All-Time 10 Best Real Madrid Players

'The White House' has witnessed some amazing talents over the years, combining to make them one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the history of the sport. Here's a look at ten of the best Real Madrid players to have donned the famous white shirt. 

01
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Alfredo di Stefano

25th October 1960: Spanish footballer Alfredo di Stefano, one of the world's greatest forwards, spinning a ball on one finger during Spain's team practice at Roehampton in preparation for their match against England at Wembley.
Terry Disney/Central Press/Getty Images

The third highest scorer in the club’s history, Di Stefano brought more to the table than goals. The powerful forward played for Real between 1953 and 1964 in what was one of the most glorious periods in the club’s history. He helped fire the Merengues to eight titles and five European Cups. For a long time, his tally of 49 goals in 58 matches was a record in the latter competition. "Saeta rubia" (blond arrow) was on the verge of joining Barcelona in 1953, but was convinced to move to Real by the club’s then president Santiago Bernabeu.

02
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Ferenc Puskas

Ferenc Puskas
Ferenc Puskas. Central Press / Getty Images

The Hungarian was a protagonist in the unstoppable Real team of the 1950s and 60s, striking up a fearsome partnership with Di Stefano. The striker scored four hat-tricks in his first season at the club in 1958 and went on to win five titles in the 60s, not to mention three European Cups in 1959, 1960 and 1966. He won four “Pichichi” awards for top goalscorer and is regarded as one of the best players ever to have kicked a ball.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo. Getty Images

When the Portuguese winger joined the club from Manchester United, most would have been expecting him to wow the Bernabeu with the vast repertoire of skills that he had displayed in his years at Old Trafford. What was less easy to predict was his startling goals-to-games ratio that has regularly seen him going head-to-head with Barcelona's Lionel Messi at the top of the goalscoring charts. US$131 million well spent and now the club's record goalscorer. More »

04
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Francisco Gento

Francisco Gento
Francisco Gento. Central Press / Getty Images

It is hard to ignore a player who won the European Cup a record six times with Real Madrid and appeared in another two finals. The fleet-footed wide man was a star for Real in the 50s and 60s, helping the club to 12 titles. The success of players like Gento in this great era is one of the reasons for the high expectations around the Bernabeu. Over 600 first-team matches in 18 years at the club speaks for itself. His goalscoring record was also impressive despite his withdrawn position.

05
of 10

Hugo Sanchez

Hugo Sanchez
Hugo Sanchez. Getty Images

The Mexican would celebrate goals with a somersault in honor of his sister who was a gymnast and participated in the Montreal Olympics. And he had plenty to celebrate. In a seven-year spell between 1985 and 1992 Sanchez was a regular scorer, winning four "Pichichi" awards and five consecutive titles.

Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas. Denis Doyle / Getty Images

Real Madrid’s established number one goalkeeper throughout the decade, Casillas has occasionally made saves that defy belief. Often having to bail out a slapdash defense and a team whose attacking mentality can leave gaping holes in the backline, the youth product was the best goalkeeper in the world alongside Gianlugi Buffon for a decade. 'Saint Iker’s' humble persona is at odds with that of the modern player, and he once said: "I don't see myself as a galactico. I'm just a bloke who came from Madrid's youth team, full stop". More »

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane. Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

Real Madrid signed the French wizard from Juventus in 2001 for a world record fee. He had it all. A superb passer, clever finisher and blessed with extreme upper body strength, Zidane dictated Real’s play. His match-winning volley in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen will go down as one of the competition’s best ever goals. Arguably his most renowned trick was the “roulette” which he used to spectacular effect to turn past opponents. Now the coach. More »

08
of 10

Raul Gonzalez

Raul Gonzalez
Raul Gonzalez. Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

The second highest goalscorer, Raul had a long and distinguished career after starting out at Real’s cross down rivals Atletico Madrid as a youngster. The former club captain held a lot of weight in the dressing room, always ready to act in the club’s best interests. He is an expert finisher, with that dandy knack of being in the right place at the right time to finish off moves. Moved to Schalke in July 2010.

09
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Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos. Martin Rose / Getty Images

With thighs like tree trunks, the Brazilian's buccaneering runs down Real's left thrilled fans for 11 years before he left the club for Fenerbahce in 2007. So dearly he holds the club to his heart, the left-back was quoted as saying late in his career that he would return to the Bernabeu to play for free. Regarded as the most attack-minded defender in the world when in his pomp, Carlos was capable of the odd spectacular goal - witness his strike against Tenerife in February 1998 - but was also a fine defender, able to use his pace to get him out of difficult situations.

10
of 10

Luis Figo

Luis Figo
Luis Figo. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images

The Portuguese winger’s transfer from bitter rivals Barcelona in 2000 caused much controversy. On his return to the Nou Camp a Barcelona fan famously threw a pig’s head onto the pitch and abuse rained from the stands as the Barca cules (fans) demonstrated their disgust for Figo’s perceived treachery. The signing proved a masterstroke as Figo bamboozled defenders, with his skill and technique instrumental in the winning of two Liga titles and a Champions League. Figo was so naturally gifted that he did not need to rely on pace.