Real Madrid have been a powerhouse in world football over the past century, playing host to some of the best managers and footballers in history. Los Blancos are received the prestigious “Club of the Century” award and continue to be a force to be reckoned with in world football. They have the distinction of winning the highest number of European Cups (13) and the most La Liga trophies (34), eight more than arch-rivals Barcelona.
Being one of the biggest clubs in European football, Real Madrid are one of the toughest teams to come up against. Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane formed an almost impenetrable defensive partnership in recent years, following in the footsteps of several Real Madrid greats. The two players left the club earlier this summer, but over the years, a handful of players have produced memorable performances against the La Liga giants, domestically as well as in Europe.
Today, we take a look at the five players who have tormented Real Madrid the most.
La Masia graduate Xavi Hernandez is one of the greatest midfielders to have graced the beautiful game.
Alongside Iniesta, Xavi was an indispensable component of Barcelona and Spain’s “tiki-taka” football. The Spaniard had the rare ability to control and dictate play in the middle of the park and was highly regarded for his immaculate vision and exquisite touch.
Xavi would count Real Madrid among his favorite opponents to face off against. The now-41-year old registered 42 appearances in the El Clasico – with 17 wins and 12 draws under his belt. The four-time Champions League winner has been one of Real Madrid’s worst nightmares over the years, as he was directly involved in 15 goals (5 goals, 10 assists) in those 42 appearances.
Stats won’t do justice to Xavi’s immense contribution in these matches and across the entirety of his Barcelona career. Xavi is also joint-third in the list of all-time El Clasico appearances.
#4 Samuel Eto’o
Despite his public fallout with Pep Guardiola in his time at Barcelona, Samuel Eto’o was at his explosive best against Real Madrid’s Galacticos.
The three-time Champions League winner is one of the few players to have donned the colors of both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Eto’o joined Real Madrid’s youth setup in 1996, but a lack of playing time in the senior team saw him move to his first Catalonian club, Espanyol, during a loan spell.
However, the Cameroonian would make his first appearance against Real Madrid in the 2000/01 campaign when he took the field for Mallorca. In 12 appearances against Los Blancos for the Mallorca side, Eto’o notched up seven goals and three assists.
Samuel Eto’o would also make eight El Clasico appearances for Blaugrana, where he registered an impressive tally of four goals and two assists.