As a youngster, I watched Ronaldo play with the team. Although I was disappointed that I was unable to see the full potential of his game, I was amazed at how he progressed so quickly. In this article, I’ll try to assess some of the things he’s done. After all, he’s only twenty-one. Is he destined to be Madrid’s best player ever?
Among the best players ever to play for Real Madrid are Sergio Ramos and Hugo Sanchez. However, no one can match the legendary Hugo Sanchez. His stellar career began when he was just 17 and played for the Club Universidad Nacional (UNAM) Pumas in Mexico from 1972 to 1976. During this time, he was studying to be a dentist. In fact, he was voted as the best player of all time by his peers in the Spanish league.
Real Madrid fans aren’t sure which of the two players is their favorite, but they do agree that Hugo is the most talented player. Among those three, Ronaldo has the most accolades of all, claiming five La Liga titles and three European Cups. Yet, he’s not the only legend to play for Madrid. Many Madrid fans believe that Raul and Hugo are equally good, but they represent different teams with different strengths.
The Chilean forward played in 281 official games for Real Madrid. He won the Golden Boot during the 1989-1990 season. Unlike many of his fellow players, he won the Golden Shoe for scoring goals with his first touch. Sanchez’s skills and tenacity have made him one of the greatest players in the history of La Liga. The most impressive achievement of all, however, is his incredible goal scoring record.
Among the greatest players in the history of the Spanish club, Steve McManaman has a special place in Madrid’s heart. He played for the club for nine seasons, winning the FA Cup and League Cup. He was transferred to Real Madrid in 1999, after which his transfer became the most famous Bosman ruling of all time. In 2000, McManaman became the first English player to win the UEFA Champions League with a non-English club and won the tournament twice. He left Madrid to join Manchester City in 2003 and retired from playing in 2005. Nevertheless, he has continued to work as a football pundit, pointing out the positives and negatives of the Spanish club.
Real Madrid struggled in the domestic campaign, but were able to turn things around in Europe. In the Champions League, McManaman displayed his attacking abilities, scoring twice and assisting the winner against Mallorca. With the departure of Toshack, Real Madrid were back in the final of the competition, but the defeat to Valencia ruined the team’s chances of claiming any silverware.
The Frenchman has had an incredible year for Real Madrid, scoring seven goals and creating 11 in all competitions. He was also instrumental in France’s World Cup victory. But before joining Real in 2011, Varane was a college student, studying economics and social sciences. But since then, he’s developed into one of the best attacking midfielders in the world, putting the club on the map.
The Frenchman has played for Real Madrid for a decade and has won a host of trophies. He has won four Champions League titles, four Club World Cups and three European Super Cups. His impressive record is also notable as he has won three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and three Spanish Super Cups. However, Varane is also capable of winning the Champions League.
Real Madrid’s ‘total agreement’ with Manchester United has not slowed the Frenchman’s move to Old Trafford. Varane joined Real Madrid from Lens in 2011 and has won 13 trophies for the Spanish club. In addition to the La Liga and the Champions League, Varane has won the 2018 World Cup. So, if a player like Varane leaves Real Madrid, he will definitely be the club’s best player.
Ivan is the most important player at Real Madrid, but there is one who deserves more recognition: Carlos Zamorano. The Chilean was an incredible leader and scored 41 goals in 139 games for the club. He was also a great teammate and was a valuable asset in the midfield. He was a team player and understood the Interista culture better than most players. He was also a great leader in Chile.
Ivan Zamorano is a great header, earning the nickname “The Helicopter” in France. Zamorano first learned to head the ball by reaching out for a light bulb in a hallway. He then trained with fellow players Nelson Pedetti and Manuel Pedreros. He even modeled for the movie Peter Veneno, played by Daniel Alcaino.
He was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the best living players. Zamorano, nicknamed “Bam Bam,” played for the Chilean national team for a decade. He also played for Inter Milan for a season in 1998. Cristiano wore his number nine, which was also used by Zamorano. It was a unique moment that no other player has achieved.
Vicente Del Bosque
For many people, Cristiano and Madrid are inseparable, but there is one player that can easily be compared to them: Vicente Del Bosque. A legendary Spanish midfielder, Del Bosque was one of the most talented players of all time and was also one of the best team managers in history. His humility and ability to organize the team meant he earned respect around the world.
This team also features the legendary goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, who was an integral part of Del Bosque’s Real Madrid teams and was one of the club’s most prolific goalkeepers. Casillas was a vital part of the success Del Bosque has achieved with his side, winning the Champions League twice and the World Cup in 2010 and 2012. The keeper is known as ‘Saint Iker’ and has been one of the best goalkeepers in the world for 20 years. Another notable player is Michel Salgado, who was labelled a ‘genuine Psychopath’ by his former Real Madrid teammate Steve McManaman. The Argentine played for Real Madrid for six seasons and won the Champions League twice under Del Bosque.
Another legend with Real Madrid is Paco Gento. The Argentine was part of the famous five-game European Cup triumphs in 1956-1960. His pinpoint accuracy of crosses is a key part of Madrid’s success. At his peak, he clocked a 100-metre sprint in 11 seconds. His greatness as a left-winger makes him one of the best players in club history.
Real Madrid are not without their greats. Cristiano Ronaldo is the all time top scorer with 450 goals in 438 games. No one will ever equal this return. Cristiano also won four Champions League titles during his time at Real Madrid and scored at least 30 goals in every season. Nevertheless, a lot of people believe Karim Benzema is Cristiano Madrids best player ever.
Benzema joined Real Madrid at the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact, he acted as Ronaldo’s right hand man, supporting him when the Portuguese superstar scored. After Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018, Benzema stepped into a more prominent role. Currently, he is second in the La Liga scoring charts with a goal every other game. Benzema’s consistency and excellent off-the-ball movement have made him an ideal candidate for the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
In recent years, Benzema has been in sensational form for Real Madrid. In the 2021/22 season alone, he has scored 41 goals. In 600 matches for Real Madrid, he has already accumulated 320 goals, including four against Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final. If he wins the Ballon d’Or this weekend, he will become the club’s eighth all-time greatest player.
Alfredo Di Stefano
If Cristiano and his team-mates are to be judged by their performances in the past, they need to look no further than Alfredo Di Stefano. Born in Argentina, Di Stefano was one of Real Madrid’s most inspirational players of all time. A versatile utility player, the Argentine is best known for his time with Real Madrid in the 1950s. His goal-scoring exploits helped the club win five consecutive European Cups and eight La Liga titles.
Di Stefano began his career at River Plate at the age of seventeen. He played internationally for Argentina and Colombia, and was loaned to Club Atletico Huracan in 1947. In 1949, due to a footballers’ strike, he moved to Bogota, where he joined the Millonarios. After a few years, he won the Argentine championship, and his talent was already recognized. In 1940, the family moved to the countryside, and Alfredo Di Stefano played football with his brother Tulio for Club Social y Deportivo Union Progresista.
While Cristiano and Di Stefano are undoubtedly the best players in Real Madrid’s history, Alfredo Di Stefano should be a more prominent player. He made Real Madrid the most successful club of the 20th century. Raul would not be able to compete with him, but his talent and ability led to his enduring status as the club’s fourth-highest scorer.