Top 10 Best Spanish Players in History

Best Spanish Players in History: The Spanish national team has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, achieving the soccer success it had long aspired to. Since their victory in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, followed by two European Championship titles, Spain has emerged as a formidable team with a distinct style of play. Despite undergoing a transitional phase in Spanish football at present, the current project shows promise, with talented players like Pedri, Pau Torres, Ferrán Torres, and Dani Olmo leading the way.

Best Spanish Players in History

To acknowledge the exceptional Spanish players throughout history, it is fitting to create a ranking of the top 10. This allows us to reflect on the unique contributions of these individuals to world football.

Each player on this list has earned a well-deserved reputation and recognition, not only for their contributions to the national team but also for their performances with their respective clubs. Their dedication and skill have left an indelible mark on the sport.


Nickname(s)La Roja (The Red One)
AssociationReal Federación Española De Fútbol (RFEF)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head CoachLuis de la Fuente
CaptainÁlvaro Morata
Most CapsSergio Ramos (180)
Top ScorerDavid Villa (59)

World Cup
Appearances16 (First in 1934)
Best ResultChampions (2010)

European Championship
Appearances 11 (first in 1964)
Best Result Champions (1964, 2008)

Nations League
Appearances 2 (First in 2021)
Best Result Runners-up (2021)

FIFA Confederations Cup
Appearances 2 (First in 2009)
Best Result Runners-up (2013)

10. Ricardo Zamora

  • Full Name: Ricardo Zamora Martínez
  • Date of Birth: 14 February 1901
  • Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Position(s): Goalkeeper

Ricardo Zamora was an amazing Spanish goalkeeper who played football from 1916 onwards. He was so good that a prestigious football trophy, called the Zamora Trophy, is named after him. Zamora played for top Spanish teams like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, and together they won a total of 4 Spanish Cups.

He was known for his incredible goal-stopping skills. He would cleverly prevent the opposing teams from scoring goals against him. People started calling him ‘El Divino’ because of his exceptional abilities.

Zamora made history by becoming the first goalkeeper to defend the Spanish team’s goal in the 1920 Olympics. After that, he became a regular and important player for the team for 16 years.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1920–193646(0)

Honours With Spain:

CompetitionResult
Olympic GamesSilver Medallist 1920

9. Raul

  • Full Name: Raúl González Blanco
  • Date of Birth: 27 June 1977
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

Spain has a reputation for producing talented forwards, and one of the notable players in this position is Raúl González Blanco, who takes the ninth spot in this ranking.

Born in Madrid in 1977, Raúl made his professional debut with Real Madrid in 1994 and played for the team until 2010. Raúl was not only a beloved figure at Real Madrid but also a national hero, with fans across the country celebrating his goals while representing the Spanish national team. He scored numerous important and decisive goals during his time with the club.

His goal-scoring prowess made him the all-time leading scorer for Real Madrid and the top scorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League. However, these records were later surpassed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who accomplished the same feat. Additionally, Raúl’s 44 goals for the Spanish national team made him the all-time leading scorer for the team until David Villa emerged and surpassed his record.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1996–200610244

8. Telmo Zarra

  • Full Name: Pedro Telmo Zarraonandía Montoya
  • Date of Birth: 20 January 1921
  • Date of Death: 23 February 2006
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Forward

Telmo Zarra, also known as Telmo Zarraonandia, is a Basque striker who secures the eighth spot in our ranking. He was born on January 20, 1921.

Zarra was renowned for being one of the highest goal scorers in the history of the Spanish league championship, La Liga. He held this title for many years until Lionel Messi emerged and surpassed his record. Additionally, Zarra held the record for winning the pichichi trophy the most times, with six victories. However, this achievement has also been surpassed by Lionel Messi in recent times.

Zarra is an iconic figure of Spanish football from the past. He was a powerful player, a leader on the field, and possessed great intelligence. Along with his impressive career and individual accolades, including being the top scorer in the history of Athletic Club Bilbao, he rightfully earns the eighth position among the best Spanish players in our ranking.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1945–19512020

7. Paco Gento

  • Full Name: Francisco Gento López
  • Date of Birth: 21 October 1933
  • Height: 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
  • Position(s): Outside left

Paco Gento is an essential name when discussing the greatest players in the history of Spanish football. Born on October 21, 1933, in Cantabria, he is widely regarded as one of the finest players to have represented Real Madrid CF and a true legend of Spanish football.

During his time at Real Madrid, he achieved a remarkable tally of 23 titles, including 12 League championships and 6 European Cups, with 5 of them won consecutively.

Gento was not only a prominent figure at Real Madrid but also played a significant role in the Spanish national team’s success. He was part of the generation of footballers who secured the first-ever title in the history of the Spanish team, the Euro Cup in 1964. Gento’s contributions to both club and country have cemented his status as an iconic figure in Spanish football.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1955–1969435

6. Sergio Ramos

  • Full Name: Sergio Ramos García
  • Date of Birth: 30 March 1986
  • Height: 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Defender

Taking the sixth position in our ranking is Sergio Ramos, the renowned former captain of the Spanish national team. Born on March 30, 1986, Ramos is globally recognized for his exceptional defensive skills and talent. He was a key member of the golden generation of the Spanish national team.

Apart from his significant contributions to Real Madrid, Ramos currently holds the record for the most appearances in the history of the Spanish national team. Alongside his vital role in achieving continental successes, we consider him the sixth-best player in the entire history of Spanish football.

Ramos, hailing from Seville, has been widely regarded as one of the world’s top central defenders for numerous seasons. Sustaining such a high level of performance for an extended period of time is a remarkable feat. Although he has recently moved on to continue his career at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), his legacy remains as one of the greatest players in Spanish football history.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
2005–202118023

Honours With Spain:

CompetitionResult
FIFA World Cup: 2010
UEFA European Championship: 2008, 2012
FIFA Confederations Cup Runner-up: 2013
FIFA Confederations CupThird place: 2009

5. David Villa

  • Full Name: David Villa Sánchez
  • Date of Birth: 3 December 1981
  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Striker

David Villa, the Asturian striker, played a crucial role in the recent successes of the Spanish national team. He currently holds the record for the highest goal scorer in the history of the Spanish team, with an impressive tally of 59 goals in 97 games. He surpassed the record previously held by Raúl González Blanco. Villa’s contributions were particularly significant during the World Cup, where he emerged as the top scorer for Spain and played a vital role in their triumph.

Villa’s impact was not limited to the national team; he also made a significant impact at the club level. He notably shone at Valencia CF before being signed by FC Barcelona.

During his time with Barcelona, he played a crucial role in their Champions League campaign and helped the team secure eight titles. Following his stint at Barcelona, Villa moved on to join Atlético de Madrid, where he played a part in their LaLiga championship-winning season in 2013/2014.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
2005–2017 9859

Honours With Spain:

CompetitionResult
FIFA World Cup2010
UEFA European Championship2008

4. Luis Suarez

  • Full Name: Luis Suárez Miramontes
  • Date of Birth: 2 May 1935
  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Inside right / attacking midfielder

Luís Suárez Miramontes, often referred to as the first great Spanish talent, was a versatile midfielder and striker born in La Coruña, Galicia, on May 2, 1935. He spent a significant portion of his career playing for clubs like FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Deportivo de la Coruña, where he began his journey as a youth player.

Suárez experienced his most successful years at FC Barcelona, both as part of the team and individually. He joined the club in the 1953/1954 season and remained with them until 1960/1961. During this period, he won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, and two Fairs Cups. He achieved another remarkable feat by winning the Ballon d’Or in the 1960/1961 season, making him the only player on this list to have received this prestigious award.

Furthermore, Suárez played a crucial role in the Spanish national team’s historic achievement of winning their first official title. This refers to the Euro Cup triumph in 1964, where he made significant contributions to the team’s success.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
1957–1972 3214

Honours With Spain:

CompetitionResult
FIFA World Cup2010
UEFA European Championship2008

3. Iker Casillas

  • Full Name: Iker Casillas Fernández
  • Date of Birth: 20 May 1981
  • Height: 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Goalkeeper

Iker Casillas secures the third position in our ranking of the greatest Spaniards in history. The talented goalkeeper from Madrid was born on May 20, 1981. He is not only one of the most significant players in the history of the Spanish national team but also a prominent figure for Real Madrid.

Casillas is regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers in the history of the club and a true legend of the sport. His record is the envy of many footballers, as it boasts an impressive collection of trophies that are the stuff of dreams.

Among his notable achievements are one World Cup, two Euro Cups, three UEFA Champions League titles, five League championships, two Copa del Rey victories, four Spanish Super Cups, one Club World Cup, and two European Super Cups. Casillas’ remarkable success and trophy collection solidify his status as a true soccer legend.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
Total6560

Honours With Spain:

CompetitionResult
FIFA World Cup2010
UEFA European Championship2008, 2012

2. Andres Iniesta

  • Full Name: Andrés Iniesta Luján
  • Date of Birth: 11 May 1984
  • Height: 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Andrés Iniesta Luján claims the second position in the ranking of the greatest Spaniards in history. This skilled midfielder from Fuentealbilla played a vital role for both his club and the national team in recent years. He served as a captain not only for FC Barcelona but also for the Spanish team.

Born on May 11, 1984, in Albacete, Iniesta showcased remarkable ball skills from a young age. This talent led him from Albacete Balompié to the youth ranks of FC Barcelona when he was under 12 years old. Iniesta fell in love with the club’s vision, project, and training upon his arrival in Barcelona. He consistently gave his all on the field every time he wore the iconic culé shirt.

Iniesta made his debut at a young age under the guidance of Louis Van Gaal in the 2002/2003 season and gradually solidified his place in Barcelona’s starting eleven. He remained with the Catalan club until the 2017/2018 season when he departed to join Vissel Kobe. Iniesta’s impact on FC Barcelona is so significant that he is widely regarded as one of the best players in the club’s history.

Representing the Spanish national team, Iniesta amassed 131 appearances, winning 96 matches, losing 15, and drawing 20. He was part of the generation of Spanish soccer players that dominated the international stage during the late 2000s and early 2010s. Iniesta is also remembered for scoring the most crucial goal in the history of the National Team.

His impressive record includes 39 official titles, making it the largest among all the players on this list. Notable among his achievements are one World Cup, two Euro Cups, four UEFA Champions League titles, nine Spanish League championships, six Copa del Rey triumphs, seven Spanish Super Cups, three Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, two Youth Euro Cups (Under 17, Under 19), one Japanese Cup, and one Japanese Super Cup.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
2006–2018 13113

Honours With Spain:

CompetitionResult
FIFA World Cup2010
UEFA European Championship2008, 2012

1. Xavi Hernandez

  • Full Name: Xavier Hernández Creus
  • Date of Birth: 25 January 1980
  • Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Xavi Hernández holds the top spot in our ranking of the greatest Spanish players in history. This Catalan midfielder, hailing from Terrassa, is widely considered the best Spanish player of all time. His unique style of play and exceptional abilities have made him an iconic figure in the football world. Many recognize him as the mastermind behind Pep Guardiola’s FC Barcelona.

Xavi began his career at a young age in the youth ranks of FC Barcelona. Even from an early stage, his exceptional intelligence and passing ability stood out, making him a perfect fit for the club’s philosophy. At just 18 years old, he made his debut for the first team in the 1998/1999 season.

As time went on, the talented midfielder evolved into a key player, not only under the guidance of coaches like Louis van Gaal and Frank Rijkaard but also under Pep Guardiola, who had a transformative impact on his career. Xavi’s style of play reached new heights under Guardiola, as he became instrumental in offensive transitions and the creation of the game through precise and incisive passing.

Xavi’s influence extended to the Spanish national team as well, where he played 133 games, scoring 13 goals. He achieved great success with La Roja, winning 100 matches, drawing 22, and losing 11.

His impressive record includes two Euro Cups, one World Cup, four Champions League titles, eight Spanish League championships, three Copa del Rey victories, eight Spanish Super Cups, two Club World Cups, two European Super Cups, and one U20 World Cup.

He is regarded as one of the best players in the history of FC Barcelona but has never won a Ballon d’Or. Nonetheless, he more than deserved the prestigious award on multiple occasions throughout his career.

Statistics With Spain:

CareerAppearanceGoals
2000–2014 13313

Honours With Spain:

CompetitionResult
FIFA World Cup2010
UEFA European Championship2008, 2012

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