There is no doubting Real Madrid’s status as one of the biggest football clubs in the world and one of the most successful sides in the history of football. The Spanish giants have attracted numerous star players over the years, helping them to win countless trophies both domestically and in Europe. One of the reasons for their pioneering success is their constant ability to find the net and outscore their opponents. This thirst for goals has seen many strikers etch their name into folklore at the Bernabeu and create memories that cross generations. But who has been the deadliest strikers for Los Merengues? We’ve put together a list of the six best Real Madrid strikers ever to appear for the club.
Who are the best Real Madrid strikers ever?
- Ferenc Puskas – 242 goals in 262 games
With many of his records still standing some 50 years after his career finished, it’s not surprising to see Ferenc Puskas near the top of a list of the greatest Real Madrid forwards. The Hungarian pioneer was never far from scoring goals during his 8-year stint in Spain from 1958-1966 where he averaged at least 20 goals a season for Real. His scoring average of 0.92 goals/game is still the second highest in the club’s history and he still is their joint record scorer in the Copa Del Rey with 49 goals in 41 games. A timeless legend who is still fondly remembered by Madrid and the wider football community to this day.
- Karim Benzema – 255 goals in 526 appearances
Generally seen as Mr. Consistent by teammates and fans alike, Karim Benzema has quietly become one of Real’s biggest icons of the current day. Whilst not as flashy or charismatic as the likes of Ronaldo or Gareth Bale, the Frenchman has let his goals do the talking season after season. Benzema has spent over a decade at the Bernabeu now and has been at the heart of every success that Real has earnt throughout the 2010s despite not always gaining the headlines. Having scored 20 goals or more in consecutive seasons for the first time in 2018/19 and 2019/20, it’s not unfair to say that Benzema could yet enjoy plenty more success with Los Merengues.
- Santillana – 290 goals in 645 appearances
Very much a one club man, Santillana’s presence at Real was as common as football itself throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The Spaniard spent 17 years at the Bernabeu having joined from Racing Santander in 1971 and stayed there all the way until retirement in 1988. Whilst he may not be the first name that springs to mind when it comes to best Real Madrid strikers ever, he won 9 La Liga titles during his time with Real and remains their joint highest scorer in the Copa Del Rey with 49 goals in 84 games. A dedicated professional through and through, Santillana has shown that legacies can be created through loyalty no matter what decade you play in.
- Alfredo Di Stefano – 308 goals in 394 games
One of the first globally iconic predators of the game, Alfredo Di Stefano put fear into defenders’ every time he stepped on the pitch. The Argentine-born striker spent 11 years in Madrid from 1953-1964 and destroyed teams with the perfect mix of pace and power. He was a player who could always be relied upon in the big occasions and he played a vital part in Real’s 5 European Cup triumphs during his time with Los Merengues. His feat of scoring in 5 European Cup finals – both in general and consecutive – is a record that still stands to this very day. His skills with Real saw him earn the Super Ballon D’Or award in 1998 whilst he was granted honorary presidency of Real in 2000 which he held until his death in 2014. A true club legend – through and through
- Raul – 323 goals in 741 games
For much of the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was only one name that buzzed on everyone’s lips when kick off started and that was Raul. The Spanish legend was the ultimate predator who used his pace and finishing ability to deadly effect for 16 years at the Bernabeu. Between 1999 and 2003, Raul averaged 30 goals a season for Real across all competition and his 741 appearances makes him the all-time record holder for most games played. When he left Real for Schalke in 2010, Raul had also earned the moniker of all-time top goalscorer in European competitions cementing his reputation as one of the very best to don a shirt for Los Galaticos. However, those records only lasted a short while thanks to the only man above him on this list.
- Cristiano Ronaldo – 450 goals in 438 appearances
It’s very hard to see how anyone will eclipse the achievements set by Cristiano Ronaldo at Real as the Portuguese attacker holds records galore with Los Merengues and he is undoubtedly top of our list of the best Real Madrid strikers ever on merit. Not only is he their outright all-time goalscorer, he also is their top scorer in both La Liga and Europe. His 61 goals in the 2014/15 season is an all-time record for La Liga and the 101/134 goals in the Champions League has played a big part in him earning the all-time scoring record in Europe’s premier club competition. He is also the only player to have an average goal to game scoring ratio above one, averaging 1.04 for Real during his 9-year run in Spain. Arguably the greatest player of all time, it’s hard to see anybody knocking Ronaldo off the top of this list.
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