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Top 10 Best soccer players in Spain 2024

The football world has been graced by the talent of many notable athletes, but few countries have contributed to the heritage of the sport as significantly as Spain. From the picturesque streets of Barcelona to the historic stadiums of Madrid, Spain has been the birthplace of some of the best footballers who have graced the pitch. As we delve into the annals of Spanish football history, we come across a rich tapestry of skill, passion and unrelenting dedication. From legendary goalkeepers to midfield and forward conductors, Spain has produced a plethora of exceptional talents who have left an indelible mark on the beautiful game. Join bestsoccertips for best soccer players in spain and pay homage to some of the best footballers the nation has ever seen.

Top 10 Best Spain Soccer Players of All Time

10. Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso was one of the cornerstones of Spain’s success from 2008 to 2012. This elegant midfielder featured in all three tournaments, although he only started one game in Euro 2008 under Luis Aragones, coming off the bench in the semi-final and final as La Roja secured their first championship since 1964.

Best soccer players in Spain: Xabi Alonso
Best soccer players in Spain: Xabi Alonso

Alonso continued to play a crucial role under Vicente del Bosque, solidifying his position in the midfield as Spain won the 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012.

The former midfielder of Real Sociedad, Liverpool, and Real Madrid earned 114 caps for Spain, scoring 16 goals – including both in the 2-0 victory over France in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals.

9. Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique may have divided opinions in Spanish football, but his importance during La Roja’s golden era is undeniable. The Catalan center-back translated his excellent partnership with his Barcelona teammate, Carles Puyol, onto the international stage during the 2010 World Cup and also excelled alongside Sergio Ramos at Euro 2012.

Best Spain soccer players: Gerard Pique
Best Spain soccer players: Gerard Pique

Later in his career, he faced criticism for his pro-Catalonia independence stance (though he advocated for the right to choose rather than outright independence) and his outspoken views on Real Madrid.

Nevertheless, he remained a key player until his international retirement in 2018 and has been missed since. In total, he earned 102 caps for Spain, scoring 5 goals, and was a vital component in Barcelona’s most successful era to date.

8. Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol always gave his all for club and country, and this defender was instrumental in both Barcelona’s and Spain’s success late in his career. He led Spain’s backline in Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup and was named in the tournament’s All-Star Team on both occasions.

Best soccer players from Spain: Carles Puyol
Best soccer players from Spain: Carles Puyol

In South Africa, La Roja conceded just 2 goals, and he scored a crucial headed goal in the semifinal against Germany. Injury woes caused him to miss Euro 2012, but he played 100 games for Spain, netting 3 goals.

7. Raul

For many years, Raul Gonzalez was regarded as Spain’s greatest player in history. The former Real Madrid forward represented the Spanish national team for a decade and became the country’s top goal scorer with 44 goals in 102 appearances.

However, his international career was cut short when coach Luis Aragones decided to change direction and believed Raul’s presence would be more harmful than beneficial if the striker didn’t perform.

Best Spain football players: Raul
Best Spain football players: Raul

Aragones was vindicated as Spain finally clinched a title in 2008, and Raul also didn’t make a comeback under Vicente del Bosque, missing out on La Roja’s glorious years. Nonetheless, he remains one of the most outstanding players to wear the famous red jersey and a legend of Los Blancos.

6. Sergio Busquets

When Spain lost their opening game of the 2010 World Cup, coach Vicente del Bosque took the opportunity to lavish praise on Sergio Busquets amidst criticism of Barcelona players. Del Bosque, an excellent midfielder in his time, revealed that he would love to possess Busquets’ qualities if he were playing in the current era.

Best Spain football players: Sergio Busquets
Best Spain football players: Sergio Busquets

“He does everything”, he said. “He’s always willing to help the team, he’s generous, he vacuums up in defense, and he’s one of the first to start playing. And when he’s in form, football flows better”.

There’s no doubt anymore. Busquets has been pivotal to Barcelona and Spain’s successes – holding his position since his international debut in 2010 – and he has now earned 134 caps (and scored 2 goals) for La Roja.

5. Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos has seen his last two seasons (at Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain) disrupted by injury, but this center-back has had an impressive career for both club and country. The 36-year-old player is an inspirational leader in defense and holds the record for 180 appearances for La Roja, scoring 23 goals.

Best players on Spain soccer team: Sergio Ramos
Best players on Spain soccer team: Sergio Ramos

Ramos was Spain’s right-back at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup before transitioning to play as a center-back for Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho and has held that position for the national team ever since.

In addition to his record-breaking number of appearances, he has won 131 caps for Spain and is the eighth-highest goal scorer for the nation. Now, he will hope to prove his fitness ahead of the World Cup later this year.

4. David Villa

David Villa perhaps benefited most from Raul’s exclusion by Luis Aragones from the national team. The Asturian striker stepped in as his own No. 7 and continued to be Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer – with 59 goals in 98 appearances.

Four of those came at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, along with five more at the 2010 World Cup where Villa played a crucial role in Spain’s success in both tournaments.

Best Spain soccer players of all time: David Villa
Best Spain soccer players of all time: David Villa

The former forward of Valencia, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid was sidelined by injury in Poland and Ukraine two years later and retired from international football in 2014 before making a brief comeback in 2017.

3. Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas is a legend of Real Madrid and Spain after an astonishing career for both club and country. The goalkeeper, who retired in 2020 after suffering a mild heart attack while at Porto, captained La Roja throughout their outstanding period of success from 2008 to 2012. Even during times of scrutiny, Casillas remained adept at saving his team in crucial moments, earning him the nickname “San Iker” (Saint Iker).

His save to deny Arjen Robben in the 2010 World Cup final is perhaps the most famous moment among many, and he played a significant role in his country’s triumph. He earned a total of 167 caps, a record recently surpassed by his former Real Madrid teammate Sergio Ramos, and kept clean sheets in over 100 of those matches.

Spain best football players: Iker Casillas
Spain best football players: Iker Casillas

Italian great Gianluigi Buffon once said of Casillas: “Honestly, I don’t need to use many words to say how good he is, the results speak for themselves”. “He has everything needed to win and has maintained excellent form for many years, which is perhaps the hardest thing for a goalkeeper. Spain hardly ever conceded goals, and Casillas is the main reason for that”.

2. Andres Iniesta

Choosing between Andres Iniesta and Xavi is like asking Barcelona fans to choose between their mother and father. It’s practically impossible. Iniesta often tops these lists. After all, his goal brought the World Cup home for Spain in 2010. And he was also honored as the Player of the Tournament as La Roja clinched the Euro 2012 title.

Iniesta often played in a more advanced role for Spain. But he was equally brilliant in midfield, gliding across the pitch with elegance and grace. He was a key factor in all three of Spain’s championships from 2008 to 2012.

Best soccer players in Spain: Andres Iniesta
Best soccer players in Spain: Andres Iniesta

Still playing for Vissel Kobe in Japan at the age of 38, Iniesta retired from Spanish duty after the 2018 World Cup with 131 caps and 13 goals for Spain. He also left Barcelona that summer and will go down as one of the club’s greatest players, having won 30 trophies with the Blaugrana.

Wayne Rooney called him the best player in the world, and Sergio Ramos said: “He’s the one who enlightened us. The one who touched the magic wand. He received a lot of respect on the field. As a football lover, I’m proud to have played alongside him… He made a difference and did things that no one else could do.” Amen.

1. Xavi

Everything changed for Barcelona and Spain in 2008, and Xavi was at the heart of the rise to fortune for both club and country. Spain coach Luis Aragones opted for a different style at Euro 2008 after some major disappointments, and Xavi became the heartbeat of La Roja’s passing philosophy and ball control.

That continued under Vicente del Bosque for the next 4 years and developed at club level, where Xavi was the on-field leader under Pep Guardiola. Everything went through him – and he did everything better. “From the first moment I saw him play, I knew he would become Barcelona’s brain for many years to come”, Guardiola said of Xavi.

Best Spain soccer players: Xavi
Best Spain soccer players: Xavi

Del Bosque once declared him “more important than the coach” and Argentine legend Jorge Valdano said: “If football were a science, Xavi would have discovered the formula. With a ball at his feet, no one has ever communicated so intelligently with every player on the field”. Xavi scored 13 goals in 133 appearances for Spain. He also won 25 trophies in his remarkable 17-year career at Barcelona, where he is currently the manager.


In conclusion, the realm of Spanish soccer stands as a testament to the country’s enduring passion for the beautiful game and its ability to produce exceptional talent. From iconic figures like Xavi and Andres Iniesta, whose artistry in midfield mesmerized fans worldwide, to stalwarts like Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, whose leadership and resilience solidified Spain’s dominance on the international stage, each player has played an integral role in shaping the nation’s footballing legacy. As we celebrate the contributions of these remarkable athletes, we are reminded of the profound impact they have had, not only on Spanish football but on the global footballing community as a whole. Their skill, dedication, and unwavering commitment to excellence serve as an inspiration to aspiring footballers everywhere, ensuring that the legacy of Spanish soccer will continue to thrive for generations to come.

See more: The 10 best Italy soccer team of all time