Another week, another masterclass by Karim Benzema.
Benzema has now scored 320 goals in 600 games across all competitions with Los Blancos, a phenomenal record.
He’s a bona fide Real Madrid legend and may become just the eighth player to win the Ballon d’Or while playing for the world’s most famous club.
But where does Benzema rank among the plethora of iconic footballing figures to have donned the white jersey?
Well, FourFourTwo have provided their answer to that question in their ranking of the 50 greatest Real Madrid players in history.
Let’s take a look at their list in full…
50. Mesut Ozil
49. Raphael Varane
46. Steve McManaman
45. Fernando Morientes
44. Jose Maria Zarraga
43. David Beckham
42. Predrag Mijatovic
A very modern feel to the first group of 10, with two English players making the cut in Beckham and McManaman. Juanito famously scored Real Madrid’s 3000th La Liga goal, while it was Guti who netted the 5000th.
40. Rafael Gordillo
39. Jacinto Quincoces
38. Angel Di Maria
36. Ignacio Zoco
35. Hector Rial
34. Amancio Amaro
33. Fernando Redondo
31. Jose Antonio Camacho
A far more old-school feel to the second block of Real Madrid greats, which is lovely to see. Marcelo, Di Maria and Redondo are the only three to have represented the club in the 21st century. All of the 10 players above won trophies galore and Camacho’s 577 appearances is the ninth-most in Los Blancos’ history.
30. Gareth Bale
28. Miguel Munoz
27. Toni Kroos
25. Jose Santamaria
24. Claude Makelele
21. Martin Vazquez
Despite being on the receiving end of boos from Real Madrid fans in recent years, Bale makes the top 30 – and deservedly so. He’s joined by teammate Kroos, with Makelele and Ronaldo the other modern day greats to feature alongside a small collection of 20th century icons. Santillana in 23rd-place ranks fifth for both games played (645) and goals scored (290) at Real Madrid.
20. Vicente Del Bosque
19. Ivan Zamorano
18. Emilio Butragueno
17. Roberto Carlos
16. Ricardo Zamora
14. Hugo Sanchez
13. Karim Benzema
12. Raymond Kopa
11. Luka Modric
So, Benzema occupies 13th spot, ahead of other legendary strikers like Zamorano, Butragueno and Sanchez. Kopa and Modric are the only players ahead of the Frenchman in the penultimate block of 10 and they’re two of Real Madrid’s Ballon d’Or winners. If (or should we say ‘when’) Benzema joins them in that regard, he should probably leapfrog both on the list.
10. Luis Figo
Another Ballon d’Or winner at Real Madrid and a true footballing genius. Figo’s move to Real Madrid from Barcelona remains one of the most controversial in history, but he was worth every single penny. He scored 56 goals, assisted a further 93 and won three trophies during his five sublime years in Madrid.
9. Ferenc Puskas
One of the most exceptional strikers the sport has ever seen. Puskas netted 242 goals in 262 games in a Real Madrid shirt, an average of 0.92 per appearance. He also won three European Cups and notably scored four goals in the 7-3 final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960, the only time that feat has been achieved.
8. Santiago Bernabeu
The stadium is named after Bernabeu and without him, the club wouldn’t be the same as it is today. He was a brilliant player in the 1920s and was then president for 35 years between 1943 and 1978, overseeing a ridiculous amount of on-pitch success. Arguably the most important figure in Real Madrid’s illustrious history.
7. Raul Gonzalez
What a striker Raul was. He’s Real Madrid’s second-highest scorer on 323 goals and leads the way for appearances with an enormous 741. Raul brought an end to his incredible 16-year career at Los Blancos in 2010, with six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues to boot.
6. Paco Gento
A man who is in the conversation to be labelled the greatest left winger in history. As well as tormenting opposing defenders for fun in a Real Madrid shirt, Gento won six (yes, SIX) European Cups, which is still the most by any footballer.
5. Iker Casillas
San Iker could do it all between the sticks and rarely ever dropped a bad performance. He’s still the youngest goalkeeper to appear in a Champions League final and holds the record for the most clean sheets in the competition’s history. It’s a real shame things turned slightly sour towards the end of his Real Madrid career, but the fact remains that he’s an all-time great.
4. Sergio Ramos
Probably the finest ever Real Madrid captain. As well as leading the team marvellously for so many years and winning 22 trophies overall, Ramos scored a ridiculous number of goals for a centre-back. He left the Bernabeu with a collection totalling 101 across all competitions, a return worthy of a decent striker.
A world-class player for Real Madrid and an equally good manager. In his playing days, ‘Zizou’ scored an incredible volley to win the 2001 Champions League final and he then guided the club to a famous ‘three-peat’ in the competition from the dugout. The word ‘legend’ doesn’t really do him justice.
2. Alfredo Di Stefano
Two Ballon d’Ors, 308 goals in 396 games, eight La Liga titles, five Pichichis and five European Cups, that’s what Di Stefano achieved in his 11-year stint at Real Madrid. Not bad, eh? Oh and he also scored in every single one of the five European Cup finals he played in. They don’t make them quite like the ‘Blond Arrow’ anymore.
Who else could it be, eh? Ronaldo is Real Madrid’s all-time record scorer with 450 goals and he somehow achieved it in just 438 games. That return is absurd and will never be equalled by another player. Ronaldo also won four Champions Leagues at Real Madrid and scored 30 or more goals in every single season he was at the club. The 37-year-old really was a footballing cyborg in the Spanish capital.