With two World Cups, France is an incubator of talent for some of the top clubs in the world, with Real Madrid being one of its most prominent outlets.
From the likes of Zizou and Benzema, let’s see who else makes the best of the Real Madrid squad.
1. Raymond Kopa (1956-1959)
Kopa was known as one of the first fully attacking midfielders and wowed fans with pacey runs and a thirst for goals.
Starring alongside the likes of Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano, Kopa was the catalyst that fed one of the deadliest striking trios in history.
His best form came in 1958 where he scored 10 goals in the 1958-59 season as well as notching 8 in the 1957-58 season.
This form saw Kopa win the 1958 Ballon D’Or award as well as enjoy 3 consecutive European Cup wins with Madrid.
2. Claude Makelele (2000-2003)
Makelele moved to the Bernabeu in 2000 from Celta Vigo with a burgeoning reputation.
However, with the likes of Raul and Luis Figo surging up the pitch, Makelele developed a style that stopped attacks yet kept the game moving for his side.
Makelele enjoyed immense success with Real winning 2 La Liga titles and the 2002 Champions League Final. Amid growing discontent with his place at the club, Makelele left for Chelsea in 2003.
3. Zinedine Zidane (2001-2006)
In the early 2000s, Zinedine Zidane was the player every team wanted. Therefore, it came as no surprise when Real smashed the then world transfer record to sign Zizou from Juventus.
It was a match made in heaven really as Zidane’s driving runs and technical prowess on the ball gave Real a cutting edge they were missing.
His all-round drive and never-ending stamina saw Zidane regularly involved in all the action in his five-year spell in Spain.
4. Raphael Varane (2011-2021)
Varane’s ability to read tackles and track back with speed made him light years ahead of others his age.
It was matched by an attitude that belied his age and improved over the decade he spent in Spain.
Often a lynchpin in Real’s backline, Varane played pivotal roles in 3 La Liga title wins during his time with the club.
His efforts were truly noticed in the 2017-18 season where Varane was awarded a spot in the FifPro World XI as well as in UEFA’s Team of the Year.
5. Karim Benzema (2009- Date)
It’s amazing to think about how consistently Karim Benzema can deliver for Real Madrid.
His record in front of goal has been immense having notched up 20-goal tallies in 6 of his 12 seasons with the club.
Yet Benzema’s form has improved with age as his best record was 27 goals in 32 games during the 2021-22 season.
It’s this form that has seen Benzema win 4xPlayer of the Year awards with the club, 10 FifPro XI nominations and a 2x La Liga Best Player of the Year award.