Thursday, July 16, 2009

Among Real Madrid's best

Cristiano Ronaldo joins a long list of great players who have donned the white shirt

From Di Stefano to la Quinta del Buitre, Laudrup, Ronaldo, Zidane, Raul and Casillas, Real Madrid has always brought together the best footballers in the world. Legendary players who arrived as super stars and managed to increase their status, and in other cases men who experienced their best years as Madridistas or who were brought up in the academy. This season Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka join this long list of greats who delighted the Bernabeu crowd and left their imprints on the history of the Best Club of the 20th Century.

Real Madrid began writing one of the most important chapters in its history in 1953, when Alfredo di Stefano arrived in the Spanish capital for the start of an eleven-year stint. He played 510 matches, scored 418 goals, won eight leagues, five European Cups, one Spanish Cup, one Intercontinental cup, two Latin Cups and the list goes on. Di Stefano was 27 when he first suited up for Real Madrid and he went on to become the best player in club history, earning himself five Pichichi trophies and two Ballons d'Or (1957 and 1959). Di Stefano was one of the first stars to don a Real Madrid shirt, but there were several more during the 1950's.

Playing alongside the Blond Arrow were men of the likes of Gento, Puskas, Kopa and Zarraga. History continued to be written the following decade with the signings of Amancio, Sanchis, De Felipe, Pirri and Zoco, who combined for nine leagues, three Spanish Cups and one European Cup. Amancio earned international acclaim and was called up by FIFA to play for an international side against Brazil in Maracana Stadium.

Valdano, Del Bosque, Schuster and la Quinta del Buitre succeeded the Flower Foot generation in the 70's and 80's, a time when the academy produced great players for the first team, which continued its dominance through Spain and Europe. Towards the end of the 90's, and after a long European Cup drought, Real Madrid focused on creating a team that could return the much-desired trophy to the shelves. The Seventh was about to arrive thanks to greats like Mijatovic, Suker, Roberto Carlos and a young Raul. On 20 May 1997, Pedja Mijatovic scored the winner against Juventus in Amsterdam to put an end to the 32-year dry spell.

The best players on the planet wanted to join Real Madrid, and Madridista fans welcomed them with open arms. Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo and Beckham set the stage for another era of greatness. Real Madrid won two more European Cups in the early 21st Century, shortly after FIFA had given the club the title of the Best Team of the 20th Century. Raul, Casillas and Hierro rounded out the team that made millions of fans around the world dream large.

Cannavaro, who signed on with a World Cup title, Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Player of the Year; Robben, one of the Premier League greats; and Ramos and Casillas, two of Spain's most promising talents, complete a long list of footballers who were born to play for Real Madrid. The most recent arrival is Kaka, who at the age of 27 already has a European Cup, a European Super Cup and an Italian league title under his belt. His arrival at the doors of Real Madrid coincides with a new era for the club. Zidane, who paved the way for a brilliant Real Madrid, is succeeded by Kaka; and now Figo by Cristiano Ronaldo, two footballers who will join the list of greats who have suited up for Real Madrid.

cristiano ronaldo and real madrid

cristiano ronaldo and real madrid

cristiano ronaldo and real madrid

cristiano ronaldo and real madrid

cristiano ronaldo and real madrid

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive