Ranking the 75 best players in Real Madrid history

Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Xabi Alonso
Real Madrid, Xabi Alonso (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

65. Xabi Alonso

The classy Xabi Alonso is now impressing as a manager. Although the Spanish midfielder was overshadowed by some of his compatriots at a certain rival club, the ex-Liverpool and Bayern star touched every club he played for with his quality, including Real Madrid. He could do everything in midfield, dictating play as one of the coolest men on the planet. Alonso was there for La Decima, but he was even more decisive in other Champions League runs, averaging well over two key passes per game in three versions of the prestigious tournament.

64. David Beckham

I anticipate some people being surprised by David Beckham being ranked well outside the top 50, given he is one of the best players of all time and exceeded five assists in each of his seasons at Real, producing some real highlights with his passing.

But the reality is that Beckham’s greatest legacy was the marketing. On the pitch, he was a failed transfer, as replacing Claude Makélélé proved to be disastrous to the stability of the squad. Beckham was miscast outside of his favored position. In the end, he only won a single major trophy, LaLiga in the 2006/07 season.

He was a great player and showed his greatness at times for Real, particularly in his final season there when he won the league. But he just didn’t accomplish enough on the pitch to be ranked higher. That said, he is already ranked high enough, considering the quality of the players behind him.

63. Luis Molowny

A player and manager for Real Madrid, Luis Molowny scored an impressive 89 goals in 172 appearances during the 40’s and 50’s. Santiago Bernabéu actually pushed hard for Real to sign Molowny, and he would deliver three league titles as a player and three league titles as a manager.

62. Keylor Navas

The goalkeeper during Real Madrid’s three-peat, Keylor Navas is one of the best keepers in the club’s history, which is saying a lot, given the players who have come through Madrid, such as Iker Casillas and Paco Buyo. Navas had his issues, but his reflexes made him capable of producing stops nobody else could.

61. Isco

Isco’s legacy at Real Madrid will perhaps be more appreciated in the future when the recency bias of the last few seasons has washed away. Though the Andalusian hasn’t been an impactful part of the squad lately, he was a smashing success in his first five seasons as a valuable role player and playmaker, elevating his game against the trickiest of defensive opponents.

The ex-Malaga man won five Champions League titles at Real Madrid and was instrumental in the first four of them. He finished his Madrid career with 37 goals in 246 games, with an especially breathtaking 2016/17 season in which he had 10 goals and 9 assists in LaLiga.