Best Real Madrid players of the decade? Who are the best legends players to have worn the Real Madrid jersey from 2012 to 2022?Introduction
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, commonly referred to as Real Madrid or simply Real, is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid. Founded on 6 March 1902 as Madrid Football Club, the club has traditionally worn a white home kit since inception.
Spanish giants Real Madrid have been one of the most successful football teams of the past decade, having won four La Liga, one Copa del Rey, three Spanish Super Cups, five Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups and four Club World Cups between 2012 and 2022.
Top 5 best Real Madrid players of decade (2012-2022)
Current Manchester United Forward Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing by Real Madrid in 2009 marked the beginning of one of their most-successful phases in history. The Portuguese legend scored 450 goals in 438 appearances for Los Blancos, and also won four Ballon d’Ors, three UEFA Best Men’s Player and two FIFA Best Men’s Player awards, and three European Golden Shoes during the nine seasons he played at the Santiago Bernabeu.
He also broke a host of records while at the club, such as becoming the first player to score against every La Liga opponent in a single season and the first person to score 50-plus goals each in six consecutive seasons.
2. Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos was the former captain of Real Madrid, and he has also established himself as a club legend. The Spanish centre-back and 2010 FIFA World Cup winner joined the Merengues in 2005 from Sevilla for a reported transfer of €27 million, and over the past fourteen years, he has been involved in some of their most iconic moments in history, including all four of their Champions League wins this decade.
In fact, Real Madrid were losing to Atletico Madrid in the 2013-14 Champions League final, before the 36-year-old sent in an injury-time header to equalize the scoreline. Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo then added one goal each during extra time to win the match and the trophy.
Ramos is also Real Madrid’s highest-scoring defender, and his goal-scoring skills have often proved effective for the club – as you can see from the example above. A leader by example, he has also been included in the FIFPro World XI nine times this decade.
One of the most underrated strikers of the world right now, Karim Benzema has performed consistently well at the topmost levels for Real Madrid for more than ten years. He joined the Spanish outfit from Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2009 for a reported transfer fee of €35 million, and to date, he has scored 321 goals and provided 157 assists in 601 appearances for them.
For a greater part of the decade, the Frenchman was overshadowed by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and so on – but Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus followed by a decline in form of a few of his teammates helped in revealing how very important Benzema’s contributions were. In the past two seasons alone including the ongoing 2019-20 season, the 34-year-old has recorded 46 goals and 18 assists across 74 games for Real Madrid.
4. Luka Modric
Only one player has won the Ballon d’Or ever since Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi established their duopoly over the prestigious award this decade – and that distinction goes to Luka Modric, who lifted the Ballon d’Or, UEFA Best Men’s Player and the FIFA Best Men’s Player awards in 2018. AC Milan legend Ricardo Kaka was the first player ever to do that, but he lifted the Ballon d’Or back in 2007.
2018 was one of the best years as a footballer for Mopdic, as he first led Real Madrid to a hat-trick Champions League win at the end of the 2017-18 season, before captaining the Croatian national team to their first-ever FIFA World Cup final. The Croat joined Los Blancos in 2012 from Tottenham for a reported transfer fee of €35 million. He had already proved his talent at the Premier League by then, and joining the La Liga giants gave him the perfect opportunity to evolve into one of the best central midfielders of this generation.
5. Toni Kroos
Just three days after Germany’s FIFA World Cup win in 2014, Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich surprised everyone by announcing that they would be selling Toni Kroos, who had a great 2014 World Cup, to Real Madrid. Eventually, it turned out to be one of Bayern’s biggest-ever mistakes in the transfer market, as the German midfielder evolved into a world-class footballer at the Santiago Bernabeu. Since the 2014-15 season, Kroos has been a vital clog in the Real Madrid midfield which dominated Europe for a greater part of this decade.
While Los Blancos won the 2013-14 Champions League without Kroos, the former Bayer Leverkusen star played in a key role in their future wins in 2015-16, 2016-17 and the 2017-18 seasons. Known for his vision and passing ability, the 29-year-old has also been named in the UEFA Team of the Year and the FIFPro World XI thrice each this decade.