25. Manolo Sanchís
And yet another standout of the La Quina del Buitre squad shows up on this list of the 75 best Real Madrid players of all time. Manolo Sanchís is another underrated player in his legacy for Los Blancos, but he was another true Madridista through and through.
Sanchís made over 500 appearances for the Royal White club in the league alone, scoring 33 times for the ONLY club he knew.
A sweeper, Sanchís could do it all, part of a legacy of defenders at Real Madrid who played with passion, intelligence, and the ability to aid the attack. Sanchís was a Madrid captain for over a decade and won nine league titles – eight with Madrid and one Segunda title with Castilla.
24. Santiago Bernabéu
Everyone knows about Santiago Bernabéu the legendary president of 35 years and the namesake of the greatest club of all time, but did you know that Real’s foundational hero was also one heck of a footballer in his own right?
Bernabéu signed with Real Madrid in 1909 at the age of 14 and would go on to captain the team. He was a star striker for the Merengues, showing commanding strength and clinical finishing at a very important and formative period in the club’s history from 1911 to 1928. In just 80 official matches, Bernabéu found the back of the net 70 times. Madridistas owe him a lot both as a player and as an executive.
23. Ricardo Zamora
The namesake of the prestigious Zamora Trophy, Ricardo Zamora is undoubtedly one of the greatest goalkeepers in Real Madrid’s history – and there are many to choose from.
Zamora is also one of the greatest players to move from Barcelona to Real Madrid, though, unlike Luís Figo, he did have a stint with Espanyol in between. The keeper was vital in Real winning its first LaLiga title in 1931/32, when they never lost, and Real Madrid would also win the next title. He is one of the greatest Spanish players of all time.
22. Raymond Kopa
Raymond Kopa spent even less time at Real Madrid than Ricardo Zamora, but what he accomplished during his time in Madrid was simply on another level. One of the greatest French players of all time, though modern fans sometimes forget his excellence, Kopa won the Ballon d’Or and was runner-up in two of the three years he was a part of the club.
That speaks volumes. During his brief time at Real Madrid, Kopa was arguably the best player in the world, dazzling fans all over with his spellbinding dribbling skills. Kopa won LaLiga twice and three straight European Cups, his elite talent clearly instrumental in Real’s enviable success. And though he was only there for three years, Kopa has always made it clear that his time in Madrid was extraordinarily special to him.
21. Toni Kroos
The greatest controller of the midfield in his time, Toni Kroos is massively underrated and disrespected by people who know very, very little about football and revered to the nth degree by fans, pundits, and other players who truly understand who difficult his job is.
Kroos is the difference-maker on the biggest stages, as Madridistas have seen in multiple successful Champions League Finals. The winner of four UCLs with Madrid and one with Bayern Munich, Kroos is the gift from Die Roten that keeps on giving.