Even though the English premier league has a larger fan following than the Spanish league, The Spanish league is known for its technical playmaking. Hence, the players playing in the league have been known for their technical playmaking skills.
Here check out the list of top 10 greatest La Liga players of all time :
10. Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas, He's the only goalkeeper to make the cut into the top 10. The Spanish World Cup and twice European Championship winning shot-stopper joined the Madrid youth team prior to his 10th birthday and made his senior debut at the age of just 18. Shortly after, he became the youngest keeper to ever appear in a Champions League tie. He'd go on to win the tournament in the same season. It would prove to be the start of a career littered with trophies at both the team and individual levels.
In total, Casillas appeared between the sticks 725 times for Real Madrid with 510 of them coming in the league. He recorded an impressive 177 clean sheets in La Liga – the third-best number of all-time – giving him a near 35% shutout ratio to boot. In terms of the trophy cabinet, it's well stocked with two Copa Del Rey wins, three Champions League's, and five La Liga titles amongst a total of 19 honors from his time with Real.
He joined Real as a 15-year-old from neighboring Atletico. The Spain legend went on to become the club's youngest ever player and bagged the first of his 323 Madrid goals against his former youth team. His inaugural campaign ended with La Liga’s glory and the personal award of La Liga's breakthrough player. It was the first of many trophies.
When Raul finally left Real to join Schalke he did so with an impressive collection of honors. The main trophies came in the shape of six La Liga's and three Champions League wins.
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8. Dani Alves
You can't have a list of the best La Liga players of all time and not include the greatest right back to ever play the game. Alves was a sensation for Barca as they dominated European football between 2008 and 2016. In that time he helped the club lift three Champions Leagues, five Spanish Cups, and six league titles. It was with Barca where Dani Alves started to gain more widespread recognition for his marauding displays but, to be fair, that wasn't a new thing to regular viewers of Spanish football; he'd already been doing the business for several years with Sevilla. The silverware wasn't new either because he arrived from Los Palanganas with two UEFA Cups and a Copa Del Rey in his pocket.
In total, Alves managed to rack up over 400 La Liga appearances. The fact that he left for Juventus with a goal contribution every four matches is a rather telling nod to just how much he did to create the attack-minded fullbacks we demand in our game nowadays.
7. Francisco Gento
Just a raw look at the trophy count would have you ranking Real Madrid legend Gento as the best player in La Liga history. Well, nobody can match the 12 league titles he boasts. It wasn't just in Spain where the former Racing Santander man collected the medals though and the six European Cups he won is another record. Needless to say, we haven't ranked him at number one but that doesn't mean we don't think of him as a genius.
His rapid pace and trickery made him a nightmare for defenders whilst his ability to find the net from range meant he was central to several memorable moments. In total, Gento made 438 La Liga appearances with his career total standing at over 650.
6. Sergio Ramos
Ramos came through the ranks at Sevilla but was quickly snapped up by Real and has become synonymous with the Madrid club such as his loyalty and his willingness to do what it takes to ensure Real win. Those characteristics mean he's often not a hugely popular figure away from the Bernabeu but everyone knows they wish their team had players with Ramos' spirit.
His game isn't all about mentality and being a master of the dark arts though. Sergio Ramos is a sensational footballer. Of course, defensively he is rock solid regardless of whether he plays in the full-back or center-back positions but he can play too whilst 100 Real goals show he's adept in both boxes. It also means he's the top-scoring defender in La Liga history. Finally, you've got the longevity factor; Ramos has turned out in over 500 La Liga games with the best part of 200 more club games in other competitions as well. Then, for good measure, he sat on 178 Spanish caps – another record. We've not even mentioned the sickening amount of honors he's won!
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5. Xavi Hernandez
Messi is quite rightly the headline act when it comes to Barcelona’s success in the 21st century, but just as important to the cause was Xavi Hernandez – the beating heart of Barca’s tiki-taka style that defeated many and won over the hearts of even more.
His pinpoint passing and vision made him a masterful midfielder and complimented the talents perfectly of his teammates including Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.
Often talked about as Spain’s greatest ever player, Xavi helped Barca to eight La Liga titles, while racking up 505 league appearances and 126 assists. The Blaugrana’s heart and soul will surely return to Camp Nou in the dugout at some point in the future.
4. Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta almost spent his entire career playing for Barcelona and was the club's captain for three seasons. Iniesta, who played at Barcelona for more than two decades across levels, is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world.
Although Iniesta started out as a defensive midfielder, the Spaniard has played in many attacking positions, including left-wing, attacking midfield and right-wing. However, he spent most of his Barcelona career playing as a central midfielder, where he was most effective, making 445 appearances in that position.
Overall, the 37-year-old made 674 appearances for the Blaugrana, scoring 57 goals and providing 139 assists. His excellent ball control and passing abilities were otherworldly.
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3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo has spent significant time in several other countries, he was always going to struggle to rank in the first place. Still, it's fair to say that La Liga will never forget Mr. CR7. Why? Well, where do you start? The obvious place is the goals, which he knocked in with consummate ease throughout his 438 appearances for the Los Blancos with an overall tally of 451; that's more than a goal every game. In respect of La Liga, his goal contributions stand at 311 goals and 96 assists in just 292 games – a tally of 1.4 goal involvements per appearance!
On top of just banging in the goals, which Cristiano Ronaldo was capable of doing from literally anywhere on the field, he also produced in big moments to help the club deliver silverware. Most notably, this is shown by the four Champions League wins (where he scored a total of 105 goals) but two La Liga titles and two Copa Del Rey’s shouldn't be ignored either. Oh, and then there is just the small matter of him being Real Madrid's leading scorer of all time and the fact he scooped four Ballon d'Or during his time in the Spanish capital.
2. Alfredo Di Stefano
Di Stefano pips the Portuguese to the runners-up spot. Before we detail why we'll go back to the beginning when Real and Barca struck up a deal that would be impossible in today's world; in a nutshell, the two clubs had an agreement in place where Di Stefano could play for both sides. Barca found the player to be lackluster in his early showings and sold their stake to Real making Di Stefano a bonafide Los Blanco. Oh, how Barcelona called it wrong.
Di Stefano stayed with Real Madrid for over a decade and went on to establish himself as, probably, their greatest ever player. He's predominantly known for his goal-scoring prowess, which, for Real was a total of 308 in 396 matches, but really he could do everything that was required of a footballer be it shooting, passing, heading, or tackling. You name it, Di Stefano could do it. The fact he led the team to five back-to-back European Cups with goals in every final along with eight La Liga’s and one Spanish Cup should be evidence enough. If it isn't maybe two Ballon dOr are.
1. Lionel Messi
The little magician came through the system at Barcelona after joining the club at the age of 13 from Newell's Old Boys. Since then he's not only established himself as their best ever player but he is also seen as the greatest player to have ever played the beautiful game by a lot of players, coaches, pundits and fans. It's hard to argue but, personally, we just like to enjoy all the top talents and there is no disputing that Lionel Messi is one of them.
In respect of how he's impacted La Liga, the easy thing to look at is the 10 titles he's won. Then there are the goals; considering the fact he's still playing in La Liga and the fact he's already over 150 goals clear of second-placed Ronaldo on the all-time list really is quite ridiculous. Part of the reason for the goal haul, which stands at 463, is because he has netted a record 36 hat-tricks and holds the best single-season goal return with 50 in 37 appearances back in 2011/12. If you go beyond La Liga then Messi boasts a trophy count of 20 major honors with four Champions League and six Copa Del Rey wins being added to the 10 La Liga's. To finish, we'll just remind you that Messi holds the most Ballon d’Ors as well!
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