play, impressive passing ability and prolific goalscoring prowess. The 52-year-old's versatility meant that he could also be deployed as a defensive midfielder or a sweeper; however, he made the most impact as a centre-back. Between 1991-92 and 1994-95, Hierro scored an impressive 55 times across competitions as Real Madrid won the La Liga, Copa Del Rey and Spanish Super Cup titles.
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Miguel Pollan Noguera, more commonly known as Chendo, played for Real Madrid during his entire professional career. After graduating through the youth ranks at the club, Chendo made his Real Madrid debut under Alfredo Di Stefano in 1984 and never looked back. During his 16-season stint at the Santiago Bernabeu, the right-back won seven La Liga titles, one UEFA Cup and two European Cups Chendo was the undisputed right-back for Real Madrid in the side's five consecutive La Liga triumphs from 1986 to 1990.
Zinedine Zidane - midfielder and attacker
Among the best, Real Madrid XI of all time is Zinedine Zidane also known as ‘Zizou’. The French man is one of the best players in the history of soccer. A genius with indescribable elegance on the field. He was endowed with a natural gift of doing magic with the ball. Zidane has achieved every single title that can be achieved, both with France's national team and Real Madrid. He led France to two FIFA world cup finals; 1998 and 2006, one of which (98) was won by them with Zidane scoring 2 goals in the final match. He has also guided the 'Les Blues' to win the 2000 European championship in which he was named the Player of the Tournament. He has won 6 titles with Real Madrid as well as displaying astonishing performances, great dribbling skill, vision, and ball control. He has played in 227 games and has scored 49 goals for the Whites.
Alfredo Di Stefano–Midfielder and attacker
The Argentinian legend who played for Real Madrid for 11 years from 1953 to 1964, with 396 official appearances and 308 goals is regarded as one of the best players of all time. He was the person who turned the Whites into the world's most important club. Because what Real Madrid is today, refers back to the impacts he had on the club in his years, putting him in the squad of Real Madrid's greatest all-time XI would be the last thing we can do to honour his memory and achievements. With him, Real Madrid reached the pinnacle of their glory. The record of winning 5 consecutive European cups is still unbroken where he scored at least one goal in all of the final matches.
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Francisco Gento–Midfielder and attacker
Known as the 'Storm of the Cantabrian' Francisco Gento holds the record of being the only player who has won 6 European Cups. He was a member of one of the best teams in the history of Real Madrid alongside legendary players such as Di Stefano, Puskas etc. His remarkable skills in crossing and dribbling, as well as his stunning pace, leaves us no choice but to put him in Real Madrid's best XI unquestionably. He has played in 18 seasons (more than 600 matches) for the club and has won 12 Spanish La Liga titles in addition to 6 European cups.
Cristiano Ronaldo–Midfielder and attacker
Who deserves to be on the list of the best Real Madrid XI of all time more than the club's all-time leading goal scorer? Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 451 goals in only 438 appearances for the Whites! That's an average of more than one goal per match for the Portuguese legend. He has rewritten the history during his 9 years at the club and has broken many impressive records; the most number of goals to have been scored by a Real Madrid player in one season (61), scoring 105 goals for the club in UCL (He is also the all-time leading goal scorer of the tournament with more than 130 goals), the highest number of games in which a player has scored three or more goals in the history of La Liga, the most number of goals scored in a single season of UCL (17), the highest number of assists in UCL etc. Ronaldo was undoubtedly the most crucial part of the team which managed to win 3 UCL titles in a row by scoring many decisive goals. He is one of the few players who has reached a total of more than 1000 appearances and has scored more than 750 career goals. He is to break the record of the highest number of international goals. He has won 5 UEFA Champions League trophies in total, 4 of which have been with the Whites. He left Real Madrid and joined Manchester United in 2021.
Raul Gonzalez–Midfielder and attacker
He is the second all-time finest goal scorer of the club with a total of 323 goals. He will always be the eternal captain of Los Blancos and a role model for every young kid on the streets of Madrid and has a fixed position in every Real Madrid best 11 of all time. He has helped the club secure 3 European cups, scoring in 2 of the final matches in 2000 and 2002. He is one of the few players to have reached 100 international caps with Spain's national team. The 'golden Boy' of Spain finally left the club in 2010, after 18 wonderful years of memories.
Ferenc Puskas–Midfielder and attacker
Scoring 242 goals in 262 for Real Madrid is not something to pass by easily. That’s why he is among the best Real Madrid XI of all time. He joined the Whites when he was 31, but age was not a barrier to stop him from becoming one of the legends of Real Madrid. The fans were shocked and taken aback when this old man entered the club, but it was to be not a long time until they realized they had been mistaken. His one-of-a-kind ability in scoring was a great contribution to winning 3 European and 5 La Liga titles. He is the winner of Olympics gold medal in 1952 with Hungarian national team. Ferenc Puskas holds the unbroken record of scoring 4 goals in a European final match against Frankfurt in 1960.
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