Spanish footballers are known for their world-class passing abilities and dribbling skills. Even though some of the top Spaniards haven’t been physically very strong, their technical gifts made them sensational on the pitch. So, let’s find out who are the top 10 Spanish football players of all time.
Spain has won only one world cup, which came in 2010. Even though they have been an intimidating force for a long time, the international glory stayed far away from them. But finally, when Spain fielded a team that was too good for the opponents, their success followed. The 2008-2012 period is considered the golden period in Spanish football. You’ll find a lot of players in the top 10 list who played in that span. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
10. Andoni Zubizarreta
When talking about the greatest ever players, goalkeepers are often excluded. Showstoppers remain on the other end of the most thrilling events in a football match: goals; hence, they are not the ones whose celebration you see on paper.
But when it comes to the top 10 Spanish football players of all time, you can’t forget the 1,87 m goalkeeper, Andoni Zubizarreta, who has the 6th most appearances in the Spanish national team.
Playing with FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, Zubizarreta has won every major title there was to win in club football. However, despite playing in four world cups and three European Cups, his international trophy cabinet remains empty.
9. Emilio Butragueño
Before Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo Nazário, there was a centre-forward named Emilio Butragueño who revolutionized the playing style of Real Madrid. Scoring 176 goals in 451 matches and helping Los Blancos secure 6 Spanish titles, he claimed a legendary status in the club’s history.
When it comes to international football, his trophy cabinet remains empty, but that doesn’t indicate the kind of player he was. Butragueño has scored 26 goals in 70 appearances for Spain. Emilio Butragueño is an authentic Spanish legend, and he ranks 9th in our top 10 Spanish football players of all time.
8. Fernando Hierro
Some defenders get to the top and remain there for one, two or five years, but Fernando Hierro stood firm as a nightmare in front of strikers for more than 15 years. Apart from his defensive abilities, what made him special was a hunger for scoring goals.
He ended his career with 130 goals in club football, which is even unimaginable for some top forwards. He helped Real Madrid win 3 Champions League, 5 La Liga and many other titles. Even though he remains trophyless in international football, his 26 goals in 70 appearances made a big difference for Spain.
Raúl holds the 7th spot in our top 10 Spanish football players on the all-time list. He was a Real Madrid academy graduate who flourished in the Galactico era when the Madrid team had the world’s most popular foreign players. Raul started his journey with the Atletico Madrid youth team.
But they decided to close their academy for financial reasons later on, which became a boon for direct rivals Real. Playing primarily in the second striker role, Raul scored 384 goals and gave 140 assists in his club career, reflecting that he was not only a goalscorer but also a playmaker.
Even though he didn’t taste international glory, he was ranked five times Spain’s footballer of the year, which suggests the value he brought to the team. He ended his national journey with 44 goals in 102 appearances.
6. Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos ranks 6th in the top 10 Spanish football players of all time. He is one of the most coveted superstars of Sapin. He has been a ruthless defender and a team leader throughout his career. His accolades in club football remain 4 Champions League, 4 Club world cup, 5 La Liga and many other major titles.
But what makes him legendary in the eyes of all Spanish supporters is his incredible contribution to the 2008, 2012 EURO and 2010 World Cup triumphs. Apart from being a great defender, Ramos has also scored more than 170 goals, making him an impressive goalscorer. Even though his peak years are over, he can still contribute to his nation’s success.
5. David Villa
David Villa was known for his lethal striking abilities. Playing with some significant Spanish teams like FC Barcelona and Valencia CF, Villa showcased his class in the biggest tournaments. His goal in the 2011/12 Champions League final can give any FC Barcelona fan instant goosebumps.
He has scored 59 goals in 98 international matches and gifted his country with a World Cup in 2010. He is an absolute Spanish legend, and thus we pick him in the 5th spot of the top 10 Spanish football players of all time.
4. Carles Puyol
We have picked Carles Puyol in the 4th position of our top 10 Spanish football players on the all-time list. Any discussion regarding the best leaders in football is incomplete without Carles Puyol’s name. The legendary centre-back stepped up whenever his team needed him the most.
Along with his incredible skills on the pitch, he was the kind of leader who respected every opponent and influenced his teammates to do so. Puyol secured 3 Champions League and 6 La Liga titles while playing for FC Barcelona.
But the highest moment of his career came in 2010 when he lifted the World Cup with his Spanish teammates. Puyol scored a header against Germany in the semi-final of that tournament, which remains a clutch moment in Spanish history.
3. Xavi Hernandez
Xavi Hernandez stands 3rd in the list of the top 10 Spanish football players of all-time. The Spanish midfielder’s partnership with Andres Iniesta became the key to FC Barcelona and Spain’s playing style. His incredible passing abilities, game awareness, and intelligence made him a top player with little to no vulnerability.
His technique was so simple but elegant at the same time; it surprised the world. Even though scoring goals wasn’t the prime attribute of his game, he bagged 109 goals in club football. His 214 assists suggest the kind of playmaker he was.
4 Champions League, 8 Spanish titles, 2 Club World Cups and several other significant titles make his trophy cabinet superior. He became a world cup winner with Spain in 2010. He also helped his nation secure 2 European championships, making him a legend to Spanish supporters.
2. Iker Casillas
Even though we said earlier that it is tough for a goalkeeper to claim the highest position in the top 10 list, it seems simpler for Iker Casillas because of his massive club and international accolades. He developed himself into one of the best keepers during his peak and became a wall for Real Madrid and the Spanish national team.
Footballing history could look very different today without his saves against Arjen Robben in the 2010 World Cup final. But he made that save and led his team to glory. He also has 2 EURO titles in his trophy cabinet. Casillas has secured 3 Champions League, 5 La Liga, and several other major titles with Real Madrid.
1. Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta takes up the no. 1 spot in the top 10 Spanish football players of all time. Considering the kind of contributions he has made to his nation, it would be criminal to create a top-10 list without Iniesta.
Iniesta scored the winning goal in the 2010 world cup for Spain, probably the most crucial goal in the nation’s history. He has scored 12 more for his country’s first team. But overall, more than his goals, the midfielder’s flamboyant passing technique and intelligence brought impressive results.
He was one of the most crucial pieces of Pep Guardiola’s Tiki Taka style that revolutionized modern football. He has won 9 Spanish championships and 4 Champions League for FC Barcelona.
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