Real Madrid are one of, if not arguably the World’s greatest football club. Undoubtedly Los Blancos are currently the most dominant force in Europe and their recent Champions League triumphs glorify their already opulent history.
They have always been challengers for domestic titles and are always trying to get the better of their arch nemesis, FC Barcelona.
Their home the Santiago Bernabeu has homed some world class strikers and goal scorers with that special type of killer instinct over the years. The 13 time European Champions have often flexed their financial muscles to the extreme to lure some of the biggest names in World football to the Spanish capital. Here we look at the Real Madrid’s all-time leading goal scorers.
YEARS ACTIVE: 1958-1966
Blessed with a thunderous left foot and superb positional skills, Ferenc Puskas is easily one of the greatest finishers to ever play the game. He was the lynchpin of the all-conquering “Magical Magyars” and led Hungary to unprecedented success.
During the second half of his career, Puskas formed a deadly combination with the great Alfredo Di Stefano during his stint at Real Madrid as the duo tore up defences and guided the Los Blancos to five straight league titles and three European Cups. Puskas was La Liga’s top scorer for four seasons in a row and registered unbelievable stats of 242 goals in 262 games.
YEARS ACTIVE: 1971-1988
Carlos Santillana left his boyhood club Racing de Santander at 19 to join Real Madrid and became a legend in his own right. He went on to wear the white jersey for a mammoth 17 seasons making a total of 645 appearances.
Santillana was known for his stellar heading ability and was a firm fan favourite at the Bernabeu, thanks to his never say die attitude and incredible finishing skills. He is regarded as one of the greatest Spanish strikers in history, Santillana had an incredible nine La Liga triumphs in 17 seasons and is one of the most decorated and successful players in Real Madrid’s history.
ALFERDO DI STEFANO
YEARS ACTIVE: 1953-1964
Alfredo Di Stefano is undoubtedly the player who redefined Real Madrid’s legacy as one of the greatest club teams in the world. Not many people know that Real Madrid legend Di Stefano had initially signed for Barcelona in the year 1953 after a dispute over his signature with Real. The Spanish federation came up with a ludicrous solution where Di Stefano would play alternate seasons at both clubs. However, Barcelona withdrew from the agreement in protest leaving the talented attacker free to sign for their great rivals Real Madrid.
Although his move might be controversial, there is no denying the huge impact he had during his time at Los Blancos. Di Stefano scored an incredible 308 goals in 396 appearances for Real Madrid and won an amazing amount of trophies. Di Stefano is also the only player to score in five European Cup finals. Eight La Liga titles, five European Cups, one Copa Del Rey and one Intercontinental cup won during Di Stefano’s time show what a huge influence the Argentine had.
YEARS ACTIVE: 1994-2010
A prolific goal scorer and a highly creative forward, Raul is regarded as one of the greatest and most consistent strikers of his generation. Raul was a quick, left-footed player, who was capable of scoring from both in and outside the penalty area with his accurate and powerful shot.
Raul was also remembered for his leadership and discipline; he never received a red card and was rarely booked- a feat not easy to achieve in modern football.
His technical skills, elegance and performances earned him praise from great managers and players and he was also nicknamed “El Ferrari” by Fernando Hierro. A true and loyal servant for the Los Blancos, Raul Gonzalez displayed amazing longevity at the top level and made 741 appearances scoring 323 goals for Los Blancos.
YEARS ACTIVE: 2009-PRESENT
One of the two standout players of this generation, Ronaldo is easily one of the greatest Galactico’s of all time. He joined the Los Blancos from Manchester United for the gargantuan amount of £80 million, but has proved to be worth every single penny. His goal scoring statistics have simply been mindboggling. Cristiano has scored an astonishing 451 goals in just 438 games. He has made the Champions League his own competition and has lifted the prestigious trophy for a total of five times.
Ronaldo has recently adopted a style for becoming more of a free-roaming centre forward, a role in which he has continued to excel and maintain a prolific goal scoring record; in this position, he has earned praise in the media for his intelligent movement, excellent positional sense, link-up play, clinical finishing, and opportunism. As well as his ability to lose or anticipate his markers, find space in the box, and score from a limited amount of opportunities. Famous for his step-overs, though his step-over runs have decreased, but there isn’t simply any better direct goal scorer than Cristiano Ronaldo at the moment.
The Portuguese superstar has won two La Liga, four Champions Leagues, two Copa del Rey’s, three FIFA Club World Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. With Ronaldo showing no signs of slowing down, he might well end up becoming the greatest Real Madrid player of all time by the time he finishes his career provided he finishes his career at Real.