Wrapping the armband around the arm does not only imply that your teammates are now morally obliged to listen to you but also shows that you are one of the most responsible persons in the dressing room. In wins, ties and losses, you have to be the one to always come forward, hold yourself and others accountable for the actions and demand more from everyone including yourself and these are never easy.
In the process of bringing more out of everyone, a captain often needs to cross the line and turn into a rival. Receiving the honour to lead the best club of the previous century, Real Madrid is already an achievement many footballers look forward to. But getting to lead both Real Madrid and their country is a fortune very few have had.
With the eyes of the nation on you and your team to analyse every single move of yours, every single action of the team has to be perfect or else heavy scrutiny awaits for the squad. Here are the 5 captains who overcame these adversities and led their teams to a new horizon –
#5 Fernando Hierro:
Fernando Hierro became a player both the Spanish senior team and Real Madrid’s set up in 1989. He was entrusted with the nation’s armband in 1998 and the club’s in 2001. Under his leadership, Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and LaLiga. After a disappointing group-stage exit in the 1998 World Cup, he led Spain to two consecutive quarter-final appearances in 2000 Euros and 2002 World Cup.
#4 José Martínez Sánchez:
Famously known as ‘Pirri’, Sánchez played most of his career as a sweeper and midfielder. He was part of Real Madrid’s European Cup-winning team and himself led the team to domestic league and cup wins. He was handed the responsibility to lead Spain national team in 1978 but it did not pan out as expected as Spain failed to go past their group stage in the tournament.
#3 Francisco Gento López:
‘Paco’ Gento is well known as one of the best captains of all time in the history of this beautiful game. He led both his country and club in the 60s. After European up success, Real Madrid won numerous Spanish League titles and one Spanish Cup under his leadership. Despite his best efforts, he failed to lead his nation into a similar type of glory in international tournaments, still, his style of managing players massively influenced the future generations of captains.
Raul 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/Egpq9YgPVw
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) November 10, 2021
A product of La Fabrica, Raul was the face of the team in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After leading the team to multiple LaLiga and Supercopa de España wins, he helped them secure the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup wins. He captained his nation in two World Cup tournaments, where Spain reached the knockouts but failed to win the trophy and in one Euro tournament where they unexpectedly got knocked out of the group stage.
#1 Iker Casillas:
🗣 "Most kids dream of scoring the perfect goal. I always dreamed of saving it." pic.twitter.com/UvIzt8wSKaAdvertisement
— Futbol theatre (@FutbolTheatre) November 15, 2021
Casillas is undoubtedly the most successful Spain captain of all time. Part of Real Madrid’s and Spain’s glorious histories, he was important in his club winning LaLiga, UEFA Champions League and Copa de Espana. He led his country to their first-ever World Cup win in 2010 along with consecutive Euro wins in 2008 and 2012 – retiring with one of the most glamourous careers of all time.