Many football legends have found their way to Spain, one of the most successful countries in this sport. But who are these non-Spanish players who have played for the La Liga clubs? If you want to know more, then join us in this article on the best La Liga foreign players ever.
Spain is surely a country for all football lovers. Many outstanding football legends have played in this country and the Spanish teams have their own style of playing which makes them stand out from others.
La Liga has always played an important role in the world of football with high-rank clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, etc. Barca and Los Blancos (The Whites) are among the most successful and most decorative clubs in the world and their style of playing, along with the brilliant players that they have trained, have led them to have loads of fans in Spain and the world.
Despite the fact that the La Liga teams are professional, a lot of people on the planet watch their games and they compete with powerful teams in Europe. This makes Spain a great destination for footballers from all around the world. In this article onSportMob
, we are going over the best La Liga foreign players of all time. Stay with us and keep reading.
Without any other words, now it is time to have a look at the best La Liga foreign players in history. Let’s go!
: 21 March 1963
: March 21, 1963
The first name on our list for the
best La Liga foreign players ever
is the former player and current coach,Ronald Koeman
. This retired defensive midfielder started playing football professionally atFC Groningen
in 1980 and after 3 seasons, he moved toAjax
In 1986, Koeman joinedPSV Eindhoven
and after 3 years of playing for this club, he went to Spain to sign withBarcelona
, where he kicked the ball until 1995. This Dutch retired player then moved toFeyenoord
and ended his career in 1997.
During his managerial career, Koeman has managed many teams, among which Ajax,Benfica
, the national team of the Netherlands, and Barcelona stand out.
Ronald Koeman, who is one of the
greatest La Liga foreign players of all time
, won 4 Eredivisie titles, 3 KNVB Pokal, 2 European Champion Clubs’ Cup, 1 Champions League, 1 Copa del Rey, and 4 La Liga titles during his career as a footballer.
Koeman has also won 3 Eredivisie titles, 1 KNVB Pokal, 2 Johan Cruyff Bowl, 1 Portuguese Super Cup, and 2 Copa del Rey titles as a manager. Let’s move on to the next footballer of the list.
: 11 July 1958
: Mexico City, Mexico
The next name on the list of the
best La Liga foreign players ever
is the former football player and manager Hugo Sanchez. This former forward began playing football at the Mexican club UNAM in 1972. He played for this club until 1979, was loaned to San Diego Sockers for the 1979/80 season, and went back to play for UNAM until 1981.
In 1981, Sanchez moved to Spain to sign withAtletico Madrid
, where he kicked the ball for 4 years. This retired footballer then joinedReal Madrid
and played there until 1992. After that, he went back to his country to play for the Mexican club, America, although he returned to Spain after only one season to joinRayo Vallecano
In 1994, Sanchez moved to Atlante, which is another Mexican club. A year later, he joined the Austrian club, Linz. This former striker then moved to Dallas Burn and then Atletico Celaya, where he finished his career in 1997.
During his managerial career, Sanchez managed UNAM, Necaxa, the national team of Mexico, Mexico U23, Almeria, and Pachuca. He won 2 Mexican Primera Division titles, 1 CONCACAF Champions Cup, and 1 Copa Interamericana with UNAM, 1 Copa del Rey with Atletico Madrid, 5 La Liga titles, 3 Supercopa de Espana, 1 Copa del Rey, and 1 Europa League title with Real Madrid, 1 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup with America, 1 Austrian Football Second League with Linz, and 1 CONCACAF Gold Cup title with the national team of Mexico.
Hugo Sanchez is among the
best La Liga foreign players of all time
and his most significant individual achievements are:
La Liga Top Scorer in 1984/85, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1987/88, and 1989/90
European Golden Shoe in 1990
: 15 June 1964
: Frederiksberg, DenmarkMichael Laudrup
is also one of the best La Liga foreign players ever. this retired attacking midfielder started playing football professionally at Kjøbenhavns Boldklub in 1982, however, he joined Brøndby for the next season. In 1983, Laudrup moved toLazio
, where he kicked the ball for 2 years.
In 1985, this Danish player signed withJuventus
. After 4 years of playing for the Old Lady, he went on to join Barcelona, although in 1994, he moved to their rival team, Real Madrid. Laudrup then signed with Vissel Kobe and after only 1 season, he moved to Ajax, where he finished his career as a footballer in 1998.
During his coaching career, Laudrup has worked for Brøndby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow, Mallorca, Swansea City, Al Duhail, and Al Rayyan.
Michael Laudrup, who is one of the
best La Liga foreign players in history
, won 1 Serie A title, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 5 La Liga titles, 1 Copa del Rey, 2 Supercopa de Espana, 1 Eredivisie, 1 KNVB Cup, and 1 FIFA Confederations Cup during his career as a footballer.
During his managerial career, Laudrup won the Danish Superliga, Danish Cup, Danish Super Cup, EFL Cup, Qatar Stars League, and the Crown Prince Cup. his most important personal achievements are:
Danish Manager of the Year in 2002/03, and 2004/05
Danish Player of the Year in 1982 and 1985
Scandinavia Best Player Ever in 2015
: 4 November 1972
: Almada, Portugal
The next name among the best La Liga foreign players ever is the retired midfielder,Luis Figo
. At the youth level, this brilliant footballer played for Os Pastilhas andSporting
. His senior career started in 1989. Figo played for Sporting until 1995 and then joined Barcelona. After 5 years of playing for the Catalans, he moved to Real Madrid, which made Barca fans extremely angry because he was one of their most reliable players.
In 2005, Figo left Los Blancos (The Whites) to join Inter Milan, where he ended his career in 2009. During his time as a footballer, Figo won 1 Taca de Portugal with Sporting, 2 La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Rey, 1 Supercopa de Espana, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and 1 UEFA Super Cup with Barcelona, 2 La Liga titles, 2 Supercopa de Espana, 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup, and 1 Intercontinental Cup with Real Madrid, 4 Serie A titles, 1 Coppa Italia, and 2 Supercoppa Italiana titles with Inter Milan.
Luis Figo is surely one of the best La Liga foreign players in history and his most important personal awards include:
Ballon d’Or in 2000
La Liga Foreign Player of the Year in 1999, 2000, and 2001
FIFA World Player of the Year in 2000
Inter Milan Player of the Year in 2006
: 25 April 1947
: Amsterdam, Netherlands
: 24 March 2016
: Barcelona Spain
The next footballer on our list for the best La Liga foreign players ever is the Dutch legend,Johan Cruyff
. This former Forward started playing football at Ajax in 1957. He kicked the ball for this club until 1973 and then joined Barcelona, where he played for 5 seasons.
In 1978, Cruyff joined Los Angeles Aztecs, but after only 1 season he left there to move to Washington Diplomats. In 1981, this outstanding forward joinedLevante
, however, after a short time he moved to Ajax once again. After 2 years, this Dutch former footballer joined Feyenoord, where he finished his career in 1984.
During his managerial career, Cruyff managed Ajax, Barcelona, and the national team of Catalonia. This Dutch legend won 8 Eredivisie titles, 5 KNVB Cup, 3 UEFA Champions League, 1 UEFA Super Cup, and 1 Intercontinental Cup with Ajax, 1 La Liga and 1 Copa del Rey title with Barcelona, and 1 Eredivisie and 1 KNVB Cup with Feyenoord as a footballer.
Cruyff won 2 KNVB Cup titles and 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with Ajax, and 4 La Liga titles, 1 Copa del Rey, 3 Supercopa de Espana, 1 Champions League, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and 1 UEFA Super Cup title with Barcelona as a manager.
Johan Cruyff is without a doubt among the
greatest La Liga foreign players ever
and his most important individual awards are:
Ballon d’Or in 1971, 1973, and 1974
Eredivisie Top Scorer: 1966/67 and 1971/72
UEFA Champions League Top Scorer in 1972/73
Dutch Footballer of the Year in 1968, 1972, and 1984
FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in 1974
: 21 March 1980
: Porto Alegre, BrazilRonaldinho
is also one of the best La Liga foreign players ever. This former winger, who was famous for his brilliant ball controlling and beautiful dribbling, took his first steps in the world of football at Gremio in 1987. He kicked the ball for this club until 2001 and then moved toParis Saint-Germain
, where he played for 2 seasons.
In 2003, Ronaldinho joined Barcelona and kicked the ball for them until 2008. Then he moved toAC Milan
, where he played until 2011. This brilliant winger then kicked the ball at Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro, Queretaro, and Fluminense, where he ended his career in 2015.
Ronaldinho, who is among the greatest La Liga foreign players ever, won 1 Copa Sul, 1 Campeonato Gaucho, 2 La Liga titles, 2 Supercopa de Espana, 1 UEFA Champions League, 1 Serie A, 1 Campeonato Carioca, 1 Campeonato Mineiro, 1 Copa Libertadores, 1 Recopa Sudamericana, 1 Copa America, 1 FIFA World Cup, and 1 Confederations Cup title during his career. His most significant personal achievements include:
Ballon d’Or in 2005
La Liga Top Assist Provider in 2005/06
Serie A Top Assist Provider in 2009/10
Birthday: 1 April 1927
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Death: 17 November 2006
Deathplace: Budapest, Hungary
The next name on the list of the best La Liga foreign players ever isFerenc Puskas
, who is considered one of the most outstanding strikers of all time. He began playing football at Kispest Honved in 1940. 3 Years later, his senior career started as he moved to Budapest Honved.
After 13 seasons of playing for Budapest Honved, Puskas joined Real Madrid. He kicked the ball for Los Blancos (The Whites) until 1966 and retired at this club. It is interesting to know that this brilliant striker played for the national team of Hungary from 1945 until 1956 and switched national teams as he took Spanish nationality.
Puskas also managed many football teams, including AEK Athenes, the national team of Saudi Arabia, and the national team of Hungary. He won 5 Nemzeti Bajnoksag titles, 5 La Liga, 1 Copa del Rey, 3 UEFA Champions League, and 1 Intercontinental Cup during his career as a footballer.
Ferenc Puskas is one of the greatest La Liga foreign players of all time and his most important personal awards are:
Footballer of the Year in Hungary in 1950
UEFA Champions League Top Scorer in 1959/60 and 1963/64
La Liga Top Scorer in 1959/60, 1960/61, 1962/63, and 1963/64
: 4 July 1926
: Buenos Aires, Argentina
: 7 July 2014
: Madrid, Spain
The next footballer on our list of the best La Liga foreign players ever isAlfredo Di Stefano
. Saeta Rubia (Blond Arrow), who is regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever, started playing football at Union Progresista in 1940. He played there for 3 seasons and then joined the River Plate.
In 1945, his senior career started. Di Stefano played for the River Plate until 1949, however, he was loaned to Huracan in the 1945/46 season. The Blond Arrow then moved to Millonarios, where he played for 4 years.
In 1953, Di Stefano moved to Spain to sign with Real Madrid. He kicked the ball for The Whites until 1964 and then joined Espanyol, where he finished his career in 1966. During his managerial career, the Blond Arrow managed Elche, Boca Juniors, Valencia, Sporting, Rayo Vallecano, Castellon, River Plate, and Real Madrid.
Alfredo Di Stefano won 2 Argentine Primera Division titles and 1 Copa Aldao with the River Plate, 3 Categoria Primera A titles, 1 Copa Colombia, and 1 Small Club World Cup with Millonarios, 8 La Liga titles, 1 Copa del Rey, 5 UEFA Champions League, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 1 Small Club World Cup, and 2 Latin Cup titles with Real Madrid during his career as a footballer.
As a manager, Di Stefano won 1 Argentine Primera Division and 1 Copa Argentina with Boca Juniors, 1Torneo Nacional with the River Plate, 1 La Liga title, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup, and 1 La Liga 2 title with Valencia and 1 Supercopa de Espana title with Real Madrid.
The most outstanding individual achievements of the Blond Arrow include:
Ballon d’Or in 1957 and 1959
Champions League Top Scorer in 1958 and 1962
Argentine Primera Division Top Scorer in 1947
: 5 February 1985
: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
The next name among the
best La Liga foreign players ever
, who is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding footballers of all time. This Portuguese star kicked the ball for Andorinha, Nacional, and Sporting at the youth level. In 2002, his senior career started and he played for Sporting until 2003. Then he joinedManchester United
Ronaldo played for the Red Devils until 2009 and moved to Real Madrid, where he spent 9 memorable years. In 2018, he joined Juventus, where he kicked the ball until 2021. After that, Ronaldo returned to Man United, where he is playing now.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won 1 Supertaca Candido de Oliveira, 3 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 EFL Cup, 1 FA Community Shield, 5 UEFA Champions League, 4 FIFA Club World Cup, 2 La Liga, 2 Copa del Rey, 2 Supercopa de Espana, 2 UEFA Super Cup, 2 Serie A, 1 Coppa Italia, and 2 Supercoppa Italiana titles.
The most significant individual achievements of this Portuguese star are:
Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017
European Golden Shoe in 2007/08, 2010/11, 2013/14, and 2014/15
Premier League Top Scorer in 2007/08
La Liga Best Player in 2013/14
: 24 June 1987
: Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
The last name on our list for the best La Liga foreign players ever is the Argentinian legend,Lionel Messi
. This outstanding forward started playing football at Grandoli in 1992. 3 years later, later he moved to Newell’s Old Boys, where he played for 5 years. In 2000, Messi joined Barcelona and in 2003, his senior career started. Leo kicked the ball for Barca until 2021, making many beautiful memories for not only the Barca fans but for all the football fans. Since 2021, he has been playing for Paris Saint-Germain.
Lionel Messi has won 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copa del Rey, 8 Supercopa de Espana, 4 UEFA Champions League, 3 UEFA Super Cup, and 3 FIFA Club World Cup titles, all of which with Barcelona. His most outstanding individual achievements include:
Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2019
Champions League Top Scorer in 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19
La Liga Best Player in 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, and 2014/15
In the end, you need to know that Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo Nazario are also among the best La Liga foreign players ever and you can read about them inBest Serie A foreign players ever
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