15 Greatest Spanish Players of All Time

Over the years in recorded history, Spain has consistently produced some of the best footballers to have ever played the game. It is a country with the top two clubs in the world, it is only obvious that the native players are brought up through the best academy systems into the top leagues around the world.

Even before Spain’s golden era, the country had seen some of the all-time greats. Players have come and gone without tasting international glory but putting their country in the international spotlight with their individual brilliance nonetheless.

In this article, we take look at the 15 best Spanish footballers of all time. Individual talents and accolades as well as collective achievements are put into consideration.

15. Telmo Zarra

  • League Titles: 1
  • Champions League Titles: 0
  • Matches: 284
  • Goals: 260
  • Assists: 4

Signified by the creation of the Zarra trophy in 2006, which is awarded to the highest Spanish goalscorer in La Liga, Telmo Zarra’s place within the pantheon of Spanish greats is firmly secured. 

The two most well-known statistics associated with him are his La Liga and Copa Del Rey records with the former having lasted for a staggering 59 years.

He spent most of his career at Athletic Bilbao and while he may not be mentioned in debates surrounding the all-time greats, in at least one corner of Spain, he was and will remain their greatest.

14. Cesc Fabregas

  • League Titles: 3
  • Champions League Titles: 0
  • Matches: 722
  • Goals: 125
  • Assists: 211

Fabregas came from the famed Barcelona La Masia youth system and went on to become arguably the best playmaker ever. He is best known for his defense-splitting passes and ability to dictate play.

He scored goals for fun and made assists week in, week out. He won domestic titles with Barcelona, Chelsea, and Arsenal. He also won a World Cup and two Euros with Spain.

13. Sergio Busquets

  • League Titles: 8
  • Champions League Titles: 3
  • Matches: 640
  • Goals: 15
  • Assists: 41

Perhaps the most underrated player of his generation. As a defensive midfielder, he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. He is the perfect example of a player who is quiet in nature but lets his work on the pitch speak for itself.

He is best known for his possession of the ball and ability to withstand pressure as well as his amazing passing skills.

He was an important part of Barcelona and Spain’s midfield that dominated world football over the past decade. He has numerous domestic titles as well as 3 Champions Leagues, 2 Euros, and a World Cup.

12. David Silva

  • League Titles: 4
  • Champions League Titles: 0
  • Matches: 668
  • Goals: 114
  • Assists: 180

The Manchester City legend already has a statue outside the Etihad stadium. That tells you big an icon Siva is. He is without doubt one of the best midfielders to ever play in the Premier League.

Silva was a crucial part of the City team that won the first PL title in the 2011/2012 campaign. The clever midfielder was best known for his passing and playmaking skills.

El Mago won several titles in his marvelous career including a World Cup, European Championships as well as 4 Premier Leagues.

11. Fernando Torres

  • League Titles: 0
  • Champions League Titles: 1
  • Matches: 715
  • Goals: 255
  • Assists: 73

At his best “El Ninho” was a complete number nine who was capable of anything. He is immortalized as the fresh-faced talent who scorched his way through the Atletico Madrid youth system.

During his years in Liverpool FC, Torres was simply unstoppable. He was one of the deadliest finishers in his prime and could score with both feet as well as his head.

His speed, deceptive nature, and work rate are his greatest attributes. His biggest achievements include the 2010 World Cup, 2008, and 2012 Euros as well as the Champions League title in 2012 with Chelsea. 

10. Xabi Alonso

  • League Titles: 4
  • Champions League Titles: 2
  • Matches: 690
  • Goals: 43
  • Assists: 65

Crucial to Spain’s dominant golden era was the legendary Xabi Alonso. Alonso was as tough a midfielder as we’ve ever seen. He was quite a versatile player equipped with excellent technique and resilience.

Xabi was criminally underrated during and few realize just how good he was not to mention the numerous titles he has to show for it.

He won one trophy each of the Champions League, FA Cup, Uefa Super Cup, and FA Community Shield with Liverpool. He went on to win one title each of the CL, La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, and two Copa Del Reys with Real Madrid. He went to Bayern Munich where he also won all domestic titles.

Finally, he also won the World Cup and two Euros with Spain.  

9. Luis Suarez Miramontes

  • League Titles: 2
  • Champions League Titles: 0
  • Matches: 565
  • Goals: 139
  • Assists: 114

No, this is not the Uruguayan Luis Suarez we all know. The legendary Spaniard was one of the best-attacking midfielders in the world during the ‘60s. He represented Barcelona, Inter Milan, and the Spain national team. He won two La Liga titles and three Italian Serie A titles.

He also won two European cups with Internazionale. Luis Suarez was also part of Spain’s Euro 1964 triumph. He also won the highly coveted Balon d’Or in 1960 to further cement his place as one of the best of his time.

8. Fernando Hierro

  • League Titles: 5
  • Champions League Titles: 3
  • Matches: 693
  • Goals: 130
  • Assists: 14

Fernando Hierro is widely regarded as Spain’s best-ever center-back. He scored a ridiculous 29 goals in 89 appearances for Spain. That is a crazy record for a defender.

He spent most of his career at Real Madrid making over 600 appearances while winning five La Liga’s and 3 Champions League titles in that time. His defensive strengths and scoring ability undoubtedly earn him a place on this list.

7. Carles Puyol

  • League Titles: 6
  • Champions League Titles: 3
  • Matches: 595
  • Goals: 19
  • Assists: 13

The legendary captain represented both FC Barcelona and Spain and was known for his humility and kindness which complemented his equally robust performances in the heart of his team’s defense. He captained Barcelona to their historic treble in 2009 and went on to become one of the best defenders of his generation.

He made more than 580 appearances for Barcelona and scored many clutch goals. He also won 6 La Liga titles and 3 Champions Leagues not to mention the other numerous domestic titles. He also played a century of games with Spain and won the Euros and the World Cup.

6. David Villa

  • League Titles: 3
  • Champions League Titles: 1
  • Matches: 644
  • Goals: 327
  • Assists: 77

David Villa is perhaps Spain’s best striker ever. He was genuinely one of the most lethal strikers during his time. Villa is Spain’s highest scorer with 59 goals in 98 appearances. His goals were crucial during his country’s run to winning the 2008 Euros and the 2010 World Cup.

He went on to win two league titles and a Champions League with Barcelona before moving to Atletico Madrid where he helped win their first La Liga title in almost two decades.

5. Raul Gonzalez

  • League Titles: 7
  • Champions League Titles: 3
  • Matches: 916
  • Goals: 384
  • Assists: 136

Raul Gonzales is Spain’s second-highest scorer of all time and one of the most prolific strikers of his generation. Raul is Real Madrid’s third-highest scorer and was best known for his eye for goal, discipline, and technical skills.

He was unlucky not to have won anything with his country but contributed to six league titles and three Champions League triumphs for the Los Blancos.

4. Sergio Ramos

  • League Titles: 5
  • Champions League Titles: 4
  • Matches: 716
  • Goals: 104
  • Assists: 40

In a recent poll conducted by fans all over the world, Sergio Ramos was voted the greatest defender of all time. Through his glittering career, he has justified that recognition by winning every major tournament he competed for with both Real Madrid and his country.

Ramos is best known for his leadership skills, aerial threat, hard-tackling, goal-scoring ability, and solid defending.

Real Madrid fans will forever remember his last-minute equalizer against city rivals Atletico in the 2014 Champion League final where they went on to win. He has won many titles including a World Cup, two Euro Championships, and 4 Champions Leagues.

3. Iker Casillas

  • League Titles: 6
  • Champions League Titles: 3
  • Matches: 881
  • Goals Conceded: 867
  • Clean Sheets: 338

Popularly known as “San Iker”. He is one the best shot-stoppers of his generation and surely one of the best ever. He enjoyed a lot of success with Real Madrid and the Spanish national team.

His major success probably came in the 2010 World Cup where he captained his team in all seven games and keeping an incredible five clean sheets while conceding only 2 goals.

He won five Spanish league titles, two UCL titles, two European Championships and a World Cup to top up his impressive trophy collection.

2. Xavi Hernandez

  • League Titles: 8
  • Champions League Titles: 4
  • Matches: 865
  • Goals: 109
  • Assists: 213

Xavi is undoubtedly one of the best midfielders ever. His partnership with Iniesta was the backbone of Spain and Barcelona’s dominance in world football during their prime.

He was best known for his accurate passing skills and playmaking prowess that enabled him to dictate the tempo of games without losing the ball to an opponent.

His trophy cabinet is stuffed with major titles including seven league titles, four UCL titles, two Uefa Euros, and one World Cup. What more would he ask for? 

1 .Andres Iniesta

  • League Titles: 9
  • Champions League Titles: 4
  • Matches: 770
  • Goals: 78
  • Assists: 64

Andres Iniesta is arguably the best central midfielder in the history of the game. The maestro won everything there was to win and is one most the most decorated players in history.

He is the only player to have won Man of the Match awards in the finals of the Champions League, the Uefa Euros, and the World Cup. Talk of “big game player!”

His country people will always remember him for his overtime winner against the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final, a goal that delivered Spain’s first major title. His accomplishments with his boyhood club FC Barcelona cannot go unacknowledged.

He helped the Catalan club win nine La Liga titles, seven Spanish Super Cups, six Copa Del Reys, four Champions League titles, and three each of the Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup.

In terms of pure talent, Iniesta was a magician. The mere fact that he came close to winning the 2010 Ballon d’Or and lost only to arguably the greatest player of all time – Lionel Messi, tells you how good he was.  He will go down in history as one of the best football artists ever.

Connor Smith

I'm Connor, the guy behind SoccerPrime. I'm a former NCAA Div 1 college player that retired at the age of 21 due to injuries - which led me into a new career as a soccer coach.

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