With 34 La Liga titles and 13 UEFA Champions League titles, Real Madrid are comfortably one of the most decorated club in the history of the sport. The All Whites dominated the opening five seasons of the Champions League and recently recorded a three-peat under Zinedine Zidane. The latter feat further cemented their place in the history of European football.
Thanks to their unmatched trophy cabinet and deep pockets, Real Madrid have not had a shortage of world-class players. Many have tried to carve a place in the Real Madrid Hall of Fame, but very few have been worth writing home about.
Today, we will be taking a look at some legends who did no harm to their reputation during their spell with Real Madrid. Today, we will talk about
5 greatest players who donned the All White of Real Madrid
#5 Francisco Gento (1953-1971)
Dubbed as the “The Gale of the Cantabrian Sea,” Francisco “Paco” Gento personified everything that made Real Madrid the best team in the 50’s and 60’s. Gento joined Real Madrid in 1953 and retired in 1971, enjoying an illustrious 18-year-spell in the Spanish capital.
Gento played as a left-winger or an outside-left at the time, and had a knack for creating as well as scoring. He had blistering pace, an eye for goal, and he always knew how to find his team-mates in a congested area. Gento’s dribbling was also a sight to behold and very few teams in the world could keep up with his movement and quick feet.
During his time with Real Madrid, Gento won a whopping 6 European Cups — a record that remains untouched to this day. He was also the only Real Madrid player to appear in joint-record 8 European Cup finals. Gento currently serves as the Honorary President of Real Madrid.
#4 Zinedine Zidane (2001-2006)
With the transfer of Luis Figo from Barcelona in 2000, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez kicked off the Galactico era at Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane, who was coming off an excellent spell with Juventus, was signed promptly in 2001. The Frenchman subsequently went on to create an unfathomable legacy at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Zidane is one of the most technically gifted players the world of football has ever seen. His cushiony first touches, signature “roulettes,” and precise shooting made him the perfect attacking midfielder, and no one has replicated his brilliance since. He was one of the first names on the team sheet during his playing career, and famously won Real Madrid their 9th UEFA Champions League title with an insane volley in 2002.
The Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Cup winner eventually took charge as coach of the main team, and guided them to three consecutive UEFA Champions League victories between 2016 and 2018, amongst other honors.