Ranking the top 10 captains in Real Madrid history

Real Madrid. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Real Madrid. (Photo by Visionhaus) /
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The captains who have played for Real Madrid so far have all had a unique set of traits that helped the squad flourish over the years. Each captain in Real Madrid’s history has gone through the pecking order, and the preceding captains have seamlessly supported their transformation into future leaders.

This article will cover the top 10 captains in the history of the club. The list embraces how each name embodied the white crest to subsequently bring honours for the club and, in turn, individually. The list will unravel how each captain found ways to tap into the philosophy of Los Blancos.

10. Santillana

Santillana, was was a centre-forward who joined in 1971 after Paco Gento retired from football and as a Los Blancos captain. The centre-forward was decisive in the club’s heritage, transitioning from an honorary Paco Gento as he was the captain from 1979 to 1988.

After earning the captaincy term, the forward won seven titles across all Spanish competitions (four LaLiga wins, one Spanish League Cup win, two Spanish Cup wins) and two UEFA Cups. A noteworthy forward who knew when to be a target-man for aerial goal-scoring opportunities and when to voice towards the squad as a captain, Santillana is fondly a captain who is rare to find and has shaped the club into what is glorified today.

9. José María Zárraga Martín

José Martín joined Los Merengues from the fourth-tier Spanish division league in 1951 and retired at Real Madrid in 1962. The central midfielder evolved as an individual who could hold the momentum, became a starter, and gradually, José Martín became the captain from 1958 to 1961.

The player won two European Champions Club silverware (UEFA Champions League), two LaLiga titles and one intercontinental Cup. The player became integral in helping the club win in European competitions with his grit, defensive stamina and constant allegiance by playing for the team when needed.

His commitment and always being a helping hand made him an integral leader from 1950 to 1961 and subsequently made him the in charge who always helped the frontline by coming in short and being of assistance for victories.

Martín reinforced what capabilities are when the environment is tinted with uncertainty. The player goes down as a magnificent captain who was available, consistent and on the lookout to convey the meaning of passion.