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Top 5 Spanish players of all time

Spain have qualified for this year’s World Cup in Russia and look to be sixth favourites to win the competition with a squad that features some of the world’s best players. But who are the best five Spanish players of all time?
5. Iker Casillas

Not only is San Iker Spain’s greatest ever goalkeeper, he is also one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. He is known for his incredible athletic ability and hugely impressive shot-stopping capabilities. Casillas came though the Real Madrid academy and played there for nine years before making his first team debut in 1999, going on to make 725 appearances for the club, the second-most of any Madrid player.

He remained at the club for 16 seasons picking up a host of honours, including three Champions League winner’s medals. He has also had a fantastic career with the Spain national team, becoming the most-capped player of all time with 167 appearances, and of course captained La Roja’s 2010 World Cup-winning squad.

4. David Villa

It’s impossible to list Spain’s best ever players without this man, Spain’s all-time top goalscorer. Villa scored an impressive 59 goals in 94 games for La Roja after his senior debut is 2005 and although he retired from international football three years ago, he recently won a recall to the Spain squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia at the age of 36.

One of Villa’s most dangerous attributes as a forward was always his ability to use both feet equally well – which has been put down to him breaking his femur as a four-year-old. He had to have his leg in a cast for months, even when he was able to stand again, but his father would roll a ball to his weaker left foot every night and, over the course of four months, his left foot became as capable as his right. El Guaje remains in contention to go to Russia.

3. Xabi Alonso

Alonso had an extremely successful career playing at a variety of clubs, most notably for Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. He found success at each, winning the Champions League with both Liverpool and Real Madrid and claiming the Bundesliga for three years running at Bayern.

Considered one of the greatest central midfielders of his generation, Alonso was extremely hard-working on the pitch and able to contribute going forward as well, with his wonderful range of passing. He retired from international football in 2014 after winning 114 caps and was an important part of the 2010 World Cup-winning squad in South Africa. Retirement from all football followed in 2017 after a final season with Bayern and he has since expressed a desire to enter management.

2. Xavi

The pass master himself, Xavier “Xavi” Hernández Creus, is one of the most iconic and successful Spanish players of all time. Part of Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winning squad and a four-time Champions League winner, he really was an incredible player during his prime.

Xavi’s exquisite passing ability is what made him stand out, time and time again finding a teammate in space. He recorded a pass success rate of 91% during the 2010 World Cup, truly showing his class and ability on the pitch. Xavi retired from international football in 2014 after making 133 appearances for Spain and is currently with Qatari club Al Sadd, but has confirmed his intention to retire at the end of the 2017-18 season and pursue a coaching career.

1. Andres Iniesta

When thinking about the Barcelona tiki-taka style of play, one man comes to mind as a key orchestrator in the centre of the midfield – Andreas Iniesta. He has been an integral part of Barcelona’s success over the past decade and certainly has the trophies to back it up. Iniesta was won the Champions League four times, as well as the 2010 World Cup but the 2018 edition in Russia will be his fourth and probably last, though with Spain as fourth favourites he could pick up a second winners’ medal.

Iniesta will forever be remembered as a Spanish hero for scoring deep into extra time against the Netherlands to secure the 2010 World Cup. With his club success considered too, he is one of the most successful Spanish players of all time.



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