Real Madrid was founded in 1902 by some college friends and in just over a century, the club has grown into reputable sporting club as well as an international brand. Since it's foundation, the club has seen more Champions League success than any other, although they have managed to cement new friendships in the wake of it's rise, since they gained reputation of to poach star players for ridiculous transfer fees. Nobody should be fooled by the present: players like Ronaldo and Bale are great players, but they have been preceded by other great players as well. Here is a list of Top Ten Real Madrid players that made a huge impact on the club's history. Bear in mind that currently active players, or the ones who recently retired, weren't taken into consideration:
1. Ferenc Puskas
Thanks to their enormous wealth and power, Real signed Puskas once he was well over thirty years old. He played for the Hungarian national team on many occasions, however fled after the Communist resolution. Many coaches were interested into signing him, however were concerned regarding his weight problems. In all honesty, Ferenc did have potbelly for eight years during his stay at the Bernabeu. However, his stormy long distances shots closed the mouth of many critics. He managed to score 156 goals in 180 matches he played, lifting five consecutive European trophies.
2. Ricardo Zamora
Zamora is known as one of earliest stars of Spanish football. Thanks to gregarious personality, broad-shoulders, playing cap and smug grin, he managed to combine swagger look along with athleticism like no other player. He scored on numerous occasions for his club and played 82 matches before the Spanish Civil War has started. While the conflict was still in progress, he was abducted and improsed by anarchist militia. However, he was later freed and managed to find his way to France in a bid to keep himself safe.
3. Alfredo Di Stefano
Di Stefano was originally signed from their arch rivals Barcelona and was nicknamed "The Golden Arrow". However, third party ownership was claimed on his right from two South American clubs: Argentinian side River Plate and Colombian Millionarios. After buying one of the club's rights, Real had legal issues with FIFA, since the World's governing body chosed to be on the side of Barcelona, forcing Real Madrid to seek for the help of Spanish regime. In the end, Real landed signing of Di Stefano, player who would later on tear apart clubs across Europe. He was a forward with a great work rate. Not surprisingly, he managed to win five Pichichis (title for the to goalscorer in Spanish League) and emerged as two times winner of Ballon D'or.
4. Paco Gento
Real Madrid had signed many players from abroad in order to keep their first team squad great, however Francisco Paco Gento showed that the Spanish players also have the potential and capacity to compete at a very high level. He was nicknamed "Cantabrian Gale" and known for his unique pace with caused a lot of problems to all opponents. During his stay in Madrid, he managed to win five titles alongside other legends such as Puskas and Di Stefano. But, he also went to win sixth European trophy, back in 1966. He played a total of eighteen season and featured in 428 matches.
5. Amancio Amaro
He was nicknamed "Witch", due to his exceptional striking skills, which saw him scoring 119 goals for Real Madrid in just fourteen seasons. Amancio managed to win remarkable nine title in Spanish Primera and two awards of La Liga's top goalscorer. In 1966, he was a scorer in a game tie where Real played another European giants, FK Partizan, which was finally won by Real Madrid 2:1.
6. Emilio Butragueno
Butragueno was nicknamed "The Vulture", because of his excellent striking abbilities. He was a forward who certainly knew how to finish with a goal whenever the chance presented itself. After playing for Real Madrid in eleven seasons, he had overall numbers of 123 goals during the course of 1984-1995. The Vulture managed to win six La Liga titles, including a run of five consecutive since 1985. He also won a Pichichi and two UEFA Cups during his spell in Real.
7. Manuel Sanchis Martinez
Sanchis was a prolific defender for Real Madrid ever since he joined the club during 1960s. He was also a part of famous Ye-Ye team that terrorised Europe during the 1960s and won the nickname after a famous music band The Beatles. During his time in Real Madrid, he managed to win four La Liga titles, as well as European trophy in 1966. Due to the close resemblance between him and his son, many people confuse him for his son, Manuel Sanchis Hoyuelo. His son played for Real Madrid alongisde great stars that managed to secure two European trophies for the club, in 1998 and two years later. Along with Maldinis and Busquets, they are the only father-son pair to do so. Real's fans are still sad that Hoyuelo didn't produce any first-team offspring.
Juanito was known for his pace and hard charging attributes. Not surprising, he managed to win the hears of fans within a short period of time. During his ten seasons stay in Real Madrid, Juanito managed to score 85 goals. He had a never say die attitude that brought some pretty foolish fouls, but nobody could deny his passion for the cause.
9. Hugo Sanchez
He was signed from city rivals Atletico Madrid and turned out to be goalscoring machine. He used his aggresiveness and dribbling abbilities in the best possible way, contributing greatly to success of his team and partnered well with his teammate and fellow striker Emilio Butragueno. He scored a staggering 164 goals in 207 matches played. He also had set a record of scoring 38 goals in one season in 1990, winning seven Pichichis during his time.
10. Predrag Mijatovic
Over a thirty years period, Real Madrid fans were often boasting about their rich history and being the most successfull European club, without winning a single Champions League final in that period. At the same time, they were worried that European giants such as Juventus or Bayern Munchen might overtake them that presitge in next years and that the record could be broken. In the 1998 Champions League finals against Juventus, Predrag Mijatovic scored a game-winning goal helping to ensure Real stays on their place in the record books, but also established himself as one of the favorite players of Real's fans in last thirty years.