• May 30, 2024

Players who won the World Cup while playing for Real Madrid

A number of the current Real Madrid squad will jet off to Qatar with their countries next month hoping that they will become the latest players from the club to have won the World Cup whilst on their books.

If so, they will be joining a distinguished roll call.

Here are some of the other names in that exclusive group.

When Spain won the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, although the squad was largely dominated by Barcelona players, there were a fair smattering from Real Madrid as well. They included some great names from recent Real history.

The captain of that side was goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who also kept goal for the Spaniards in their 2008 and 2012 European Championship winning teams. He made 725 appearances for Real, second only on their all-time list to Raúl.

At the heart of the Spanish defence in South Africa was Sergio Ramos, the long-time Real skipper, and the most capped player for his country ever.  In addition to his defensive skills, Ramos is known for abilities at the other end of the field. He is currently Spain’s 8th equal highest goalscorer ever.

Meanwhile, forming part of a midfield that also featured the talents of Xavi and Andrés Iniesta was Real’s own Xabi Alonso, adding his technique, excellent vision and fine passing ability into what was already a potent mix.

Full-back Alvaro Arbeloa and defensive midfielder Raúl Albiol also returned home with winners’ medals,

The first Madristista to win the World Cup was German midfielder Günter Netzer, who won it in 1974 when West Germany (as they were then) beat the Netherlands in the final in Munich.

12 years later Jorge Valdano also got his hand on the trophy. The Argentine forward, who later became general manager of Real, scored four goals for his country in the 1986 tournament which was played in Mexico, including one against West Germany in the final.

In 1998 defensive midfielder Christian Karambeu enjoyed trophy success with France. He also won the Champions League twice during his stay in Spain.

In 2002, when the tournament was jointly held in Japan and South Korea, wing back Roberto Carlos got his name on the trophy, which was won by Brazil. The star of that tournament for the South Americans was Ronaldo, who scored both the goals in the final against Germany. He joined Real just after the tournament had concluded, so technically he does not qualify.

The latest player who was a Real Madrid player at the same time as his country won the World Cup with him in the team was defender Raphael Varane. He was in the French side that beat a Croatia team in the 2018 final in Moscow that included two other Real players at the time, Luka Modrić and Matteo Kovacić.

One man missing from that French line-up was recent Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, who was exiled from the international set-up at the time for his part in an off-the-field incident.

He will be hoping to make up for lost time in Qatar.