The All Time Starting XI of La Liga
La Liga or Spanish Football League is one of the most popular sport leagues in the world and one of the top football leagues globally. Founded in 1929 is currently contested by 20 teams under a promotion-relegation system. The most popular teams of the league are Real Madrid and Barcelona.
In their 86 years of history, countless football legends have left their mark in the league and in this list we’ll chose our All Time Starting XI of la Liga, which is a list that only will include retired players who spent most of their career in la Liga.
The All Time Starting XI of La Liga
11. Goalkeeper: Antoni Ramallets
Probably the least known neam in our All Time Starting XI of La Liga, but how to keep out of the team the first goalkeeper to win 5 Trofeos Zamora, awarded to the best goalie of each season in la Liga. Nicknamed “El Gato de Maracaná” (Maracana’s Cat) after his impressive skills shown in the 1950 World Cup. Ramallets’ debut occurred in 1941 with now defunct C.E. Europa and retired in 1962 with Barcelona, the team he had his best years with. Ramallets won the Zamora Trophy in its first two editions averaging less than 1 goal allowed per game and previously he had been selected the best goalie in the league three times. He was the goalie of the first legendary Barcelona Team (1951-53). He won 6 championships with Barcelona, one of their most winningest players of all time.
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10. Defender: Carles Puyol
Retired not long ago, he was a longtime captain of his only team, Barcelona F. C. He was a central defender but could also play either flank, especially right and he made our All Time Starting XI of La Liga. He played over 600 official matches with them and won 21 major tournaments, including Six La Liga Championships and Three Champions League. With his National Team, Spain, he was part of the team that won the Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, where he scored the only goal of the semifinal match against Germany. In La Liga he played 392 games and scored 13 goals.
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9. Defender: Ronald Koeman
Although he played most part of his career in Netherlands, the best moment of its was his stint with the Barcelona’s Dream Team from 1989 to 1995, which is enough to put him in our All Time Starting XI of La Liga as one the teams defenders. He was one of the best attacking central defenders of all time and was renowned for his long range passing, his shooting accuracy and power from distance, especially on free kicks. In La Liga he played 192 games, scored 67 goals and still holds the records for most consecutive successful penalties conversions with 25. With his Barcelona team he won four league’s Championships in a row. His 193 goals overall on his career are the most for any defender in the history of football.
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8. Defender: Fernando Hierro
One of Real Madrid and Spain All Time Greats, he made our All Time Starting XI of La Liga as defender as he could play central defender, sweeper and defensive midfielder. He had the ability to combine solid defense with an almost unlimited passing range and had a surprising goalscoring talent, rare in defenders, which made him one of the world’s best players at his time. With the “Galacticos”, he won five La Liga and three Champions League trophies over a 15 years span. His debut occurred in 1987 with Real Valladolid and in 1989 he was bought by Real Madrid. In his first four years with the team he scored 51 goals, including a career high of 21 in 91-92 season. Overall he scored 105 goals in La Liga, 102 with Real.
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7. Defender: Roberto Carlos
He spent most of his career as a left winger and was nicknamed “El Hombre Bala” (Bullet man) due to his powerful bending free kicks, which were measured at over 105 mph. He was also known for his running speed, stamina and technical skills. He won it all with his National Team, including several Copas Americas and one FIFA World Cup. He played 11 years (from 1996 to 2007) with Real Madrid, and played with them 584 matches in all competitions and scored 71 goals, winning four La Liga Championships and three Champions League. In La Liga, he is the Real Madrid’s most capped foreign player with 370 games played and at his peak with the “Galácticos” he was considered one of the best left backs in the world and undoubtedly he made our All Time Starting XI of La Liga.
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6. Midfielder: Francisco Gento
Having played his full career in Spain and being part of the Real Madrid team that won several championships, he made the cut for our All Time Starting XI of La Liga as a midfielder. He played mainly as left winger. His debut occurred with Racing Santander in 1952 and moved to Real Madrid the following seasons. He appeared in a record 8 European Cup Finals, winning a record six and was part of 12 teams that won La Liga. He played 14 years at International level with Spain, including the World Cups of 1962 and 1966. He was noted for his high speed, being able to run 100 meters in 11 seconds and his scoring prowess from the midfield position. He scored 30 goals in 89 European Cups matches and 130 in the Spanish Top Division, 128 with the “Merengues”.
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5. Midfielder: Michael Laudrup
The Danish Laudrop made the cut for our All Time Starting XI of La Liga as attacking midfielder. He played 8 of his 17 years in Spain with both Real Madrid and Barcelona and won La Liga Championships with each. He was part of the Barcelona Dream Team of the early nineties and won four championships in a row with them, after his final season with Barcelona he moved to Real Madrid with who he won a fifth La Liga Championships tournament. In 1999 he was voted the Best Foreign Player in Spanish Football over the preceding 25 year period. He was known as a quick, intelligent and talented play making midfielder and one of the most elegant players the game has ever seen and notably, he never received a red card in his career. Through his career he was acclaimed for his technique, balance, elegance, vision, ball control, deep passes and dribbling ability.
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4. Midfielder: Figo
The most capped player of Portugal in history, played 10 years in Spain, splitting them with 5 for Barcelona and 5 for Real Madrid and that’s why one of the best wingers in history is one of the midfielders of our All Time Starting XI of La Liga. He was renowned for his creativity and ability to get past defenders. He set la Liga’s All Time record for assists with 106, a mark broken by Lionel Messi. In Barcelona his career took off and made a fearsome partnership with Ronaldo in the late nineties, playing 172 for them and scoring 30 goals and in 2000 he moved to Real Madrid where he was part of the historic team “Los Galácticos” with who he played 164 games and scored 38 goals. At his peak, he was quick, elegant, skillful with a notable dribbling ability. Although he primarily served as a creative player he also contributed offensively with goals due to his powerful striking ability and his accuracy from free-kicks and penalties.
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3. Midfielder: Alfredo Di Stefano
Di Stefano is without a doubt the greatest player in history never to appear in a football World Cup, despite the fact he played for three different national teams. Nicknamed “La Saeta Rubia” (the blonde arrow), he was a powerfull, quick, skillful player with great stamina, tactical versatility, creativity and vision, who could also play almost anywhere on the pitch. He is currently the fifth highest scorer in the history of la Liga and Real Madrid’s third highest league scorer with 216 goals in 282 matches between 1953 and 1964. Di Stefano’s best years were with Real Madrid where he was a key part of one of the most successful teams of all time. He set the club record for most goals with 216 (today broken). He scored in five consecutive European Cup finals for Real from 1956 to 1960, he was awarded the Ballon d’Or in 1957 and 1959 and is part of our All Time Starting XI of La Liga.
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2. Striker: Ferenc Puskás
He is arguably one of the greatest players in history of the game and one of the finest and most prolific strikers, having scored 84 goals in 85 matches for Hungary National Team, where he was part of the Mighty Magyars, arguably the greatest national team that never won a World Cup. In La Liga he played 8 seasons with Real Madrid and scored 156 goals, won three European Cups and 5 League Championships. While playing for Real Madrid, he won for “Pichinchis” as the league Top Scorer and scored seven goals in two European Championships Cup. He scored four hat tricks in in first season in La Liga and against Barcelona he scored two hat tricks in the 1963 season. He scored 20 or more goals in each of his first six seasons in the Spanish Top Division and helped Real Madrid win la Liga five times in a row. In the European Cup, he played with 39 games with Madrid, scoring 35 goals. It was impossible to leave him out of our All Time Starting XI of La Liga.
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1. Striker: Ronaldo
Although he also played in Italy, Netherlands and Brazil, while in La Liga he scored 47% of his goals, enough to include him in our All Time Starting XI of la Liga as a striker. He was nicknamed “The Phenomenon” and is considered by many to be one of the greatest football players of all time. He won the FIFA World Player of the Year on three occasions and the Ballon d’Or twice. He played only one season with Barcelona, in 1996-97, when he scored 47 goals in 49 games in all competitions, an incredible ratio of 0.95. After a 5 year stint with Inter in Italy, he returned to La Liga in 2002 with Real Madrid, where he was part of “Los Galácticos” and scored 23 goals and in the 2003-04 season he was La Liga Top Scorer for the second time. With Real Madrid he scored 83 goals. Ronaldo was frequently capable of beating several players when undergoing individual dribbling runs at speed, and he was also equally competent in one on one situations, due to his ball control, acceleration, agility, balance, quick feet and technical skills. Sadly, injuries shortened his career and deprived him to set more records.
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And This was our All Time Starting XI of la Liga, some were left out and some active players, undoubtedly deserves a spot here in the future. Stay tuned for more All Time Starting XI of European Top Leagues.