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Famous soccer players from Spain
Spanish Armada
Spain's recent domination of world soccer is so great, that it has managed to win Euro 2008, FIFA World Cup 2010, and Euro 2012, a feat unmatched by any country.
Spain has a rich history of soccer. Their style of play is superstar-like, and the stars from this country are role models for millions of soccer fans all around the world. Ironically, with so many great players in their ranks over the years, they failed to win a major tournament for so long. But when they did, it was a sweet treble. Since 2008, Spain have managed to win 1 World Cup and 2 Euro Championships. Over the last decade or so, some amazing players have come up into their ranks, which is why they are the side to beat at present.

There have been many famous Spanish football players over the decades, and here, we will check out those who stood out among the rest.

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  • Carles Puyol
  • Carles Puyol
  • Xavi Hernandez and Iker Casillas
  • Xavi Hernandez and Iker Casillas
  • Cesc Fabregas
  • Cesc Fabregas
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Iker Casillas

Born: May 20, 1981
Position: Goalkeeper

Clubs
  • Real Madrid (1999 - present)
National Team
  • U15 (1996)
  • U16 (1996 - 1998)
  • U17 (1997 - 1999)
  • U18 (1999)
  • U20 (1999)
  • U21 (1999 - 2000)
  • Spain (2000 - present)
Highlights
Iker Casillas Fernández is the goalkeeper cum captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish National team. Under his leadership, Spain has won the FIFA World Cup 2010, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012. He won the 'Golden Glove' award at the FIFA World Cup 2010. Iker Casillas is the most capped player ever for the Spanish National team.

Fernando Torres

Born: Mar 20, 1984
Position: Striker

Clubs
  • Atlético Madrid (2001 - 2007)
  • Liverpool (2007 - 2011)
  • Chelsea (2011 - present)
National Team
  • U15 (2000)
  • U16 (2001)
  • U17 (2001)
  • U18 (2002)
  • U19 (2002)
  • U21 (2002 - 2003)
  • Spain (2003 - present)
Highlights
Fernando José Torres Sanz is known to be technically proficient, and having spectacular speed and positioning capabilities. His transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011, for £50 million, made him the most expensive Spanish player ever. He has been a part of the national team at the FIFA World Cup 2006, FIFA World Cup 2010, Euro 2004, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012. In fact, he scored in Spain's victories in the finals, both at Euro 2008 and Euro 2012.

David Villa

Born: Dec 3, 1981
Position: Striker

Clubs
  • Sporting Gijón (2001 - 2003)
  • Zaragoza (2003 - 2005)
  • Valencia (2005 - 2010)
  • Barcelona (2010 - 2013)
  • Atlético Madrid (2013 - present)
National Team
  • U21 (2000 - 2003)
  • Spain (2005 - present)
Highlights
David Villa Sánchez is the first Spanish player to score 50 international goals, and is currently Spain's top goal scorer of all time. He was the top goal scorer at Euro 2008, and was also awarded the 'Silver Boot' at the FIFA World Cup 2010. David Villa has also scored more World Cup goals than any other Spanish player.

Cesc Fàbregas

Born: May 4, 1987
Position: Central Midfielder

Clubs
  • Arsenal (2003 - 2011)
  • Barcelona (2011 - present)
National Team
  • U16 (2002 - 2003)
  • U17 (2003 - 2004)
  • U20 (2005)
  • U21 (2004 - 2005)
  • Spain (2006 - present)
Highlights
Francesc 'Cesc' Fàbregas Soler, besides playing as a central midfielder for his club and country, when required, also plays as a winger, attacking midfielder, and striker. He is famous for setting up the winning goal in the FIFA World Cup 2010 final, and as also been part of the Spanish National team in the FIFA World Cup 2006, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012.

Xabi Alonso

Born: Nov 25, 1981
Position: Defensive Midfielder

Clubs
  • Real Sociedad (1999 - 2004)
  • Eibar {loan} (2000 - 2001)
  • Liverpool (2004 - 2009)
  • Real Madrid (2009 - present)
National Team
  • U18 (2000)
  • U21 (2002 - 2003)
  • Spain (2003 - present)
Highlights
Xabier 'Xabi' Alonso Olano is well-known for his playmaking skills. He has been an integral part of the Spanish National team for over a decade, representing them in the FIFA World Cup 2006, FIFA World Cup 2010, Euro 2004, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012.

Raúl González

Born: Jun 27, 1977
Position: Striker

Clubs
  • Real Madrid (1994 - 2010)
  • Schalke 04 (2010 - 2012)
  • Al Sadd (2012 - present)
National Team
  • U18 (1994)
  • U20 (1995)
  • U21 (1995 - 1996)
  • U23 (1996)
  • Spain (1996 - 2006)
Highlights
Raúl González Blanco is the highest goal scorer for Real Madrid of all time, with 323 goals to his name. His 741 appearances is also the most by any player for the club. He is the only player to have won UEFA's 'Best Forward of the Year' three times. Raúl has also been included in FIFA's list of 100 greatest living footballers.

Andrés Iniesta

Born: May 11, 1984
Position: Central Midfielder

Clubs
  • Barcelona (2002 - present)
National Team
  • U15 (2000)
  • U16 (2000 - 2001)
  • U17 (2001)
  • U19 (2001 - 2002)
  • U20 (2003)
  • U21 (2003 - 2006)
  • Spain (2006 - present)
Highlights
Andrés Iniesta Luján is known for his balance, ball control, and superb agility. He has been a part of Spain's victories at FIFA 2010, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012. Iniesta scored the winning goal for Spain at the FIFA World Cup 2010, and was Man of the Match. Also, in Euro 2012, he was chosen the Best Player of the Tournament.

David Silva

Born: Jan 8, 1986
Position: Attacking Midfielder

Clubs
  • Valencia (2004 - 2010)
  • Eibar {loan} (2004 - 2005)
  • Celta Vigo {loan} (2005 - 2006)
  • Manchester City (2010 - present)
National Team
  • U16 (2001 - 2002)
  • U17 (2002 - 2003)
  • U19 (2004 - 2005)
  • U20 (2005)
  • U21 (2004 - 2006)
  • Spain (2006 - present)
Highlights
David Josué Jiménez Silva has been given the nickname 'Merlin' for his passing and ball possession skills. Besides all the club success that he has enjoyed, David Silva has also been an important member of the Spanish National team that won the FIFA World Cup 2010, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012.

Gerard Piqué

Born: Feb 2, 1987
Position: Center Back

Clubs
  • Manchester United (2004 - 2008)
  • Zaragoza {loan} (2006 - 2007)
  • Barcelona (2008 - present)
National Team
  • U16 (2002 - 2003)
  • U17 (2004)
  • U19 (2006)
  • U20 (2007)
  • U21 (2006 - 2008)
  • Spain (2009 - present)
Highlights
Gerard Piqué i Bernabeu has been and is associated with the best clubs in the business―Manchester United and Barcelona. He has been an important part of the defense of the Spanish National team, who are known to be very difficult to score against, and played in the FIFA 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, which Spain won.

Alfredo di Stéfano

Lived: Jul 4, 1926 - Jul 7, 2014
Position: Forward

Clubs
  • River Plate (1945 - 1951)
  • Huracán {loan} (1946)
  • Millonarios (1951 - 1953)
  • Real Madrid (1953 - 1964)
  • RCD Espanyol (1964 - 1966)
National Team
  • Argentina (1947)
  • Colombia (1949)
  • Spain (1957 - 1961)
Highlights
Alfredo Stéfano di Stéfano Laulhé has the unique distinction of representing 3 different countries―Argentina, Colombia, and Spain. He was known to have great stamina, and was very tactical, versatile, and had great vision. Alfredo di Stéfano was nicknamed 'blond arrow', and considered by most of the soccer greats as 'the most complete footballer in the history of the game'.

Xavi Hernández

Born: Jan 25, 1980
Position: Central Midfielder

Clubs
  • Barcelona (1998 - present)
National Team
  • U17 (1997)
  • U18 (1997 - 1998)
  • U20 (1999)
  • U21 (1998 - 2001)
  • U23 (2000)
  • Spain (2000 - present)
Highlights
Xavier Hernández i Creus is the first player to ever represent FC Barcelona in 150 games. He is considered to be one of the greatest midfielders and playmakers of our time. Xavi has been part of the Spanish National team which won the FIFA World Cup 2010, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012. In fact, he was the Player of the Tournament at Euro 2008. In terms of awards, he is the most successful Spanish player ever.

Luis Enrique

Born: May 8, 1970
Position: Midfielder / Striker

Clubs
  • Sporting Gijón (1989 - 1991)
  • Real Madrid (1991 - 1996)
  • Barcelona (1996 - 2004)
National Team
  • U21 (1990 - 1991)
  • U23 (1991 - 1992)
  • Spain (1991 - 2002)
Highlights
Luis Enrique Martínez García was such a versatile soccer player, that throughout his career he played in all positions besides the defense. He was also respected for his calmness and stamina. Luis Enrique represented Spain in 3 FIFA World Cups and 1 Euro Championship.

Fernando Hierro

Born: Mar 23, 1968
Position: Defensive Midfielder

Clubs
  • Valladolid (1987 - 1989)
  • Real Madrid (1989 - 2003)
  • Al Rayyan (2003 - 2004)
  • Bolton Wanderers (2004 - 2005)
National Team
  • U21 (1989 - 1990)
  • Spain (1989 - 2002)
Highlights
Though Fernando Ruiz Hierro was more of a defensive midfielder, he had this great quality of combining his defensive play with some amazing passing and goal scoring ability. He played for Spain in 4 FIFA World Cups and 2 Euro Championships, besides his long stint with Real Madrid which lasted nearly 15 years.

Andoni Zubizarreta

Born: Oct 23, 1961
Position: Goalkeeper

Clubs
  • Alavés (1980 - 1981)
  • Athletic Bilbao (1981 - 1986)
  • Barcelona (1986 - 1994)
  • Valencia (1994 - 1998)
National Team
  • U18 (1979 - 1980)
  • U19 (1981)
  • U21 (1979 - 1984)
  • Spain (1985 - 1998)
Highlights
Andoni Zubizarreta held the record for the most games played for Spain till the end of 2011. His goalkeeping skills were considered so good, that he was an integral part of the Spanish National team for 4 FIFA World Cups and 3 Euro Championships.

Guti

Born: Oct 31, 1976
Position: Attacking Midfielder

Clubs
  • Real Madrid (1995 - 2010)
  • Besiktas (2010 - 2011)
National Team
  • U18 (1995)
  • U21 (1996 - 1998)
  • Spain (1999 - 2005)
Highlights
José María Gutiérrez Hernández was with Real Madrid for 1½ decade, and helped them win 15 major trophies. Initially, he began as a striker, but then eventually settled down in the midfield, where he showed his class for the club and also the country.

Santi Cazorla

Born: Dec 13, 1984
Position: Attacking Midfielder

Clubs
  • Villarreal (2003 - 2006)
  • Recreativo (2006 - 2007)
  • Villarreal (2007 - 2011)
  • Málaga (2011 - 2012)
  • Arsenal (2012 - present)
National Team
  • U21 (2004 - 2006)
  • Spain (2008 - present)
Highlights
Santiago 'Santi' Cazorla González is known to play well on either flank due to his control, speed, and shooting accuracy. He is also feared for his sudden change of gameplay. Santi Cazorla has been part of the winning Spanish team at Euro 2008 and Euro 2012.

Sergio Ramos

Born: Mar 30, 1986
Position: Central Defender

Clubs
  • Sevilla (2004 - 2005)
  • Real Madrid (2005 - present)
National Team
  • U17 (2002)
  • U19 (2004)
  • U21 (2004)
  • Spain (2005 - present)
Highlights
Sergio Ramos García has been am important part of the defense of both, Real Madrid and the Spanish National team for nearly a decade. Besides his position, he is known to play well on the right defense too. Sergio Ramos has played for Spain in the FIFA World Cup 2006, FIFA World Cup 2010, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012.

Carles Puyol

Born: Apr 13, 1978
Position: Central Defender

Clubs
  • Barcelona (1999 - present)
National Team
  • U18 (1995)
  • U21 (2000)
  • U23 (2000)
  • Spain (2000 - present)
Highlights
Carles Puyol i Saforcada is well-known as a defender who is strong, explosive, and with the quickest reactions. He is also widely respected for his hardworking style and leadership qualities. Carles Puyol was a vital part of the winning Spanish team in Euro 2008 and FIFA World Cup 2010.

Sergio Busquets

Born: Jul 16, 1988
Position: Defensive Midfielder

Clubs
  • Barcelona (2008 - present)
National Team
  • U21 (2008 - 2009)
  • Spain (2009 - present)
Highlights
Sergio Busquets Burgos took less than a year to break into the ranks of the Spanish National team after making his professional debut. He has been a part of the team that won the FIFA World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012.

Álvaro Arbeloa

Born: Jan 17, 1983
Position: Full Back

Clubs
  • Real Madrid (2004 - 2005)
  • Deportivo La Coruña (2006 - 2007)
  • Liverpool (2007 - 2009)
  • Real Madrid (2009 - present)
National Team
  • U17 (2001)
  • U19 (2001)
  • U21 (2005)
  • Spain (2008 - present)
Highlights
Álvaro Arbeloa Coca plays in the defense, and is more than capable on playing both, on the right and left side at the back. He has been lucky enough to play for Spain in 3 major tournaments, the FIFA World Cup 2010, Euro 2008, and Euro 2012, all of which they have won.

A few more notable mentions:

Emilio Butragueño
Victor Valdes
Juan Mata
Jesus Navas
Pepe Reina
Marc Bartra
Jordi Alba
Mikel Arteta
Pep Guardiola
Alvaro Negredo

All these famous soccer players from Spain have, with their talent and hard work, helped both, their country and clubs win at the highest levels. And it is without doubt that in the coming years, we will see many more greats emerge from this sporting nation.