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Top 10 greatest Spanish footballers of all time

Published at :July 8, 2024 at 2:22 AM
Modified at :July 8, 2024 at 2:22 AM
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Dilpreet Singh

Undoubtedly, Spanish footballers are the most decorated players in the world.

Whenever the greatest football teams are talked about, Spain are always on the list. Spain’s football history goes back to the 1920s when they first played their first International match. A total of eight teams have ever won the World Cup and Spain are one of them. Many formidable, legendary players emerged from the Spanish team, who marked their presence in world football and created a special place for themselves and their team. 

Other than the World Cup, the Spanish team have won one of the most prestigious intercontinental titles, the UEFA European Championship three times. Many experts believe that the 2008 to 2012 Spain team was the best, as it was the time when they claimed the three most major football titles.

Let’s have a look at the top 10 greatest Spanish footballers of all time.

10. Sergio Busquets

Sergio Busquets, a 35-year-old defensive midfielder, who plays deep in the field is capable of play-making by directing accurate and precise passes. Despite being a defensive midfielder, he often used to initiate the attack for his team. Since 2009, when he joined Spain national team, he has played 143 matches for them.

He has been a part of a legendary club, FC Barcelona, where he appeared 481 times, making him one of the oldest club players. Currently, Busquets is playing with Inter Miami in Major League Soccer (MLS), where he is making the most out of his skills. 

9. Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is widely considered one of the best Spanish footballers of all time, because of his achievements and playing style. He used to play as an attacking midfielder and played around 32 matches for Spain scoring 14 goals.

He played a crucial role in Spain acquiring their first European title in 1964. Also, Luis Suarez was the first Spanish footballer to get a Ballon d’Or, the most prestigious individual award. He played for two legendary clubs, Barcelona and Inter Milan for a very long time. After retiring, he joined as a coach and coached many teams. 

8. Gerard Pique 

Gerard Pique, who is currently retired, is often considered one of the best defenders of his generation. Pique used to play as a centre-back and was famous for his style of defending. Pique appeared in 102 matches for Spain and played a very crucial role in Spain lifting their first World Cup title in 2010.

He began his career with Manchester United and then went to Barcelona, where he spent the rest of his career. Pique is one of the only few players to win two consecutive Champions League titles with two different teams.  

7. Fernando Hierro

Fernando Hierro used to play as a centre-back and also as a defensive midfielder for Spain. In 1989, Hierro joined the Spain national team and played around 89 matches. Being a centre-back, Hierro managed to score 29 goals for Spain, making him a diversified player.

The legend joined Real Madrid in 1989 and appeared in around 439 matches for them, scoring 102 goals. While playing for Real Madrid, he won five La Liga and three Champions League titles.

Also read: Top 10 greatest English footballers of all time

6. Raul

Raul Gonzalez Blanco retired in 2014 but left behind a legacy as one of the greatest players of his generation. He used to play as a forward. In 1996, Raul joined the Spain national team and played 102 matches for them scoring 44 goals.

Raul spent 16 years of his career with Real Madrid, where he played around 550 matches. He is the third-highest all-time goalscorer for Real Madrid, scoring around 323 goals. In his career, he won six LaLiga and three Champions League titles, making him one of the best. 

5. David Villa

David Villa was a player who not only achieved titles but the fame, other players aspire for. Villa used to play as a striker and is considered one of the best strikers of his generation. He joined Spain’s national football team in 2005 and appeared in 98 matches scoring a whopping 59 goals, which makes him one of the top scorers of Spain.

Villa joined Barcelona after spending five years with Valencia. In Barcelona, he won his first LaLiga and Champions League title. He retired from professional football in 2020 but is still remembered by many.

4. Sergio Ramos

Words will fall short for this great defender, Sergio Ramos. He is widely considered one of the greatest defenders of all time. Ramos is famous for his aggressive tackling and aerial skills, as he used to play as a centre-back. In 2005, Ramos joined Spain’s national team and since then has played 180 matches for them.

He won two UEFA European Championships and a World Cup title with Spain. He spent 16 years of his career with Real Madrid, where he appeared in 469 matches, winning five LaLiga and four Champions League titles. He played the 2023-24 season with Sevilla before leaving the club.

3. Emilio Butragueno

Emilio Butragueno is considered one of the best strikers in the game of football. Butragueno joined Spain’s national team in 1984 and played 69 matches for them scoring 26 goals. His 26 goals for Spain, stood as a record for a considerable time. He also represented La Roja in two World Cup editions.

He is famously known for his time with Real Madrid, where he reached the peak of his career. In 341 matches for Real Madrid, Butragueno scored 123 goals. With Real Madrid, Butragueno won five LaLiga, two Copa del Rey, and two back-to-back Champions League titles, making him one of the most decorated Spanish players. 

2. Xavi Hernandez

Xavi is one of the greatest midfielders to ever play the game of football. During his playing days, he was known for his vision, passing and exceptional positioning. Xavi joined Spain’s national team in 2000 and played a whopping 133 international caps. Xavi played an important role in Spain’s 2010 World Cup victory.

He also won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships with Spain. Xavi spent the majority of his career with Barcelona, where he won eight LaLiga and four Champions League titles. After retiring in 2019, he also managed Barcelona from 2021 to 2024. 

1. Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta is a name that defines greatness. Iniesta is widely considered one of the most successful and greatest midfielders of all time. After joining Spain in 2006, he appeared in 131 matches for them. Iniesta scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup finals for Spain and also played a crucial role in the 2008 and 2012 Euro Championship victories.

He joined Barcelona and played 442 matches for them in more than 16 years. Iniesta is the most decorated Spanish player of all time, as he has nine LaLiga titles and four Champions League titles to his name.

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