The golden pages of Real Madrid’s history book are filled with silverware. The glamour of the Royal football club attracted numerous stars in the past. So, leading a club and team like this often can be challenging from a mental perspective. This makes wrapping the armband around the arm more memorable, but it often comes at a cost. Some former captains succeeded in leading the club to new heights, while many succumbed under pressure. These circumstances prove how glorious it truly is to lead Real Madrid to victories.
Here is our list of the five most iconic captains in Real Madrid’s history:
5) Iker Casillas:
Iker solidified his place in the starting eleven as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation. He agreed to lead the team in 2010 and did so brilliantly. After proving his worth as the captain of Spain, Casillas had the job of doing the same for his club.
After a bit of bump on the road under the then manager Jose Mourinho, Iker showcased his leadership prowess after successfully leading the team to one La Liga title, two Copa Del Reys, one Super Cup wins. Real Madrid also ended their UEFA Champions League drought with him as the captain and the team backed it up with the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup wins. His journey came to an end in 2015 as the club decided to part ways with him.
As a captain, Iker led his team from the back and gave his teammates the assurance they needed. His ability to pick himself up from setbacks set him apart from his peers. He demanded respect and commanded it with his performance. That’s why he is still one of the most loved players in the club’s history.
4) Miguel Muñoz Mozún:
One of the most successful midfielders of all time, Mozún was instrumental in Real Madrid’s journey of becoming of the best clubs in the world. After wearing the armband in 1948, Mozún went on to make over 300 appearances and helped his team win three consecutive European Cups alongside four consecutive league titles and two Latin Cups.
With him leading the side, Real Madrid created one of the best football dynasties of all time before he eventually retired as one of the most decorated midfielder captains of all time. His ability to lead the lines gave the team the courage to make the impossible happen. He might not always have been the shiniest star of the team but he was certainly at the center of the actions as a true captain.
3) Raúl González Blanco:
Coming through Real Madrid’s academy, the ‘prodigy’ Raul became a household name in Spain. He was given the responsibility of leading his boyhood club in 2003. While the management was busy building the ‘Galacticos’ in the early 2000s, Raul led the team to glory with his on-the-field performances and off-the-field actions and words.
Captain Raul led Real Madrid to back-to-back title wins and two Supercopa de Espana titles. He left the club in 2010 after seven wonderful years as a captain. He stayed with the club during the ups and downs as a proper leader should. His calmness, anticipation and unselfishness to let his teammates stand out more than him, tell everything about his character and leadership qualities.
2) Sergio Ramos:
The on-pitch antics of Ramos have raised many eyebrows throughout his career. After being entrusted with the responsibility of leading his team in 2015, it was his chance to prove the haters wrong. Ramos displayed top-notch leadership qualities as Real Madrid completed won three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles along with two league titles, two UEFA Super Cups, one Super Copa de Espana and two FIFA Club World Cups.
Ramos left the club in 2021 putting an end to his marvellous Real Madrid career as both a player and a captain. He was an exemplary captain for the club. His willingness to protect his teammates and even often become the bad guy to win matches helped him gain the trust of his managers and supporters. The Spaniard’s no-nonsense approach towards both the game and the leadership solidified his status as one of the best team captains of all time.
1) Manuel Sanchís:
Sanchís broke into the squad as a part of ‘Quinta del Buitre’ and went on to make 700 appearances. The defender was handed the captain’s armband in 1988. His leadership skills and ability to maintain cohesion within the group were instrumental behind Real Madrid winning two UEFA Champions Leagues, five league titles, one UEFA Super Cup, five Spanish Cups and five Super Cups.
He decided to hang his boots in 2001 after lifting 19 titles as a captain. To date, he is considered the best captain in the club’s history by many experts. He never let success get to his head. His intensity during the matches and never giving up attitude brought the best out of his teammates. He never thought twice before going all the way and that’s why he is one of the greatest ever to ever play the game and lead a team.