Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Brescia Calcio Greatest All-Time team

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

Anglo-Italian Cup in 1994

Lombardy All-Time team

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Brescia Calcio.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

The team was founded in 1911 as Brescia Football Club, joining the Terza Categoria division the same year. In 1913, Brescia was promoted to First Division for its first time ever, and from 1929 it played in Serie A for six of the seven following seasons. Successively, the club played among the two top divisions until 1982, when Brescia was relegated to Serie C1. The club then returned to Serie B in 1985. Brescia played outside the two national tournaments of Lega Calcio (A and B) only four years: under this aspect, only 11 clubs in all Italy marked a better performance.

Brescia won the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1994, the biggest notable achievement in their entire history to date. Brescia actually came to the footballing forefront only in 2000, when the previously unfancied club signed former FIFA World Player of the Year Roberto Baggio, who led Brescia to a seventh-place finish in the 2000–01 season, thus qualifying for the UEFA Intertoto Cup. Successively, Brescia reached the Intertoto Cup finals, then lost to Paris Saint-Germain according to the away goals rule after achieving a 0–0.
Roberto Baggio
From 1928 to 1936, Giuseppe Peruchetti played for Brescia.  Then, between 1936 and 1941, he played for Ambrosiana-Inter, which is now known as Inter Milan.  He was a part of the team that won two Serie A titles.  Then, he switched to Juventus in 1941 and retired in 1944.  He was capped twice by the Italian national team.

GK: Giuseppe Trivellini (Italy)
Giuseppe Trivellini was one of the first one-club men in Italy.  he played for Brescia throughout his entire career. He represented the Italian national team seven times, the first being on 31 January 1915, the occasion of a friendly match against Switzerland in a 3–1 home win.  He died in 1977 in Brescia, where he lived all his life: later, the city named a street after him,

GK: Michele Arcari (Spain)
Arcari spent early parts of his career playing for many clubs in the lower division.  Then, he played for Brescia between 2007 and 2017.   He made his Serie A debut at the age of 32 in a match against Napoli in 2010.  However, his career with the club was mainly spent in Serie B.  He held the European record for a professional goalkeeper reaching 810 minutes without conceding a goal.

RB: Marco Zambelli (Italy)
A native of Gavardo, Province of Brescia, Zambelli came from the youth ranks of Brescia.  He has spent most of his career at over there.. He played his first Serie A match on 26 September 2004.He left Brescia in 2015.  He later played for Empoli where he spent two seasons in the Serie A.  He also played for Foggia and Feralpisalò.   He received call-up from Italy U20 and Italy U21, but he never played in the senior level.
Marco Zambelli 
CB: Vittorio Mero (Italy)
Mero s made his debut at the professional level at the age of 17 for A.S. Casale Calcio. He then played for Parma, Crevalcore and Ravenna before he moved to Brescia in 1998, obtaining his first promotion to Serie A and making his European debut as team captain in the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup, in which Brescia reached the finals,  During his time there, he was nicknamed Sceriffo (Sheriff) by his coach Nedo Sonetti for his diligence and reliability.

CB: Fabio Petruzzi (Italy)
After developing in the Roma Youth System, he played for 13 seasons (253 games, 6 goals) in the Serie A, for the A.S. Roma senior (1988–2000), and subsequently Udinese Calcio (1993–94), Brescia Calcio (2000–2004), and Bologna F.C. 1909 (2004–05).  Petruzzi played his only game for Italy on June 21, 1995, in an international friendly match against Germany under manager Arrigo Sacchi.He was called up for two more national team games in 1995 and 1997, but did not make an appearance on either of those occasions.
Fabio Petruzzi 
CB/FB: Daniele Bonera (Italy)
Prior to joining Villareal in 2015, with whom he retired in 2019, he had previously played for Brescia, Parma, and in particular Milan, where he won several titles, including the 2010–11 Serie A and the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League. At international level, he represented Italy on 16 occasions; he also won the 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Championship as well as a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

CB: Daniel Adani (Italy)
Adani started his career in Serie B with Modena in 1991.  After falling with Lazio, he moved to Brescia in November, 1994; subsequently appearing in nearly 200 official matches. In 1999, Adani transferred to Fiorentina.  He also played for Inter Milan, Ascoli and Empoli. He played for Brescia for a second time between 2004 and 2005. Adani received five caps for Italy in four years.  His cap came in 2000 against England.
Daniel Adani 
CB/LB: Umberto Caligaris (Italy)
Umberto Caligaris played 59 times for Italy between 1922 and 1936. Until the 1970's, he was Italy's record cap holder.  He won the World Cup in 1934.  At the club level, he started with Casale F.B.C..  He was also a key player for Juventus that won five scudettoes in a row in the years 1930–35, where he teamed up with goalkeeper Gianpiero Combi.

LB: Marek Kozminski (Poland)
Marek Kozminski played for clubs such as Hutnik Kraków, Udinese (Italy), Brescia (Italy), AC Ancona (Italy), PAOK Thessaloniki (Greece) and Górnik Zabrze.  He made 45 appearances for the Polish national team. Koźmiński was a participant at the 1992 Summer Olympics, where Poland won the silver medal, and at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

DM/CM: Ottavio Bianchi (Italy)
Bianchi initially played for the Brescia youth system, and then made his debut with the senior side in the Serie A in 1965. In 1966, Bianchi moved to Napoli, the club with whom he played for 5 consecutive championships. In addition to these, Bianchi had stints with Atalanta, Milan and Cagliari and finished his playing career with SPAL.  He played twice for Italy in 1966.

CB/DM/RB: Stefano Bonometti (Italy)
Stefano Bonometti made his debut in Serie B in the 1978-1979 season for Brescia. He spent seventeen seasons with club.  He holds the record for appearances with the Rondinelle jersey with 422 league. He also won the Anglo-Italian Trophy as captain in 1994.  He also spent a season with Ancona.  In 1996 he played amateur football with Tecnoleno.

RM/CM: Antonio Filippini (Italy)
Antonio Filippini emerged through hometown Brescia Calcio's youth system where  he stayed there for 8 professional seasons.  He also played with Ospitaletto, U.S. Città di Palermo, Lazio and Livorno Calcio.  Filippini rejoined Brescia's for 2010–11, after 18 years. Following the team's top level relegation, he retired in June 2011 at the age of 38.  His twoin brother is Emmanuele.

LM/CM: Emanuele Filippini (Italy)
Antonio Filippini emerged through hometown Brescia Calcio's youth system where he stayed there for 8 professional seasons, playing alongside his twin brother.  He spent some time on loan with Parma. He then hard three more solid campaigns, one each with S.S. Lazio, Treviso F.B.C. 1993 and Bologna F.C. 1909 (the first two with Antonio, the latter in the second division).

AM/CM: Andrea Pirlo (Italy) * he was an attack midfielder here.
Andrea Pirlo started as an attack midfielder with Inter Milan without success before becoming a regista.  He redefined the regista role in the modern game.  He had 116 caps.  He won the World Cup in 2006 and took Italy to the Final of Euro 2012.  For his club career, he was known for his career with AC Milan.  He played over 280 matches for them, winning two Champions' League titles.  He switched to Juventus late in his career.  
Andrea Pirlo
SW/DM/CM: Luigi Di Biagio (Italy)
Di Biago began his career with Lazio, Monza, and Foggia, but the best of his career was with AS Rima between 1995 and 1999, and Inter Milan between 1999 and 2003.  He also played with Brescia, where he teamed up with Roberto Baggio.  He was capped 31 times for Italy between 1998 and 2002.  He was an important member of Itaky's Euro 2000.  He also played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cup Finals.

DM: Pep Guardiola (Spain)
At the club level, Pep Guardiola won a Champions' League with Barcelona in 1992. It was Barcelona's first ever European Cup. He was their captain from 1997 to 2001.  He also played for Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico. He was capped 47 times for Spain, winning the Olympic Gold Medal in 1992, and later appeared at the 1994 World Cup and Euro 2000. He also played friendly matches for Catalonia.

AM: Gheorghe Hagi (Romania)
Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians", Gheorghe Hagi  was probably the best player in Romanian football history.  He was named Romanian Footballer of the Year seven times.  He had 124 caps. He led Romania to the quarter-final in the1994 World Cup Finals.  He scored one of the most memorable goals of that tournament.  Fir club football, he was best remembered for wining the UEFA Cup with Galatasaray, the first ever Euopean trophy by a Turkish club.
Gheorghe Hagi
AM/LM/CM: Evaristo Beccalossi (Italy)
Beccalossi started his football career with his hometown club Brescia in 1972, and later became a favorite of the Inter Milan fans, where he spent the majority of his career, from 1978–79 to 1983–84. Together with Alessandro Altobelli, Beccalossi formed one of the longest standing offensive partnerships of Serie A's recent history. They initially played together at Brescia and later became the teammates at Inter. He was uncapped.

RW: Egidio Salvi (Italy)
Salvi was born in Brescia in 1945.  He almost spent his entire career with Brescia from 1963 to 1964 and from 1969 to 1980. He had one spell at Napoli in the 1968-1969 season, playing with Omar Sívori in his last season in Italy. With 397 appearances he holds the second place among the players with the most appearances in Brescia between Serie A (195) and Serie B.  He retired after helping the club for a promotion to Serie A in 1980.
Egidio Salvi 
FW/AM: Roberto Baggio (Juventus)
Robert Baggio was the icon of the 1990's.  He was the World Player of the Year, the Ballon d'Or winner and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1993.  He led Italy to reach the semifinal at 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy and then, to a second place four years later in the USA.  For club football, he started his career with Fiorentina.  He became the most expensive player in the world when he joined Juventus.  He also played for AC Milan, Bologna, Inter Milan and Brescia.

ST: Virginio De Paoli (Italy)
Virginio De Paoli played for many clubs before finding successes with Brescia.  With them, he scored 102 goals in 260 league matches between Serie A and Serie B.  He is their second all-time scorer of the Lombard team behind Andrea Caracciolo.  Between 1966 and 1968, he played for Juventus under manager Heriberto Herrera.  In 1966, he played three times for Italy.  He was selected for the 1964 Olympics, but did not go due the amateur status.
Virginio De Paoli 
DF/CM/ST: Mario Perazzolo (Italy)
Perazzolo played for Padova and Fiorentina before moving to Genoa, where he spent most of his career. He also played for Brescia and Siracusa. For Italy, he had 8 caps between 1936 and 1939.  He won the World Cup in 1938.  He was a starter in their final warm up before the World Cup Finals in 1938, but Pietro Serantoni became the starter in the Finals. He would win another six caps with the national team. 

ST: Dario Hubner (Italy)
For ten seasons, Huber played in the lower division.  In 1997, Hübner moved to newly promoted Serie A side Brescia, making his debut in the top Italian division in his thirties.  Hübner helped the club to qualify for the 2001 Intertoto Cup. With Piacenza, Hübner is the oldest player to win the Serie A top scorer award, which he managed during the 2001–02 Serie A season, at the age of 35 He is the only player to have won the top scoring titles in Serie A, Serie B, and Serie C1.
ST: Andrea Caracciolo 10 official
Caracciolo played with Sancolombano, Como and Pro Vercelli before being signed by Brescia in June 2001.  He played for them in three stints (2001 to 2005, 2008 to 2011 and 2012 to 2018).  Andrea Caracciolo is their all-time leading scorer.   He also played for Lazio, Sampdoria, Novara Calcio, Perugia, Genoa and Palmero in the Serie A.  For the international football, he played twice for Italy.  His first cap was in 2004 and then, he received a recall in 2006.
Andrea Caracciolo

Honorable Mention
Luigi Cagni (Italy), Stephen Appiah (Ghana), Michele Arcari (Italy), Mario Rigamonti (Italy), Carlo Albini (Italy), Marius Stankevičius (Lituania), Filippo Galli (Italy), Gilberto Martínez (Costa Rica), Luigi Cagni (Italy), Ioan Ovidiu Sabău (Romania), Emiliano Viviano (Italy), Bernardino Busi (Italy)Davide Possanzini (Italy), Luciano De Paola (Italy), Maurizio Neri (Italy), Alessandro Altobelli (Italy), Eugenio Corini (Italy), Angelo Pasolini (Italy), Marius Stankevičius (Lithuania), Andrea Gadaldi (Italy). Luca Toni (Italy), Sandro Tonali (Italy), Alessandro Chiodini(Italy), Gabriele Podavini (Italy), Evaristo Frisoni (Italy),  Daniele Zoratto (Italy), Andrea Gadaldi (Italy), Salvatore Giunta (Italy), Branco (Brazil), Marek Hamsik (Slovakia).

Squad Explanation
-- I decided to create this Brescia All-Time team after watching the movie "Baggio: The Divine Ponytail".  Most of my club blog teams have won something significant, but Brescia only picked up the Anglo-Italian Cup and a few league titles in the lower divisions.  However, unbeknown to me, Brescia has many big name players who have played for them.  Normally, my criteria for the team is about the performance at the club. But for this team, I did select the players with a more famous name.
-- Many players were mainly lower division players.
-- Some of the information I found on the club were based upon the performance of the players elsewhere.  They tended to list the big names who came through the club rather than what they did here.
-- During President Gino Corioni's 22-year stint with the club, he enjoyed bringing big names to the club.  The signing of Roberto Baggio from Inter Milan in 2000 was his biggest moment in Brescia's history.   
-- Roberto Baggio was the most famous player who donned the blue shirts of "Le Rondinelle".  He won the Guerin d’Oro for Serie A's best player in 2001.  People tended to forget that he played with Pep Guardiola, Luca Toni, Luigi Di Biagio and Andrea Pirlo.  Of course, Pirlo and Toni were not famous at the time.  Baggio led Brescia to a seventh-place finish in the 2000–01 season, thus qualifying for the UEFA Intertoto Cup. 
-- Mario Rigamonti died in the Superga air disaster.  The Stadio Mario Rigamonti where Brescia Calcio played their home matches was named after him.  However, he only played briefly here before acquired by Torino F.C.  I only put him on honorable mention.
-- Goalkeeper Giuseppe Trivellini was the first icon of the club and served as the captain. Then, I took Giuseppe Peruchetti whose I came across very often.  He was capped by Italy while playing for the club. The third keeper was more tricky.  I selected Michele Arcari because held the European record for a professional goalkeeper reaching 810 minutes without conceding a goal and overtaking Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. He was also recognized as a club legend at Brescia's official website.  I also considered Luca Castellazzi, Roberto Aliboni and Ernesto Galli. 
-- Centre-back Vittorio Mero was often mentioned in my research.  At 27, he died in a car accident.  He was the team captain in the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup, in which Brescia reached the finals, eventually losing to Paris Saint-Germain.  His jersey was retired after his death.
-- Daniele Bonera was capped by Italy while with Brescia which was rare for this club.  I do not see his name much in my research, but I still selected him based upon his Italian caps. 
-- Daniele Adani, Marek Kozminski and Fabio Petruzzi were often mentioned throughout my research.
-- CB Filippo Galli was famous because of AC Milan.  So I left him off this team.  
-- I have no idea about those old-timers Angelo Pasolini, Andrea Gadaldi and Bernardino Busi.  So I only put them on honorable mention.
-- Leftback Branco only spent two seasons on loan here.  It was his first experience playing for an European club.  Instead, I took Umberto Caligaris who was a player-coach with the club.  Then, Marek Koźmiński was mentioned frequently.  He was capped by Poland while playing for them.  LB: Luigi Cagni was also an important member of the team, but I took Caligaris and Kozaminski instead.
-- RB Marco Zambelli was listed as one of the legends at Bresicia's official website. Supposingly, CB/RB Marius Stankevičius and RB Gilberto Martínez were famous players at the club, but I only put them on honorable mentions.
-- Brescia seemed to have many defensive midfielders. I overloaded the team with them. Twin brothers Emanuele and Antonio Filippini were often mentioned as their greatest. Emanuele could also play in the left while Antonio on the right. Then, I went with a more famous midfielder, Luigi Di Biagio.  Di Biago played alongside Roberto Baggio during the 2003–04 season, frequently playing as a sweeper or as a centreback/secondary defensive playmaker in Brecia's three-man defence.  Then, I also had Ottavio Bianchi whose name was on Brescia's official site.  He was better known as Napoli's coach while Diego Maradona starred for them.
-- Stefano Bonometti was raised in Brescia. With Brescia jersey he played for seventeen seasons, almost his entire career.  He still holds the record for most appearances with the Rondinelle jersey.
Stefano Bonometti 
-- The club brought Pep Guardiola over to play with Roberto Baggio. His name often popped up whenever I searched for Bresica's greatest players. However, his career here was affected by a failed drug test.  I read reviews of poor performance in his other seasons as well.  However, he served as an unofficial "assistant" coach while here.  He was giving great coaching advises on and off the field, which was valued by the club.  After a hard review, I decided to select him.
-- DF/CM/FW: Mario Perazzolo had won the World Cup and he could play in different positions.  I admitted not knowing his career here.  I only selected him because I wanted to spread around the eras. The other World Cup winners were Alessandro Altobelli, Luca Toni and Andreas Pirlo.
-- Andreas Pirlo was born in Brescia.  He made his Serie A debut for Brescia against Reggiana, on 21 May, becoming Brescia's youngest player to make an appearance in Serie A.  He was promoted by his coach Mircea Lucescu.  He started as an attacking midfielder.  He would not become a deep lying playmaker until he joined AC Milan in 2001. Over here, he was best remembered for his assist to Baggio's goal against Juventus.
-- The name "Pirlo" is also the name of a Brescian drink.  It was not named after him.  It is a traditional aperitivo drunk in the region that is very similar to the Venetian Spritz.
-- Eugenio Corini also made his debut as a 16 years old.  He also played as an attacking midfielders/deep lying playmaker, but I did not have a spot for him because of Pirlo and others.
-- Sandro Tonali was also capped by Italy while he was here.  I could nort select him because of Andreas Pirlo and Evaristo Beccalossi.  Tonali was known as the new "Pirlo".
-- In the 1992-1993 season, Luigi Corioni took over as president of Brescia. He hired Romanian manager Mircea Lucescu as the manager. Gheorge Hagi, Florin Raducioiu, Ioan Sabau and Dorin Mateut joined the club.
-- Gheorghe Hagi inspired Brescia to win the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1994 at Wembley. He spent two seasons at Brescia, but during the first season, the club relegated to Serie B. During his second season, however, Hagi helped the club to win the Serie B championship, thus achieving promotion to Serie A. After the 1994 World Cup, he was sold to Barcelona.
--  Evaristo Beccalossi was born in Brescia.  He played for the club between 1972 and 1978.  He would return to Brescia in 1986-88, towards the end of his career.  In Inter Milan, he formed a successful partnership with Alessandro Altobelli, forming a "Becca" over there. They initially played together at Brescia. I took Beccalossi, but I could not take Altobelli. He only played in Serie B and C with Brescia, but he sometimes listed as a top player in history for them.
-- Paolo Negro only played a season here before he became famous.
-- Andrea Caracciolo was their all-time leading scorer.  He was also capped by Italy whole playing for the club.
-- Luca Toni played with Roberto Baggio and Pep Guardiola.  He was top scorer for one season, but he only scored 2 goals in his other season.  I put him on honorable mention.   Dario Hubner spent four seasons here with good stats each year.
-- I took Dario Hubner and Andrea Caracciolo over Altobelli.  Hubner spent 4 seasons here scoring over 70 goals.   
Dario Hubner 

Andrea Pirlo played as an attack midfielder over here, but I used him in a deeper role, where Carlos Ancelotti converted him after Pirlo joined AC Milan.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Top 10 Real Madrid Greatest Central Defenders

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 centerbacks 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. 

1st: Sergio Ramos (Spain)
Sergio Ramos is a part of the all-conquering Spanish team that won the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships in 2008 and 2012.  He is the youngest player ever to receive his 100th caps. He joined Real Madrid as a teenager from Sevilla. He scored the tying goal as Real Madrid won their 10th European Cup in 2014.  He also won his second Champions' League title by scoring a goal in the 2016 Final.  In 2018, he won his fourth Champions League Cup with Real Madrid..
Sergio Ramos
2nd: Jose Santamaria (Uruguay)
Jose Santamaria was a member of Real Madrid's all-conquering team of the late 1950's.  He spent his 18-year career with Nacional and Real Madrid, winning 17 major titles the two teams combined, including four European Cups with the latter.  He was considered one of the best ever center-backs. He played for Uruguay at the 1954 World Cup Finals, but played for Spain 4 years later in 1958.
Jose Santamaria
3rd:  Fernando Hierro (Spain)
Fernando Hierro is considered to be Spain's greatest defenders.  At one point, he was Spain's all-time leading scorer even through he played as a defensive player.  He was capped 90 times for Spain, whilst appearing in four World Cups: 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002 and two European Championships: 1996 and 2000. For Real Madrid, he won three Champions' League titles and 5 La Liga titles.  He also played for Real Valladolid, Bolton Wanderers and Al-Rayyan SC.
 Fernando Hierro
4th: Manuel Sanchis Hontiyuelo (Spain)
Manuel Sanchis Hontiyuelo is the son of Manuel Sanchez Martinez, another all-time great with Real Madrid. He was was a member of the legendary Quinta del Buitre of Real Madrid.  He spent his entire career with Real Madrid and played over 700 matches.  He won back-to-back UEFA in the mid-1980's, and then, two Champions' league title at the end of his career.  For Spain, he was capped 48 times.
Manuel Sanchis Hontiyuelo
5th: Jacinto Quincoces (Spain)
Born in 1905, Jacinto Quincoces was one of the greatest defenders of the pre-war era. He played for Deportivo Alavés from 1920 to 1931.  From 1931 to 1942, he played for Real Madrid, where he won the first ever title for Real Madrid in 1930.  He was widely considered one of the first soccer idols in Spain.  He played 25 times for Spain and went to the World Cup Finals in 1934 playing with goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora.
 Jacinto Quincoces
6th Felix Quesada (Spain)
Felix Quesada spent his entire career from 1922 to 1936 with Real Madrid.  he made his first team debut before he turned 20.  He became captain in the period between 1928 and 1935.  Together with Ricardo Zamora, Ciriaco Errasti and Jacinto Quincoces among others, he was key players of the team that won the club's first two league championships in 1932 and 1933. He played 9 times for Spain.
Felix Quesada
7th: Pepe (Portugal)
Born in Brazil, Pepe moved to Portugal playing for Maritimo.  In 2004, he moved to Porto while he established himself as one of the best defender in Portugal.  In 2007, he earned a dream move to Real Madrid.  At the time of writing, he won two Champions' league with them.  Although born in Brazil, he chose to represent Portugal.  At Euro 2016, he emerged as one of Portugal's best player as Portugal won their first ever international trophy.  He earned the Man of the Match in the Final against France.
8th Pedro de Felipe (Spain)
Pedro de Felipe arrived at Real Madrid in 1964 at the age of 20, from Rayo Vallecano.  He left the club in 1972 and playing a further six top-level seasons with RCD Español.  He was a member of the 1966 European Cup winning team.  He also won 5 La Liga titles. He was considered to be a member of the Ye-Ye team. In 1973, he earned his only cap for Spain in a 0–0 friendly draw to Turkey.
Pedro de Felipe
9th Goyo Benito (Spain)
Goyo Benito signed for Real Madrid in 1963, aged nearly 17. After two years on loan to neighbouring Rayo Vallecano, in Segunda División. He returned to his main club, remaining there for the following 14 seasons and winning six leagues and five Spanish Cups. He belonged to the generation of players that succeeded the Real Madrid yeyé team. Benito earned 22 caps for Spain between 1971 and 1978.
Goyo Benito 
10th: Raphaël Varane (France)
Varane started with Lens. After one season with the French club, as a professional footballer, Varane joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2011. With Real Madrid, he won 3 Champions League in 4 years.  In 2012, he made his international debut.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2014, where he was nominated as the Young Player of the Tournament.  He missed the 2016 European Championship through an injury.
Raphaël Varane
Honorable Mention
Ciriaco Errasti, Joaquín Oliva, Iván Helguera, Ivan Campo, Maceda, Fabio Cannavaro, Nacho, Ricardo Carvalho, Oscar Ruggeri.
Ranking Explanation
-- Sergio Ramos as number one is controversial.  He is a connection between the Galacticos and the 2014 to 2018 team that won four Champions' League titles.  In 2014, he saved Real Madrid at the brink of defeat against Atletico Madrid by scoring a last minute goal.  Then, he captained the team to win three straight titles.  
-- 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. His first spell as a centerback was alarming.  During the 2010-2011 season, he moved back to the centerback position, where he became a legend with the club.  I probably placed him as the 5th on Real Madrid's greatest rightback blog if I considered him, but I decided not to rank him there.  He also won a World Cup with Spain as a rightback. 
Jose Santamaria (Uruguay) had been the usual selection as the greatest central defender for Real Madrid.  His legendary status came from playing with Alfredo Di Stefano's team.
-- Fernando Hierro scored over 100 goals for the club, but he often played as a midfielder.  He was also the regular penalty kicker.  
-- After the departure of Hierro in 2003, Real Madrid went through a dark age of central defenders.  Many players failed over here.  Francisco Pavón was considered to be his first replacement.  Walter Samuel did not play well.  His style did not fit La Liga.  He left only after a single season.  Christoph Metzelder and Jonathan Woodgate had lengthy injury records.
-- Woodgate spent a season out injured before he made his debut in September, 2005 in a league match against Athletic Bilbao. The game did not go well for him, as he scored an own goal and was later sent off for a second bookable offence.  It was one of the worst debut of professional footballer in Real Madrid.
-- In his first tenure in the early 2000s,  Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez practiced a policy that was redubbed as "Zidanes y Pavones", with the name deriving from Zidane and Francisco Pavón. The idea was to sign one major superstar per year, and promote youth players sporadically. Pavon played well in the 2002-2003 season while Hierro was injured, but he failed to live up to expectations after Hierro left in the summer of 2003.  
-- Pepe joined the club in 2009.  He was probably the most underrated defender in Europe.  At one point, he was benched by Jose Mourinho because of the emerge of Raphaël Varane, but he quickly regained his position under Carlo Ancelotti.  
-- Manuel Sanchis Hontiyuelo spent his entire career with Real Madrid and played over 700 matches.  I ranked 5th his father Real Madrid's greatest leftbacks.
-- Felix Quesada's position was probably central defence.  The tactics and formation back were different.
-- Pedro De Felipe belonged to the ‘Yeyé’ team, a generation of footballers who helped Real Madrid to dominate the Spanish football and won the 1966 European Cup. He also had the difficult task of replacing Jose Santamaria (Uruguay).
-- Goyo Benito also belonged to yeyé team.
-- Raphaël Varane spent 10 seasons with Real Madrid.  He won many titles with the club.  He was somehow underrated by many Madridistas.  He started his career strongly.  As a teenager, he outpaced Lionel Messi in a game that made him the talk of European football.  However, he later fell behind Pepe in the pecking order.  Nevertheless, he was very decorated over here.  He was a member of the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2017–18.  The other candidates cannot match his accomplishments, and the length of his career here is also long enough.
-- I could not decide between Joaquín Oliva and Raphaël Varane.
-- Iván Helguera played in an era when Real Madrid was infamous for their central defenders.  He was mistake prone.  Raul Bravo also played around the same time.
-- Maceda's career was cut short because of injuries.  He never settled down.
-- Nacho served mainly as a backup to Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Raphaël Varane.  Raúl Albiol also had similar roles.  They were great servants to the club.
-- Fabio Cannavaro won Ballon d'or while he was a member of the team, but he won the award because of his performance with Italy in the 2006 World Cup Finals.    His first two seasons in Madrid were solid, but he struggled in his last.  I seriously considered giving him the 10th spot over Raphaël Varane.
-- Aitor Karanka's career here was cut short due to pericarditis (heart ailment).  He was better known as Jose Mourinho's assistant coach between 2010 and 2013.
-- People forgot that Oscar Ruggeri actually played for Real Madrid. With Logroñés, he won the best foreign player in La Liga for the season 1988-1989 before he joined Real Madrid in the summer of 1989.  He spent only a season here.  The newly appointed manager John Toshack sold him when he joined the club. 
-- Ricardo Carvalho spent three seasons here, but he did not play much in his last two seasons.  He was mainly out injured.