Best Real Madrid Defenders of all time

Mon 11 January 2021 | 13:30

The whites of Madrid are deservedly one of the best clubs by winning a total of 91 trophies throughout history. Read on to find out more about the best Real Madrid defenders of all time.

It is difficult to find another club that can compete with the honors of Real Madrid! Selected by FIFA, Real Madrid is the most successful club in Spain, the most successful club in the history of Europe, and the most successful club in the twentieth century!

Put aside that football is the most popular sport in the world, aside from the fact that Real Madrid is the most successful club in the world! Is there a more exciting combination?

In this article, after a very brief review of the history and honors of

Real Madrid

, we will present a list of the

best Real Madrid defenders ever


Summarizing the history and honors of an old, star-studded club like Real Madrid is a very difficult task. The history of this club can be read line by line and all the honors gained by this club are valuable.

A brief review of the history of Real Madrid

Real Madrid is a Spanish club founded on March 6, 1902. This club is known as a royal club and the crown in the club's logo originates from this issue. Of course, the club today is owned by thousands of its official members.

Real Madrid is one of the most popular and famous clubs in the world. Real Madrid'd home stadium, Santiago Bernabeu, is named in honor of one of the former players and most important people in the history of the club. Bernabeu has been president of the club for 35 years, during which time he has made Real Madrid one of the best and biggest clubs in Spain and Europe.

This club is the most proud club in Europe. They have won the Champions League thirteen times, the last time being in the summer of 2018 with a victory over


. Real Madrid, nicknamed the Galaxies or Los Blancos, also holds the record with 33 La Liga titles.

Real Madrid has a long-standing rivalry with


. The best scorer in the history of this club is Cristiano Ronaldo with 450 goals. The most expensive purchase in the history of the club is Gareth Bale and the most expensive sale in the history is Cristiano Ronaldo.

Another important figure in the history of the club is Alfredo Di Stéfano, during whose time the club won five European championships. Real Madrid has had many superstars in history. Among these superstars Gento, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ronaldo, Raúl González, Sergio Ramos, Fernando Hierro, Marcelo, Iker Casillas, Gotti, Karim Benzema, Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Juan Gómez González and Cristiano Ronaldo can all be mentioned.

Real Madrid are one of the most decorated European clubs alongside Barcelona, their eternal rival. Los Blancos have won 13 European championships, a record which no other club is even close to, with the second place standing

AC Milan

with 7 titles won.

They have also won the most Spanish League (La Liga) titles by achieving the trophy 34 times. Real Madrid has won the absolute unique award of "the club of the 20th century," which requires another 79-year wait to figure if any other club is capable of winning such award.

Moreover, Real Madrid has claimed 19 Spanish Cups (Copa del Rey), 7 FIFA clubs World Cups, 11 Spanish Super Cups, 4 UEFA Super Cups, 2 Europa Leagues and 3 Intercontinental cups.

Real Madrid has always been a place for heroes, a place for the ones that are capable of rewriting the history and this trend will continue in the future, because this club was built to make the dreams of its fans come true.

Hence, all of the players who would ever wear the white shirt of Real Madrid, must defend the hearts of many people and the key role to fulfill the goal, is played by the defenders.

Every success in football stems from great team structure, and that is formed primarily by the defensive strategies.

Not only do the defenders guard the goal, they also protect their honor and the hearts of millions of fans, and provided that they succeed in accomplishing their duty, the trophies will come. That is what Real Madrid defenders have been doing for more than a century which led to all of the mentioned achievements.

The followings are some of the best Real Madrid defenders of all time:

The whites have always had world-class defenders whose roles have been vital in every single victory.  Defenders whose astonishing performances have led to Real Madrid's standing on the summit of Europe for so long. Let's take a quick look at some of the

best Real Madrid defenders of all time


Michel Salgado

  • Full name: Miguel Ángel Salgado Fernández

  • Place of birth: As Neves, Spain

  • Playing position(s): Right back

Date of birth:


October 1975 (age 46)



m (5 ft 9 in)

Michel Salgado, also known as "II Due" is probably the best right-back in the history of Real Madrid who has made 371 appearances during ten years at the club. He is definitely among the all-time best defenders at Real Madrid.

Salgado is known for his incursive style of play and excellent tackling abilities, as well as his winning character. The tireless defender owned the right side of the pitch, both in attack and in defense. Salgado was a hard-working player who would convince all of his coaches to put him in the starting line-up.

Salgado played a very decisive role in achieving so many titles during his time at Santiago Bernabeu, including 4 Spanish league titles, 3 Champions leagues, 3 Spanish Super Cups, 1 UEFA Super Cup as well as an intercontinental cup. Furthermore, Salgado was the first choice for the right-back position in Spanish national team too, appearing in 53 matches for the Matadors.

What is more, he won 1998 U-21 European championship with Spanish U-21 national team. With the mentioned resume, nothing seems wrong if we include "II Due" on the list of all-time best Real Madrid defenders.

Manolo Sanchis

  • Full name: Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo

  • Date of birth: 23 May 1965 (age 56


  • Place of birth: Madrid, Spain

  • Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in


  • Playing position(s): Sweeper

Manolo Sanchis is one of the most iconic players in the history of Real Madrid for being at the club for nearly 18 years. He is one of the five players who have spent their entire professional career with Real Madrid. The legendary sweeper, who was a product of the club's youth academy, made his debut in 1983 when he was 18.

Manolo's father, Manuel, was also a Real Madrid player with 143 appearances for the club, and Manolo grew up watching his father playing in the white shirt, thus he became interested football and in Real Madrid. As a result he joined the club's academy at the age of 12.

After six years of showing his merits, he was finally given the time to play for the first team. The legendary defender went on to play 655 official matches for Los Blancos, and injected his name in the Real Madrid's history book by winning numerous titles such as 8 La Liga titles, 2 Champions leagues, 2 Copa del Reys, 5 Spanish Super Cups, 2 UEFA Cups and 1 intercontinental cups.

As one of the all-time best defenders at Real Madrid, Sanchis intelligence, expertise in good placement as well as stunning defensive actions is what distinguishes him from other players of his generation. The Sanchis Father/son duo is one of the four duos to have ever won the European cup alongside Luka and Zinedine Zidane, Carles and

Sergio Busquets

, and Cesare and Paulo Maldini.

Manolo Sanchis is undisputedly a name that will always be referred to as one of the

best Real Madrid defenders of all time


Miguel Porlan Noguera Chendo

  • Full name: Miguel Porlán Noguera

  • Date of birth: 12 October 1961 (age 60


  • Place of birth: Totana, Spain

  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in


  • Playing position(s): Right back

Chendo is another loyal player who spent his entire career wearing the Whites' shirt. He started in youth teams of the club and eventually made his debut at the age of 23.

Chendo has played in 497 official matches for Los Blancos and has helped them secure 7

La Liga

trophies, 5 Spanish Super Cups, 2 Copa del Reys, 2 UEFA Cups, 1 Spanish league cup and most importantly, as a perfect ending to a player-club love story, he won the 1998 UEFA Chamoions league title with Real Madrid as their 7th ever European championship.

Moreover, a match to remember about the Spanish legend is the one against


in 1987, where Chendo was responsible to mark Maradona out of the game, and he did it perfectly.  

After 16 years at the club he retired in 1998 and these are his emotional words in his farewell

match "I’m leaving feeling really happy to have fulfilled the dream of every kid, playing for Real Madrid for years and finishing my career at this great club. What more could you ask for?”

These sentences clearly indicate how committed he was towards the club, and how hard he worked to retain his position for many years, and consequently, to stay in the minds of the Whites as one of the best Real Madrid defenders of all time.

Jose Antonio Camacho

  • Full name: José Antonio Camacho Alfaro

  • Date of birth: 8 June 1955 (age 66


  • Place of birth: Cieza, Spain

  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 8 1⁄2 in


  • Playing position(s): Left back

Jose Antonio Camacho was not only one of the best Real Madrid defenders of all time, but also is a remarkable player in the history of

Spanish national team

with 81 caps. He is definitely among the

all-time best defenders at Real Madrid


Camacho was known for his strong tendency to win, as well as his commitment to the club. He is regarded as one of the greatest captains in the history of Los Blancos. He has appeared in 577 official matches for the Whites during 15 years at Bernabeu.

He suffered a very bad knee injury in 1978, which did not let him play for nearly 2 years. However, this could not stop him from achieving a huge number of titles with Real Madrid (19).

He has claimed the impressive number of 9 La Liga titles, only

Lionel Messi

and Pirri with 10, and the great Paco Gento with 12 titles have won more La Ligas than him, 5 Copa del Reys, 2 Spanish Super Cups, 2 UEFA Cups and a Spanish league cup.

Unfortunate for one of the

best ever Real Madrid defenders

, during his time of play Real Madrid did not manage to win any of their 13 European Champions cups.

Yet, Jose Antonio Camacho is known to be one of the symbols of the club, for he did not leave the club after hanging up his boots, and continued his job as a coach in youth teams and the first team. He was Spanish national team's coach in 2002 FIFA World Cup and led them to the quarter finals.


  • Full name: Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior

  • Date of birth: 12 May 1988 (age 33


  • Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in


  • Playing position(s): Left back

The Brazilian left-back who is still playing for the Whites is one of the best left-backs in the history of football.  He joined the club in 2007 and never looked back.

The Brazilian is very skillful with the ball and has shown astounding performances for the past 14 years with the Whites' shirt.


has made 516 appearances for Real Madrid and has provided 99 assists so far.

In addition, he has scored 38 goals and is currently the second captain of the team after Sergio Ramos. Marcelo is one of the most decorated players in Real Madrid's history by winning a total of 22 titles with Los Blancos.

His contributions in winning 5 La Ligas, 4 Champions leagues, 2 Copa del reys, 4 Spanish Super Cups, 4 FIFA Clubs' world cup as well as 3 UEFA Super Cups are undeniable. He has been included in the UCL team of the season three times.

As one of the best defenders in Real Madrid history, Marcelo has been named in the FIFPro World XI six times and the UEFA team of the year three times.

Marcelo was definitely a crucial part of the team that managed to win three consecutive Champions league titles from 2016 to 2018, and the one in 2014. Furthermore, Marcelo has played in 58 matches for the Brazil national team, and won the 2013 FIFA Confederations cup with them.

Even though Ferland Mendy has taken over his place for the last two seasons due to Marcelo's poor form, he is still a big name in the world of football, and his name will be engraved in the hearts of millions of the Whites' fans as one of the best Real Madrid defenders of all time, and perhaps the world's.

Jacinto Quincoces

  • Full name: Jacinto Francisco Fernández de Quincoces López de Arbina

  • Place of birth: Barakaldo, Spain

  • Place of death: Valencia, Spain

  • Playing position(s): Defender

Date of birth:


July 1905

Date of death:



1997 (aged 91




m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in


Jacinto Quincoses is a player which you might not have heard of as much as others. Yet, he is considered as one of the

all-time best Real Madrid defenders

. He joined the team in 1931 and stayed there until 1936.

After that, he went on a career break for 3 years due to Spain's civil war. In 1939, he started to play for the Whites once again and stayed there until he retired in 1942. His acrobatics acts when clearing the opponent's danger as well as his sobriety made him famous at his time.

The strong skillful defender was the reason the club went unbeaten in his first season and won the La Liga title in 1932. He has won 2 La Ligas and 2 Copa del Reys with Los Blancos.

Quincoses has also played in 25 matches for Spanish national team, including the 1934 World Cup in Italy where Spain's defense was widely told to be the best defense in the world. Moreover, he was named Spain's player of the year in 1934.

As a result, Jacinto Quincoses is regarded to be a genuine legend of the club, with a fixed place in the list of the best Real Madrid defenders of all time.

Roberto Carlos

  • Full name: Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha

  • Date of birth: 10 April 1973 (age 48


  • Place of birth: Garça, São Paulo, Brazil

  • Height: 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in


  • Playing position(s): Left back

Roberto Carlos is known to be one of the best left-backs in the history of the sport. He had one of the strongest legs among the players of all time. Roberto Carlos's left foot was vital for Real Masdrid in achieving more than 10 titles. He is definitely one of the best defenders in Real Madrid History.

He could run 100 meters in 10.9 seconds and the speed of his powerful shots might reach 140km/h. These amazing stats are exclusively Carlos's. He has done some unrepeatable things such as his astonishing goal against France where ball took an absolute incredible curve to pass the goal line.

He came to Santiago Bernabeu in 1996 from

Inter Milan

, and stayed there for 11 years, appeared in 527 matches, provided 88 assists and scored 70 goals. Roberto Carlos was a crucial part of the team in winning 3 Champions Leagues, 4 La Liga tiles,  3 Spanish Super Cups, 1 UEFA Super Cup and 2 intercontinental cup.

One memorable assist provided by him is the one in the final match of 2002 Champions league against

Bayer Leverkusen

, where Zidane scored an unbelievable volley goal with his left food and Real Madrid celebrated their 9th ever European Championship at the end of the match.

Furthermore, Roberto Carlos is the foreign player with the most appearances for the club, which puts him in a special place among Madrid's fans. The most attacking full-back of all time is undisputedly one of the best Real Madrid defenders of all time.

Jose Santamaria

  • Full name: José Emilio Santamaría Iglesias

  • Date of birth: 31 July 1929 (age 92


  • Place of birth: Montevideo, Uruguay

  • Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in


  • Playing position(s): Centre back

In a team that some starts like Paco Gento, Alfredo Di Stefano and Franc Puskas guaranteed the attack phase, Santamaria was the one who secured the defense.

He was an expert in aerial battles and was nicknamed " The Wall" due to his great defensive abilities He joined the Whites in the middle of their glorious era in 1957, became the leader of the defense and achieved La Liga and European Champions cup, which was the club's third in-a row, in his first season.

He has played in 337 official matches for Real Madrid in 9 seasons and helped them win 6 La Liga titles, 4 European champion clubs' cup, 1 Copa del Rey and 1 intercontinental cup. Santamaria is one of the players who have played for more than one country's national team.

The Uruguayan-born star has played 20 matches for Uruguay national team, including 1954 FIFA World Cup in Switzerland where they placed 4


. In 1958 he chose to represent Spain national team.

He participated in the 1962 World Cup with the Matadors, and appeared in a total of 16 matched for Spain. Santamaria is a legend for the Whites, and is known as one of the

best Real Madrid defenders ever


Fernando Hierro

  • Full name: Fernando Ruiz Hierro

  • Date of birth: 23 March 1968 (age 53


  • Place of birth: Vélez-Málaga, Spain

  • Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in


  • Playing position(s): Centre back / Defensive midfielder

Fernando Hierro is known to be a versatile player who started his career as a midfielder and ended up being one of the best defenders in the history of the whites, with great ability in winning aerial battles as well as outstanding positioning and brilliant anticipation talent.

He was a natural for Real Madrid and was a great contribution to the attackers' job as well. Fernando Hierro has played in 601 matches for Los Blancos and has scored the fascinating number of 127 goals for them, great record for a defender.

As one of the best ever Real Madrid defenders, Hierro was at the club for 14 years. His presence was a key for the club  achieve so many titles including three Champions leagues (La Septima, la Octava, la Novena), 5 La Liga trophies, 1 Spanish cup (Copa del Rey), 4 Spanish Super Cups, 2 intercontinental Cups and 1 UEFA Super Cup. With the mentioned Manolo Sanchis, they made a perfect duo to guard the Whites' goal.

Moreover, he was the first choice in Spain national team for some years. Hierro has appeared in 88 games for the Matadors and has scored 30 goals for them, including the memorable one against


in 1993 which took Spain to the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

Hierro is widely regarded as one of the

best Real Madrid defenders of all time

, and is commonly selected as one the two center-backs when arranging the best Real Madrid XI of all time.

Sergio Ramos

  • Full name: Sergio Ramos García

  • Date of birth: 30 March 1986 (age 35


  • Place of birth: Camas, Spain

  • Height: 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in


  • Playing position(s): Centre-back

Sergio Ramos

is regarded as the best Real Madrid defender of all time. The current captain of the Whites and Spain national team is a magnificent player with excellent heading ability,  brilliant defensive skills and astounding leadership that makes him one of the captains that every team desire to have, both on and off the pitch.

Ramos has played 666 games for Real Madrid and has scored 100 goals, many of which have been very decisive goals. For instance, the 93rd minute goal against

Atletico Madrid

in the final match of 2014 Champions league which led Real Madrid to win their "La Decima" after a 12 year drought.

Sergio Ramos has won 4 UEFA Champions leagues and was selected to be in the team of the tournament each of those seasons, 5 La Liga titles, 4 Spanish Super Cups, 2 Copa del Reys, 4 FIFA clubs World Cups and 3 UEFA Super cups as Real Madrid player, he played a vital role in each and every one of those achievements.

As one of the best ever Real Madrid defenders, Ramos has been named for the FIFPro World XI eleven times, more than any other defender in history, and third among all of the players. Moreover, he has been elected to UEFA team of the year 8 times, again a record for a defender. The "El Capitano" has also had a great international career with Spain national team.

Ramos has made 178 appearances for the Matadors and is to break the world record which is held by the Egyptian Ahmed Hassan with 184 Caps. Ramos has also scored 23 goals for his national team. In addition, he also holds the record of having the most victories with Spain.

Ramos was a crucial part in winning 2 EUROs in 2008 and 2012, and the FIFA World Cup in 2010, and was named to the 2010 World Cup and EURO 2012 dream team.

The prominent legend is known to be not only one of the

best defenders in Real Madrid history

, but also he is regarded to be one of the bests in the history of the sport.

What we can state for sure is that many other great defenders are on their way to join the team and make history. It is a matter of time, and the beauty of the sport. Madrid's fans are hoping to find another Ramos or Hierro but perhaps, they will find some other new names, instead.



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