Aside from his obvious goal-scoring ability and his tendency to score in big games (he scored 1 or more goals in every single European Cup Final), what goes mostly unnoticed is his versatility. Capable of playing in attack, midfield, and defence, Di Stéfano adjusted to whatever his team needed him to be and was the man that made his side tick.
He ended his illustrious career with 2 Ballon d’Or, 5 European Cups, and 8 La Liga titles. There will never again be a player like this Brown Arrow and his legacy will remain untouched as one of the greatest to ever play for Real Madrid.
Ferenc Puskás (1958-1966)
Ferenc Puskas is another name that will always be associated with Real Madrid. A teammate of Alfredo Di Stefano, and one who would add many trophies to a glittering Real Madrid past.
Arriving as a 31 year old overweight man from Honved Budapest, many people were against this signing and did not expect great things from the Hungarian. But he came, he played, and he conquered. Everyone was amazed by his surprising performances at Bernabeu.
Not only did he register one of the greatest goal-to-game ratios in footballing history, but he also led Real Madrid to 5 La Liga titles and 3 European Cups. His extraordinary eye for goal and ability on the ball has made him a legend for anyone who knows anything about Madrid’s history.
Puskas’ legendary status far surpasses the names of modern greats who are still writing their names on the walls of this magnificent club.
Zinédine Zidane (2001-2006)
Genius, Magician, Master. These are just some of the words one thinks of when hearing the name Zinédine Zidane. Such brilliance is not an exaggeration, and he is easily one of football’s most technically gifted players ever.
Zidane’s ability on the pitch was nothing short of art, and he highlighted everything that was wonderful about the game.
He was an absolute delight to watch, as he possessed the world’s best first touch and an uncanny ability to execute “roulettes” (which he popularized). Zidane ended his marvellous career with 3 FIFA Men’s Best player awards, 1 Ballon d’Or, 1 Champions League title, and 1 European Championship title. He has also got many other international awards under his belt.
His volley against Bayer Leverkusen (lead Real Madrid to La Novena) will forever be immortalised as one of the greatest moments of the modern game.
Cristiano Ronaldo (2009-2018)
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most decorated players in Real Madrid’s history. He has shattered countless records and penned infinite magnificent tales of glory. It is his sheer desire to win, incredible individual ability, and unparalleled goal scoring record that sets him apart.
This Portuguese Magician is noted for his work ethic, head work, elite body conditioning, and dedication to improvement on the training pitch- as well as being regarded as a natural leader. On his longevity and “extraordinary commitment to physical preparation” Adam Bate of Sky Sports said: “Dedication is a huge part of staying at the top and Ronaldo’s focus is perhaps unparalleled within the game.”