The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Spanish Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 21,273 Soccer Players, 963 of which were born in Spain. This makes Spain the birth place of the 4th most number of Soccer Players behind Brazil, and United Kingdom.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Spanish Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Spanish Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Spanish Soccer Players.

Photo of Santiago Bernabéu Yeste

1. Santiago Bernabéu Yeste (1895 - 1978)

With an HPI of 73.24, Santiago Bernabéu Yeste is the most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages on wikipedia.

Santiago Bernabéu de Yeste (Spanish pronunciation: [sanˈtjaɣo βeɾnaˈβew ˈʝeste]; 8 June 1895 – 2 June 1978) was a Spanish footballer who played for Real Madrid as a forward. He is widely regarded as the most important figure in the history of Real Madrid, having served as its president for 34 years and 264 days, from 11 September 1943 until his death in 2 June 1978.Under Bernabéu's leadership, Real Madrid became a dominant team both on national and international level, with its influence stretching beyond the football pitch. The club's current stadium is named in his honour.

Photo of Ricardo Zamora

2. Ricardo Zamora (1901 - 1978)

With an HPI of 67.53, Ricardo Zamora is the 2nd most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Ricardo Zamora Martínez (Spanish pronunciation: [riˈkaɾðo θaˈmoɾa maɾˈtineθ]; 21 January 1901 – 8 September 1978) was a Spanish footballer and manager. He played as a goalkeeper for, among others, RCD Espanyol, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. As an international he played for both the Catalan XI and Spain. As a manager, he won two La Liga titles with Atlético Madrid (then Atlético Aviación) and briefly managed Spain.

Photo of Francisco Gento

3. Francisco Gento (1933 - 2022)

With an HPI of 67.36, Francisco Gento is the 3rd most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Francisco "Paco" Gento López (21 October 1933 – 18 January 2022) was a Spanish footballer who played as an outside left. A fast runner, Gento was referred to as the "Gale of the Cantabrian Sea" (Spanish: La Galerna del Cantábrico) in reference to his speed down the wing. He was voted by IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics) as the greatest Spanish footballer and 30th greatest world footballer of the 20th century.Gento began his career at Racing Santander in 1952 and moved to Real Madrid the following season. He appeared in a joint record eight European Cup finals, winning a record six, as well as winning a record 12 La Liga titles. In a 14-year international career, Gento earned 43 caps for Spain, playing at the World Cup in 1962 and 1966. Following the death of Alfredo Di Stéfano in 2014, Gento was appointed the Honorary President of Real Madrid.

Photo of Luis Suárez

4. Luis Suárez (1935 - 2023)

With an HPI of 67.11, Luis Suárez is the 4th most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Luis Suárez Miramontes (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis ˈswaɾeθ miɾaˈmontes]; 2 May 1935 – 9 July 2023) was a Spanish professional footballer and manager. He played as a midfielder for Deportivo de La Coruña, España Industrial, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Sampdoria; he also represented the Spain national team between 1957 and 1972. Regarded as one of the greatest Spanish football players of all time, Suárez was noted for his elegant and fluid style of play.Nicknamed El Arquitecto – The Architect – or Luisito, in 1960 Suárez became the first and only male Spanish-born player to win the Ballon d'Or. In 1964, he helped Spain win their first European Championship title. Suárez originally achieved prominence as a creative inside forward, or attacking midfielder in modern terms, during his spell at Barcelona in the 1950s, before reaching his prime as a deep-lying playmaker at Inter Milan, where he played a pivotal role in the success of Helenio Herrera's side, and was one of the primary creative forces in the squad, thanks to his skill on the ball, vision, and passing range. He retired as a player in 1973, after three seasons at Sampdoria.Suárez subsequently began a career as a coach and managed Inter Milan on three separate occasions, the latter two of which on a caretaker basis. He was also at the helm of both the Spain under-21 national team, which he led to a European Under-21 Championship title in 1986, and the Spanish senior national team, which he led to the round of 16 of the 1990 World Cup. He died in Milan on 9 July 2023, aged 88.

Photo of Miguel Muñoz

5. Miguel Muñoz (1922 - 1990)

With an HPI of 66.08, Miguel Muñoz is the 5th most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Miguel Muñoz Mozún (19 January 1922 – 16 July 1990) was a Spanish football player and manager. A midfielder, he spent the majority of his career at Real Madrid before going on to coach the club, where he is widely considered one of the most successful and greatest managers in football history, leading the team to two European Cup victories and nine La Liga titles (winning seven major titles in both major competitions combined as a player). Muñoz later had a six-year coaching spell with the Spain national team, and led them to the final of Euro 1984.

Photo of Luis Enrique

6. Luis Enrique (b. 1970)

With an HPI of 64.19, Luis Enrique is the 6th most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Luis Enrique Martínez García (Spanish pronunciation: [lwis enˈrike maɾˈtineθ ɡaɾˈθia]; born 8 May 1970), known as Luis Enrique, is a Spanish football manager and former player. He is the manager of Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain. A versatile player with good technique, he was capable of playing in several different positions, but usually played as a midfielder or forward, and was also noted for his temperament and stamina. Starting in 1991 and ending in 2004, he represented both Real Madrid and Barcelona with both individual and team success, appearing in more than 500 official games and scoring more than 100 goals. He appeared with the Spain national team in three World Cups and one European Championship. Luis Enrique started working as a manager in 2008 with Barcelona B, before moving to Roma three years later. In the 2013–14 season he managed Celta, before returning to Barcelona and winning the treble in his first year and the double in the second. In 2018, he was appointed Spain head coach for the first time before resigning for family reasons in 2019; he reassumed the position the same year and subsequently led the team to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and the second place in the 2020–21 Nations League, resigning at the end of the 2022 World Cup. In July 2023, he joined French club Paris Saint-Germain.

Photo of Sergio Ramos

7. Sergio Ramos (b. 1986)

With an HPI of 63.69, Sergio Ramos is the 7th most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 84 different languages.

Sergio Ramos García (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈseɾxjo ˈramos ɣaɾˈθi.a]; born 30 March 1986) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for La Liga club Sevilla. Widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time, he is known for his tackling skills, aerial abilities and leadership. He is best known for his sixteen seasons spent playing for Real Madrid, winning four UEFA Champions League titles whilst at the club, along with two UEFA European Championships and the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the Spain national team.Born at the gates of Seville, Ramos emerged through Sevilla's youth academy and spent two seasons with the senior side, before moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2005. He went on to become a mainstay for the club, winning 22 major honours including five La Liga and four UEFA Champions League titles, and becoming one of La Liga's top goalscorers from a defensive position. He played a crucial part in the build-up to all four UEFA Champions League wins, being named in the competition Squad of the Season each time. He also scored the crucial equaliser in the 93rd minute of the 2014 UEFA Champions League final, additionally scoring the opener in the 2016 final. Out of contract, he signed for French club Paris Saint-Germain in July 2021, spending two seasons at the club and winning Ligue 1 twice, before returning to Sevilla. Internationally, Ramos represented Spain at four World Cups and three European Championships. He won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship in 2008 and 2012, being named to the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2010, and the UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament in 2012. He made his first appearance for Spain at the age of 18 and, in 2013, he became the nation's youngest player to ever reach 100 caps. Ramos currently holds the record as the most capped player in the history of the Spain national team and is his country's ninth-highest all-time goalscorer. He also holds the record of most international victories for Spain with 131 matches won. Ramos has been named to the FIFPro World11 eleven times; a record for a defender, and the third-most all-time. He has also been elected to the UEFA Team of the Year nine times, also a record for a defender and the third-most of any player. Additionally, Ramos has been named La Liga's Best Defender a record five times, and to the La Liga Team of the Season in 2015–16.

Photo of Xavi

8. Xavi (b. 1980)

With an HPI of 63.44, Xavi is the 8th most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 83 different languages.

Xavier Hernández Creus (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈʃaβjeɾ eɾˈnandeθ]; born 25 January 1980), also known as Xavi Hernández ([ˈʃaβj eɾˈnandeθ]) or simply Xavi ([ˈʃaβi]), is a Spanish professional football manager and former player who manages La Liga club Barcelona. Widely considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time, Xavi was renowned for his passing, vision, ball retention, and positioning. He won 32 trophies in his career, making him the second-most decorated Spanish player in history, behind former teammate Andrés Iniesta.He was included in the FIFA FIFPro World XI on six occasions: 2008 to 2013, and the UEFA Team of the Year five times: 2008 to 2012. In 2020 Xavi was named in the Ballon d'Or Dream Team, a greatest all-time XI published by France Football. He is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,000 professional career appearances. Xavi joined La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy at age 11 and made his first-team debut against Mallorca in August 1998, age 18. In all, he played 767 official matches, a former club record—now held by Lionel Messi—and scored 85 goals. Xavi is the first player in the club's history to play 150 European and FIFA Club World Cup matches combined. With Barcelona, Xavi won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles. In 2015, he departed Barcelona for Al Sadd, where he won four trophies before retiring in 2019. With Spain, Xavi won the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1999, and the Olympic silver medal at the 2000 Olympics. After making his senior team debut in 2000, he was capped 133 times for his country, and was an influential figure in the team's successes. He played an integral role in Spain's victory at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as their wins at UEFA Euro 2008 and UEFA Euro 2012. He was named Player of the Tournament at UEFA Euro 2008, and was named in the UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament in 2008 and 2012. With two assists in the UEFA Euro 2012 Final, Xavi became the first player to register assists in two separate European finals, after setting up the only goal in the final four years earlier. After the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Xavi announced his retirement from international football.Xavi came third in the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year, followed by third place for its successor award, the FIFA Ballon d'Or, in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, he was runner up to Messi for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. Xavi was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award in 2012. He was awarded the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker award four times, all straight between 2008 and 2011. After retirement, Xavi transitioned to coaching, and he was named the manager at Qatar Stars League club Al Sadd in May 2019, where he won seven titles in less than three years. In November 2021, Xavi was appointed as manager at his former club Barcelona. He won the 2022–23 Supercopa de España and the 2022–23 La Liga title in his first full season as the club's manager. In January 2024, he announced that he would step down as manager of Barcelona at the end of the 2023–24 season.

Photo of Xabi Alonso

9. Xabi Alonso (b. 1981)

With an HPI of 63.42, Xabi Alonso is the 9th most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 78 different languages.

Xabier Alonso Olano (Basque: [ˈʃaβi aˈlons̺o oˈlano], Spanish: [ˈʃaβj aˈlonso oˈlano]; born 25 November 1981) is a Spanish professional football manager and former player who is currently the head coach of Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen. Regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, he is also considered one of the most promising young managers in the world.Alonso began his career at Real Sociedad, the main team of his home province Gipuzkoa. After a brief loan period at Eibar, he was appointed as team captain of Real Sociedad by then-manager John Toshack. He succeeded in the role, taking the club to second place in the 2002–03 season. He moved to Liverpool in August 2004 for £10.5 million and won the UEFA Champions League in his first season, under manager Rafael Benítez, scoring the equalising goal in the Final against Milan. The following season, he won the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield. He moved to Real Madrid for the start of the 2009–10 season in a deal worth around £30 million. After winning honours including a league title in 2012 and the Champions League in 2014 during five seasons in Madrid, he was signed by German club Bayern Munich on a two-year contract. This was extended by a further year, and he eventually retired from playing in summer 2017, aged 35, having won the Bundesliga in each of his three seasons with Bayern.He made his international debut for Spain in April 2003 in a 4–0 victory against Ecuador. While playing for Spain, Alonso won Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup, and he also represented his country at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. On 23 June 2012, Alonso won his 100th cap for Spain in the quarter-final of Euro 2012 against France; he celebrated the occasion by scoring both of Spain's goals to send them into the semi-finals. Following Spain's failure to progress out of the group stages at the 2014 World Cup, Alonso retired from international football on 27 August 2014. His 114 caps make him the eighth-most capped player in the nation's history. A year after retiring from professional football, he initially coached Real Madrid's U14 team before being appointed as manager of Real Sociedad's reserve team in June 2019, where he helped the team promote to the Segunda División in his second season before leaving the club in May 2022, being named head coach of Bayer Leverkusen five months later. He subsequently led Leverkusen to their first ever Bundesliga title in his first full season at the club in 2024.

Photo of Andrés Iniesta

10. Andrés Iniesta (b. 1984)

With an HPI of 63.04, Andrés Iniesta is the 10th most famous Spanish Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 92 different languages.

Andrés Iniesta Luján (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈdɾes iˈnjesta luˈxan]; born 11 May 1984) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for UAE Pro League club Emirates. Widely considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time, he was lauded for his balance, ball control and agility in close spaces, combined with his skill, composure, and flair on the ball. Iniesta has spent most of his career at Barcelona, where he played a major role in the club's success along with his midfield partners Xavi and Sergio Busquets. Iniesta started his professional career through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, after an early migration from his birthplace, and impressed from an early age. He made his first-team debut aged 18 in 2002. He began playing regularly during the 2004–05 season and remained in the team until 2018. Iniesta was an integral part of the Barcelona sides that won two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015, and his 35 trophies, which includes nine La Ligas and four UEFA Champions League titles, make him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time. After 22 years at Barcelona, Iniesta signed for J1 League club Vissel Kobe in 2018. After leaving the club in 2023, Iniesta signed for UAE Pro League club Emirates. Iniesta played for Spain at the Under-16, Under-19 and Under-21 levels before making his international debut in 2006. He helped Spain win UEFA Euro 2008, playing every game and being selected in the Team of the Tournament. Iniesta was also a key member of the victorious Spanish team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup; he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands, for which he was named the Man of the Match, and was selected to the tournament's All-Star Team. His performances in 2010 for both club and country saw him being runner-up to Lionel Messi for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or. At UEFA Euro 2012, Iniesta led Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, again being chosen as the Man of the Match of the final against Italy, and was named the Player of the Tournament. Iniesta has been named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI nine times and was chosen in the UEFA Team of the Year on six occasions. He was named in the All-time UEFA Euro XI. He won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in 2012 and was named the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker in 2012 and 2013. Besides his runner-up position in 2010, he also achieved third place in the 2012 Ballon d'Or.


Pantheon has 1,151 people classified as Spanish soccer players born between 1878 and 2007. Of these 1,151, 997 (86.62%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Spanish soccer players include Luis Enrique, Sergio Ramos, and Xavi. The most famous deceased Spanish soccer players include Santiago Bernabéu Yeste, Ricardo Zamora, and Francisco Gento. As of April 2024, 189 new Spanish soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Luis Otero, Luis Rubiales, and Ramón Gil.

Living Spanish Soccer Players

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Deceased Spanish Soccer Players

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Newly Added Spanish Soccer Players (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.