Saturday, March 20, 2021

Top 10 Real Madrid Greatest Rightbacks

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

Real Madrid is the most successful club in soccer's history.  They have won more titles in Europe than any other clubs. Of course, their players were among the greatest of all-time.  This post is about my Top 10 ranking of greatest rightbacks in Real Madrid's history.  But every fan has their favourites and opinions.  The ranking is extremely subjective.  Some player played in multi-positions.  Sometimes, people would even argue about the position of each player considered.  For this goalkeeper blog, I do not have this issue.

1st: Chendo (Spain) 
Chendo was a product of Real Madrid's academy.  He played his entire career with Real Madrid between 1982 and 1998.  He won 17 major trophies with the club. He was a part of the team that won back-to-back UEFA Cup titles in the mid-1980's.  He retired after the 1998 European Champions' League Final.  For international football, he had 26 caps for Spain.  He represented them at both World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990., where he was the starter in 1990 edition.
2nd: Michel Salgado  (Spain)
Known as a hard player,  Michel Salgado started with Celta before moving to Real Madrid in 1999, where he stayed until 2009.  In 2009, he joined Blackburn Rovers and played three seasons.  Salgado earned 53 caps for Spain between 1998 and 2006.  He went to Euro 2000 and Germany 2006, but missed Euro 2004 and Japan/Korea 2002 due to injuries.  He is married to Malula Sanz, daughter of former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz.
Michel Salgado  
3rd: Dani Carvajal (Spain)
Dani Carvajal went through Real Madrid's academy.  In 2012, he was sold to Bayer Leverkusen. In his only season there, he established himself among the best fullback in Bundesliga.  He returned to Real Madrid in a buyback clause in 2013. He was a contributor as Real Madrid won four Champions' League in his first 5 seasons.  At the time of writing, he is a member of the national team since 2014.  He went to the 2018 World Cup Finals.
Dani Carvajal 
4th: Marquitos (Spain)
During his career, Marquitos played for hometown's Racing de Santander, Real Madrid, Hércules CF, Real Murcia, Calvo Sotelo and Toluca de Santander. With the Merengues, he won six La Liga championships and five European Cups: in the 1955–56 edition of the latter, he scored a rare goal as he equalized 3–3 against Stade de Reims, in an eventual 4–3 success. He was capped twice for Spain.  Both his son and grandson also played for Spain.
5th: Atienza II  (Spain)
Atienza was born in Madrid and retired from professional football on 1 July 1960. Over the course of his career, he played for Real Zaragoza (1951-1954) and Real Madrid (1954-1959), winning La Liga and the European Cup thrice each for the latter. Already interested in art, he worked as an artist in the period between playing for Zaragoza and Madrid.  His older brother Adolfo Atienza also played for Real Madrid.
6th: Calpe (Spain)
Calpe played with Levante UD  from 1963 to 1965.  In 1965, he joined Real Madrid, being part of the squads during their Yé-yé era and winning five major trophies, including three league titles and the 1966 European Cup.  In 1971, he returnd to Levante, playing the vast majority of his second spell in Tercera División. The only exception to this occurred in the 1973–74 season, spent in Segunda División, and he retired from the game in June 1975.
7th: Alvaro Arbeloa (Spain)
Alvaro Arbeloa started his career with Real Madrid, but he made a name with Liverpool in England before making a return to his mother club in 2009.  He helped Real Madrid to win their 10th European Cup in 2014.  For Spain, he was mainly used as a sub during Spain's glorious run at Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010, but he was their starting rightback at the 2012 European Championship.
Alvaro Arbeloa 
8th: Christian Panucci  (Italy)
Christian Panucci's breakout season was the season 1993-1994, when he played 19 games for AC Milan and won the 1994 UEFA Champions' League.  The highlight of his career was perhaps his three seasons with Real Madrid.  He helped them to win the UEFA Champions' League in 1998.  His longest stint was, however, with AS Roma.  At the international level, he had 57 caps with Italy, but his career was very rocky.  He never secured a regular place with the team.
Christian Panucci
9th: Joaquín Navarro (Spain)
Navarro moved FC Barcelona in 1941 from hometown club CF Gavà. 
Subsequently, Navarro joined neighbouring CE Sabadell FC in Segunda División, where he played six seasons.  In 1949, Navarro signed for Real Madrid.  He was a part of their 1956 European Cup winning team.  Navarro was the first Spanish player to be selected to a World XI FIFA team.  He played 5 times for Spain
Joaquín Navarro
10th: Isidoro San José (Spain)
Born in Madrid, Isidoro came from Real Madrid academy.  He was promoted to the first team in 1976.  He spent 10 seasons at the club.  He was a part of the back-to-back UEFA Cup in the 1980's, but by that time, he was a backyp to Chendo.  He spent a season with Mallorca before retiring. For Spain, he played 13 times between 1977 and 1979.  He played three matches at the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina.
Isidoro San José 

Honorable Mention
Isidro Sánchez García-Figueras, Clemente Fernández, Vicente Miera Rafael Lesmes, Manuel Torres, Quique Sánchez Flores, Jose Luis Peinado, Juan Carlos Touriño, Antonio García Navajas.

Ranking Explanation
-- Not everyone here were fullbacks.  Some players were right-sided centerbacks of a three-man defence.
-- Real Madrid bought Sergio Ramos from Sevilla to play as a centerback.  He spent roughy two seasons as a centerback before switching to rightback in 2007. During the 2010-2011 season, he moved back to the centerback position.  So I put him as a centerback where he is a legend with the club.  I probably placed him as the 5th rightback if I considered him.  He also won a World Cup with Spain as a rightback. 
-- Most people considered Chendo as the best ever rightback for Real Madrid. He served for the club from 1982 to 1998.  He was the undisputed starter for most of his time.  However, he was a backup by the time of the 1998 Champions League winning campaign, where he retired after the Final. 
-- The second rightback position was between Michel Salgado and Dani Carvajal.  In time, Carvajal will be named the greatest rightback even ahead of Chendo.  At this point, he still needs to spend more time with the club.  Salgado had played 10 seasons with the club. Dani rejoined the club in 2013 from Bayer Leverkusen.  
-- Salgado was married to Malula Sanz, the daughter of former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz.  Florentino Perez defeated Sanz to become the president of Real Madrid.  He continued to play for the club under Perez.
-- In 2004, a young Dani Carvajal was chosen to stand next club legend Alfredo di Stefano to laid the foundation stone of the new Valdebebas training ground.  Thus, he became a symbolic icon of the club's academy.
-- Alfredo Di Stefano led Real Madrid winning 5 European Cups in the 1950's.  The team played with a 3 men defence.  Three different defenders played on the right side.  Marquitos played in two of those years.  Rafael Lesmes, Manuel Torres and Angel Atienza played in the remaining years.
-- Marquitos's son Marcos was a winger who was also capped by Spain.  His grandson Marcos Alonso is currently with Chelsea.  He is a left wingback.  
-- From the 5th to 10th place, I do not have much preference.
-- Isidro Diaz was the father of Quique Sanchez Flores, who also played as a rightback under Jorge Valdano in the 1990s.  He made honorable mentions.
-- Sergio Ramos was moved to the centerback position after the return of Alvaro Arbeloa to Real Madrid in 2009.  Arbeloa was the starting rightback before the emerge of Dani Carvajal.  He was steady throughout his years.  I see him ahead of Christian Panucci.
-- Alvaro Arbeloa arrived in the summer of 2009, where Cristano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Esteban Granero, , Ezequiel Garay and Raul Albiol also arrived.  Xabi Alonso was also his teammate with Liverpool FC.
-- Christian Panucci was the first Italian to play for the club.  Half a season before his arrival, Real Madrid signed Carlos Secretário from Porto FC.  Panucci kept him from succeeding in Madrid.  He was an important member of the team that won the Septima (the seventh European Cup).
-- Both Nando and Luis Enrique also played in the position after Chendo's departure.  Nando was an ex-Barcelona player whose career here was unfulfilled.  Luis Enrique's transfer to Barcelona does not affect his selection, but I simply do not consider him a rightback.  Joaquín Navarro spent a season with Barcelona.  In that period, the rivalry between the two clubs have not intensified.
-- Four of the top ten came from the academy.  They were Chendo, Dani Carvajal, Isidoro and Alvaro Arbeloa.  
-- Juanfran wasa rightback of note in his prime.  However, he only played a handful of games here when he first turned professional.  His peak was with Atletico Madrid.  Of course, he was not considered.  In Real Madrid's history, he was remembered as the Atletico Madrid player who failed to convert his penalty against Real Madrid in the 2016 Champions' League Final.
-- With the exception of Christian Panucci, every player seriously considered are from Spain.  Danilo and Cicinho were the only foreign rightbacks that I could think of.  Both did not play much.  Jose Mourinho also used Michael Essien briefly in that position.
-- Essien had an injury prone career here.  He was on loan from Chelsea.
-- I used this as a reference.