Teamwork makes the dream work

Spain All-Time XI: Former Barcelona duo spotlight star-studded staff

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The Summer season of Stars kicks off on FOX with the European Championship in Germany and the United States-hosted Copa América. Each tournaments will characteristic the world’s finest soccer gamers, however what number of of them are all-time nice gamers?

To reply that query, FOX Sports activities has put collectively 11 all-time worldwide groups. Up subsequent is Spain.

*All-time stats and data for people talked about beneath confer with males’s nationwide staff solely

Extra All-Time XIs: England, Germany

GK: Iker Casillas

Caps: 167
Clear sheets: 74
Notable golf equipment: Actual Madrid

Iker Casillas completed all the things a participant can on the membership stage throughout his 16-year profession with Actual Madrid, successful the La Liga title 5 instances, the Copa del Rey twice and the UEFA Champions League 3 times. However his crowning achievement got here on the worldwide stage with Spain, when he gained the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as Spain’s No. 1 goalkeeper and captain. Spain solely conceded two objectives within the 2010 World Cup, with Casillas tallying 5 clear sheets. Casillas additionally gained the Euros with Spain in 2008 and 2012. He ended his profession in Portugal with Porto FC.

Shaun Botterill /Allsport

Caps: 180
Notable golf equipment: Actual Madrid

Sergio Ramos earned the title of Spain’s all-time caps chief by being a dependable presence in La Roja’s again line for 16 years, together with his first senior worldwide look coming in 2005, when he was 18 years previous. Ramos wasn’t only a expert defender, although — he is additionally well-known for being a clutch penalty-taker, scoring from the spot within the Euro 2008 closing in opposition to Germany and within the semifinals of the Euro 2012 quarterfinals in opposition to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. Ramos retired from worldwide obligation in 2023. He nonetheless performs on the membership stage with Sevilla, although his most profitable years got here in Madrid, the place he gained 5 La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and an unprecedented 4 Champions League titles. When Casillas left Madrid, he assumed the function of captain on the membership and worldwide stage. He additionally loved a quick stint alongside Lionel Messi at Paris Saint-Germain.

DEF: Carles Puyol

Caps: 100
Notable golf equipment: FC Barcelona

Although the Spanish nationwide staff has been dwelling to many Barcelona legends in its wealthy historical past, Carles Puyol is the one Barcelona-lifer on this record. Recognized for his lengthy, curly hair and fearless type of one-on-one defending, Puyol is thought to be among the best heart backs and captains of all time. He first wore the captain’s armband for Barcelona in 2004, and it wasn’t till he retired in 2014 that he relinquished his function. As Barcelona’s captain, he gained six La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys and three Champions League titles. With Spain, he gained the Euros in 2008 and the World Cup in 2010, beginning at heart again in each matches. Certainly one of his three worldwide objectives got here within the 2010 World Cup, when he scored the one aim in opposition to Germany within the semifinal, sending Spain by means of to the ultimate.

Picture by Tony Marshall/EMPICS through Getty Photos)

DEF: Fernando Hierro

Caps: 89
Notable golf equipment: Actual Madrid

Even for a membership as historic as Actual Madrid, which has been dwelling to among the world’s finest heart backs for greater than a century, Fernando Hierro’s identify has stood the check of time resulting from his means to have an effect on the sport in quite a lot of methods from the again line. Not solely was Hierro a tenacious defender, however he was additionally a gifted passer and a constant supply of objectives, one thing that is unusual for a middle again. Actually, Hierro’s 163 objectives for membership and nation are the third-most all-time for a central defender. Solely Argentina’s Daniella Passarella and the Netherlands’ Ronald Koeman have scored extra all-time. These objectives contributed to 6 La Liga titles from 2004 to 2013, two Copa del Reys and three Champions League titles. Hierro by no means gained a trophy with Spain.

(Picture by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Photos)

DEF: José Antonio Camacho

Caps: 81
Notable golf equipment: Actual Madrid

In 1978, on the peak of his profession, José Antonio Camacho sustained a knee damage that saved him sidelined for 2 years. Even with that misplaced time, Camacho gained 18 trophies — together with 9 league titles from 1975 to 1989 — throughout his 16 years at Madrid. Upon making his return from damage, Camacho performed a vital function in Madrid’s back-to-back UEFA Cup triumphs. He additionally made 577 appearances for the membership, which places him ninth on the all-time record for membership appearances. 

(Picture by Peter Robinson/EMPICS through Getty Photos)

MID: Xabi Alonso

Caps: 114
Notable golf equipment: Liverpool, Actual Madrid, Bayern Munich

England, Spain, Germany: success adopted Xabi Alonso wherever he went as a participant, and that is no coincidence. As a defensive midfielder, Alonso managed the move of the match together with his work price and skill to ping passes from deep within the midfield. His most memorable efficiency got here within the 2006 Champions League closing — now often known as the Miracle of Istanbul — the place Alonso got here on instead and led Liverpool to a comeback victory over a stacked AC Milan aspect. Alonso left Liverpool for Madrid in 2009, and he gained the Champions League with the Spanish giants once more in 2014. With the Spanish nationwide staff, he gained the Euros twice and the World Cup as soon as.

MID: Xavi

Caps: 133
Notable golf equipment: FC Barcelona

Thought to be one of many biggest midfielders of all time, Xavi’s otherworldly imaginative and prescient was instrumental to the success of each the Spanish nationwide staff and Barcelona for almost twenty years. Although not a prolific goalscorer or an excellent defender for a central midfielder, Xavi’s innate means to search out open house made the Spanish “Tiki-taka” type of play not possible to play in opposition to for many of the 2000s and 2010s. His profession accomplishments embrace two European Championships and a World Cup with Spain, and three Champions Leagues and 9 Spanish league titles with Barcelona. His 767 appearances with Barcelona are additionally solely second to Lionel Messi’s 778 all-time appearances for the membership.

Image by Nuno Correia, Allsport UK /Allsport

MID: Andrés Iniesta

Caps: 131
Notable golf equipment: FC Barcelona

Xavi might need been thought to be the best Spanish midfielder of all time had it not been for his working mate within the midfield, Andrés Iniesta. Like Xavi, Iniesta had a knack for establishing his teammates, however not like his midfield associate, Iniesta additionally excelled with the ball at his ft, leading to him typically spending time on the wing for each membership and nation. Iniesta’s case for the best Spanish participant of all time was solidified for a lot of in 2010, when he scored the lone aim within the World Cup closing in opposition to the Netherlands and introduced Spain its first-ever World Cup title. Iniesta did not win Participant of the Event on the 2010 World Cup, however he did two years later at Euro 2012 after Spain gained its third consecutive main trophy. Iniesta began in all three finals.

(Picture credit score ought to learn MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP through Getty Photos)

FW: Raúl

Caps: 102
Targets: 44
Notable golf equipment: Actual Madrid

Raúl is not thought to be the best ahead to ever play for Actual Madrid; he wasn’t even the perfect attacker of his period — that title, after all, belongs to Ronaldo Nazário. However Raúl is arguably the perfect Spanish goalscorer Los Blancos have ever produced, and even then, the numbers are exhausting to argue over. He is third all-time on Actual Madrid’s goalscoring record and holds the file for many appearances for the membership by a margin of 16 video games. His manufacturing performed a key function in Madrid successful six La Liga titles and three Champions League titles.

(Picture by PASCAL GEORGE/AFP through Getty Photos

FW: David Villa

Caps: 59
Targets: 98
Notable golf equipment: FC Barcelona, Atlético Madrid

Spain’s all-time main goalscorer “El Guaje” has a trophy cupboard stuffed with {hardware} from each the worldwide and membership stage. Villa broke out at Euro 2008, main all goalscorers within the competitors with 4 objectives, together with a hat-trick in Spain’s 4-1 win over Russia within the group stage. Villa continued to flaunt his goalscoring prowess two years later on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, scoring 5 objectives, tied for the tournament-high. Following the 2010 World Cup, Villa accomplished a high-profile switch to Barcelona, the place he gained two La Liga titles and a Champions League title taking part in alongside Lionel Messi in Pep Guardiola’s entrance line.

(Picture by Luis Bagu/Getty Photos)

FW: Fernando Torres

Caps: 110
Targets: 38
Notable golf equipment: Atlético Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea FC

Fernando “El Niño” Torres did not attain the heights that lots of his friends did on the membership stage resulting from a mix of accidents and a steep fall-off in manufacturing, however his worldwide resume is nearly as good as anybody’s, successful two Euros with Spain (2008 and 2012) and scoring the match-winner in opposition to Germany within the 2008 closing, and lifting the World Cup in 2010. Torres is third on Spain’s all-time scoring record, solely trailing the 2 different attackers on the record. His peak on the membership stage included a third-place Ballon d’Or end in 2008, when he starred for Liverpool within the Premier League.

(JOSE JORDAN/AFP through Getty Photos)

Honorable mentions

Alfredo Di Stéfano, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez

FOX Sports activities Analysis contributed to this story.


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