Who is the Best Spanish Midfielder of All Time?

15 Greatest Spanish Midfielders Ever

The Spanish football team's main strength lies in their midfield line. From time to time, Spain always produces skillful and talented midfielders. They managed to amaze football fans around the world with their great techniques and flair.

In this article, I present a list of 15 best Spanish midfielders of all time. Most of the players on this list were part of Spain squad that won Euro 2008 and 2012 and the 2010 World Cup. Some names such as Xavi, Iniesta, and Xabi Alonso have also claimed numerous prestigious trophies with their respective clubs.

15. Juan Mata

Juan Manuel Mata is one of Spain's best playmakers in the 21st century. The player who was raised by Real Madrid's Youth Academy began to show great forms when playing for Valencia in the 2007-2011 period. He underwent more successful career at Chelsea, where Mata won the Champions League, Europa League, and was selected twice as Chelsea Player of the Year. He was also part of the Spain squad that won the 2010 World Cup.

14. Vicente Rodríguez

Vicente Rodriguez is a former winger who played a major role in helping Valencia claim two La Liga titles in 2001-02 and 2003-04 seasons. He played brilliantly under the guidance of coach Rafael Benitez, consistently scoring important goals and providing crucial assists for his team. The midfielder who was known for his incredible techniques and speed stayed at Valencia for 11 years before moving to Brighton & Hove Albion, the club where he ended his career as a professional footballer in 2013.

13. Txiki Begiristain

Begiristain was the number one left-winger of Barcelona in the early 1990s. In addition to being fast and agile, Begiristain also possessed great goal scoring instincts, making him sometimes positioned as a striker. In Barcelona, ​​he collaborated with Spanish top players such as Julio Salinas, Jose Mari Bakero, and Andoni Zubizaretta. Those players presented four La Liga titles and one Champions League trophy for the club. Begiristain also represented Spain national team in 22 international matches, scoring six goals.

12. José Mari Bakero

Just like Begiristain, Bakero was also a mainstay of Barcelona midfield line in early 1990s. Playing as an attacking midfielder, Bakero was highly praised for his accurate passes, outstanding creativity, and his productivity in scoring goals. Not only that, Bakero also possessed good leadership qualities. He obtained many trophies throughout his career, among them are four La Liga titles, one Champions League and two Winners' Cups.

11. Ivan Helguera

Due to his remarkable defensive skills, Ivan Helguera was not only used as a defensive midfielder, but also occasionally positioned as a central defender. This player had a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the Real Madrid's midfield line in the 2000s, the moment when the team was filled by many players with high attacking instincts such as Zidane, Beckham and Luis Figo. Helguera also represented Spain in two Euro tournaments and one World Cup, making a total of 47 appearances for his country.

10. Sergio Busquets

Sergio Busquets is one of the best players ever raised by La Masia academy. He earned a place in the Spanish national team just a year after his debut at Barcelona in 2008. Busquets also shows a stable performance, even able to keep his pace along with world-class midfielders such as Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. One of his best individual achievement was obtaining the La Liga's Breakthrough Player award in 2009.

9. Luis Enrique

Luis Enrique is a versatile midfielder who became a mainstay of Barcelona in the 1990s. He possessed outstanding ability to balance the attack and defense of the team, supported with good techniques and creativity. Not only as a midfielder, Enrique sometimes also played as a wingback or a second striker. Enrique is one of the few footballers who successfully played for two of the biggest clubs in Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

8. Cesc Fàbregas

There are not many midfielders in the world of football who possess Cesc Fabregas abilities. He can play as a playmaker while keeping the balance of the team defense. Not only that, Fabregas also owns good leadership qualities and prolific in scoring goals. Before moving to Barcelona, ​​he had incredible career at Arsenal. He was trusted to be the team captain of the Gunners in a very young age and became a mainstay of the club for several years.

7. Pep Guardiola

Guardiola is often regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. During his career as a professional footballer, Guardiola won six La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, one League Cup and a Winners' Cup. He was also part of Spain squad that won the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics and was awarded as the best player of the tournament. After his retirement, Guardiola establishes a reputation as one of the top managers in football world.

6. Míchel

Michel or José Miguel González Martín del Campo was the linchpin of Spain national team and Real Madrid in the 1980s. Playing as a central midfielder, Michel was very prolific in netting goals, especially from penalty kicks. He represented his country in two World Cups and a Euro tournament. In addition to helping Real Madrid claim six La Liga titles and two UEFA Cup trophies, Michel earned several individual achievements, among them are becoming the top scorer of Euro 1988 and earning the Spanish Player of the Year award in 1986.

5. David Silva

Fast, agile, and smart. David Silva is one of the players who had great contribution in making Manchester City to be one of the most respected clubs in the Premier League in the last five years. Silva who was signed from Valencia in 2010 showed consistent performances, helping Manchester City claim two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup. Not only that, Silva was also part of Spin national team squad that won two Euro tournaments and a World Cup trophy in the 2008-2012 period.

4. Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso is a defensive midfielder who can also act as a playmaker. He is known for his highly accurate passings and his ability to control the game, coupled with good skills in taking set-pieces. Prior to joining Real Madrid, he had a successful career at Real Sociedad and Liverpool. One of his best individual achievements was winning the awards of Spanish Player of the Year in 2003 and La Liga Best Midfielder in 2012.

3. Andrés Iniesta

In terms of techniques, Andres Iniesta is the number one among all of the players in this list. He is known as one of the best dribblers in the world. Not only can play as an attacking midfielder or playmaker, Iniesta was also sometimes positioned as a winger or second striker. This player won many trophies at Barcelona, ​​among them are six La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, and two FIFA Club World Cups. He also scored the winning goal that helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup in the final match against Netherlands.

2. Francisco Gento

Francisco Gentois definitely the best Spanish midfielder ever to play for Real Madrid. He joined Real Madrid in the 1953-1971 period, claiming 12 La Liga titles, six Champions League trophies, and one Intercontinental Cup. In his heyday, Gento was known as an outstanding left-winger. He was very fast, agile, and possessing high techniques. During 18 years playing for Real Madrid, he scored 128 goals in 428 appearances.

1. Xavi

Xavi is a perfect example of a midfielder. He possessed remarkable passing, vision, creativity, leadership, loyalty, and set-pieces taking abilities. Due to his great skills, no wonder that Xavi is regarded as a key player who helped Barcelona and the Spanish national team dominate the world of football in the last ten years. In addition to seven La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies, two Euro titles, and a World Cup trophy; Xavi also won many individual awards, including the World Soccer Player of the Year 2010, Euro 2008 Player of the Tournament, and Spanish Sportsman of the Year 2009.

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