REAL MADRID

Ronaldo, Di Stéfano... Real Madrid's best ever players by shirt number

AS journalist and number-one Real Madrid fan Tomás Roncero picks the greatest ever players to wear the numbers 1 through to 11 for Los Blancos.

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  • Iker Casillas.

    1. Iker Casillas

    Real Madrid’s goalkeeper from 1999 to 2015, Casillas made 725 appearances for Los Blancos, winning as many as 19 trophies. His reflexes, agility and ability in one-on-one situations made him an icon of the global game and one of the greatest players in the club’s history.

    FOTO: JESUS AGUILERA (DIARIO AS)

    1 / 11

  • Dorsal número dos Dani Carvajal

    2. Dani Carvajal

    A product of Real Madrid’s youth set-up and an indefatigable right-back, Carvajal returned to the Bernabéu in 2013 after a year at Bayer Leverkusen, where he was named in that season’s Bundesliga ideal XI. The grit and determination he shows in every game have made him a must-pick for all his coaches. A starter in all four of Madrid’s recent Champions League final wins.

    FOTO: JESUS RUBIO

    2 / 11

  • Roberto Carlos.

    3. Roberto Carlos

    A force of nature on the left flank. The best number 3 in the club’s history. In the top three foreign players with the most Real Madrid appearances. What more can you say? His powerful shot, whether unleashed for free-kicks or open-play efforts from range, was lethal.

    FOTO: AGUILERA (DIARIO AS)

    3 / 11

  • Sergio Ramos.

    4. Sergio Ramos

    The captain of Real Madrid’s second golden age, Ramos scored goals that helped Los Merengues secure victory in both the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals. A commanding centre-back, Ramos was the first Spanish signing made by club president Florentino Pérez when he arrived from Sevilla in 2005.

    FOTO: RAFA APARICIO (DIARIO AS)

    4 / 11

  • Zinedine Zidane.

    5. Zinedine Zidane

    As elegant a player as there has ever been. Zidane was the most expensive footballer in history when he joined Real Madrid for 72 million euros, but his class, presence and understated leadership ensured that investment was always going to pay off. Appointed as head coach in 2016, he added to his legendary status at the club by leading Los Blancos to three straight Champions League titles.

    FOTO: DIARIO AS

    5 / 11

  • Fernando Redondo.

    6. Fernando Redondo

    His blend of creativity and defensive graft make him one of the best midfielders that Real Madrid have ever had. He had class, character, presence… A dominant influence whose passing was utterly metronomic, he led Madrid to two Champions League wins in three years at the end of the 20th century. His departure for AC Milan in 2000 was a bitter blow for the club’s fans.

    FOTO: (DIARIO AS)

    6 / 11

  • Cristiano Ronaldo.

    7. Cristiano Ronaldo

    The leading marksman in Real Madrid’s history with 450 goals, scored in 438 appearances (more than one a game) between 2009 and 2018. His winning DNA helped to return Madrid to heights not scaled since the days of Alfredo di Stéfano. The Portuguese netted in every competition he played in for the club. The best player Real Madrid have had in the 21st century.

    FOTO: JESÚS RUBIO (DIARIO AS)

    7 / 11

  • Amancio Amaro.

    8. Amancio Amaro

    Amancio owned the right wing during his time as a Real Madrid player. Quick and skilful, he wore the white shirt from 1962 to 1976, winning nine LaLiga titles and one European Cup. He also left his mark on the club as a coach, bringing through a generation of players that would change and dominate Spanish football: the ‘Quinta del Buitre’ of Emilio Butragueño, Míchel, Rafael Martín Vázquez, Miguel Pardeza and Manolo Sanchís.

    FOTO: JESUS RUBIO (DIARIO AS)

    8 / 11

  • Alfredo Di Stéfano.

    9. Alfredo di Stéfano

    The greatest player of all time. He attacked, defended, conducted the play, scored goals... He was omnipresent. Di Stéfano played for Madrid from 1953 to 1964, amassing 396 appearances and 307 goals. He scored in every European Cup final from 1956 to 1960 and was at the heart of the club’s first golden age.

    FOTO: DIARIO AS

    9 / 11

  • Ferenc Puskás.

    10. Ferenc Puskas

    The finest left-footer to ever pull on the Real Madrid shirt. A genius with a wonderful shot that saw him become known as ‘Cañoncito Pum’ (‘Little Cannon Boom’). He was at Madrid from 1958 to 1967, overcoming the effects of a two-year ban before his arrival in Spain, aged 31, to remain one of the greatest players of his generation. He scored 242 goals in 262 games for Los Blancos. Enough said.

    FOTO: DIARIO AS

    10 / 11

  • Paco Gento.

    11. Paco Gento

    A Real Madrid player from 1953 to 1971, Gento became a legend of the left wing at the Bernabéu, playing in a legendary frontline alongside Raymond Kopa, Héctor Rial, Di Stéfano and Puskás. He is the only player in the history of men’s football to have won six European Cups, and was also part of no fewer than 12 LaLiga title triumphs.

    FOTO: DIARIO AS

    11 / 11

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