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Birthday special: Real Madrid’s greatest all-time XI

| 06.03.2015

Spanish giants Real Madrid are celebrating their 113th birthday!

After a record 32 Spanish league titles and 10 European Cup triumphs, the Galacticos, 3/1 favourites for this season’s Champions league, have cemented themselves in sporting history as one of the greatest football teams in the world.

Following their latest milestone, Coral football experts pick the best ever Madrid starting line-up!

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
An easy decision between the sticks, with Casillas having been Madrid and Spain’s number one since the turn of the century, helping secure three Champions League triumphs with his countless heroic saves.

Watch Casillas make an unbelievable last-ditch save to deny Sevilla in a La Liga clash.

Right back: Sergio Ramos
After making his international debut for Spain as a 19-year-old, Ramos moved to Madrid from Sevilla, and has evolved into a crucial component at the club. The determined defender is vice-captain to Casillas and helped Los Blancos lift their historic 10th European Cup in 2014.

Centre back: Fernando Hierro
With a sublime sense of positioning, Hierro was a sensational defender, lifting three European Cups during 14 years of loyal service to Madrid, while scoring an incredible 127 goals. His partnership with Manuel Sanchis is regarded as one of the greatest ever defensive duos.

Centre back: Manuel Sanchis
Sanchis formed a formidable combination with Hierro, making over 700 appearances and winning an amazing eight league crowns and an outstanding Champions League double.

Left back: Roberto Carlos
The Brazilian is one of the most iconic left backs of all time, playing 527 times for Madrid, and securing four La Liga titles, as well as a Champions League treble. He also shone on the international stage, helping his country to World Cup glory in 2002.

Watch Carlos strike an unstoppable close-range free-kick into the top corner against Real Betis.

Defensive midfield: Claude Makelele
Makelele was a supremely talented player, redefining the definition of a defensive midfielder in his three seasons at Madrid. The Frenchman lifted two Champions League trophies during his time at in the Spanish capital.

Centre midfield: Zinedine Zidane
The fantastic Frenchman oozed class with the ball at his feet, spending five extraordinary years in Madrid. His defining moment came in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkuson, striking a sumptuous volley at Hampden Park, an iconic goal for the ages.

Relive Zidane’s greatest ever moment on that famous night in Glasgow.

Centre midfield: Pirri
The Bernabeu’s legendary dynamic midfielder won 10 Spanish league trophies, and was part of a tantalising team that won the 1966 European Cup.

Right wing: Luis Figo
After making the forbidden switch from Barcelona to Madrid colours during the turn of the millennium, Figo soon won over the capital, capturing two league crowns and Champions League triumph during a fantastic five year Bernabeu career.

Watch Figo slot home a delightful effort against bitter rivals Atletico Madrid.

Left wing: Cristiano Ronaldo
An indescribable modern day superstar. Ronaldo is a two-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner and one of the best goalscorers to have ever played the game. The record-breaking Portugal skipper is continuing to create history with every passing appearance in the famous white of Madrid.

Watch Ronaldo fire in a sublime long-range strike against Osasuna last year.

Striker: Alfredo Di Stefano
Without this legendary marksman, Madrid may not have endured such a sustained run of success. Di Stefano is the man most responsible for the Galacticos’ rise to footballing superiority, inspiring the club to their first five European Cups.

Subs: Fernando Redondo
The former Argentina international made over 160 appearances for the Bernabeu outfit during six seasons, lifting two Champions League trophies in that time.

Widely regarded as the best striker ever, Ronaldo was simply a great goalscorer, and earned Madrid a 2003 Spanish league crown.

The legendary Spanish striker became a club icon and Madrid’s record appearance holder, guiding his side to an incredible three Champions League wins and six league titles.

David Beckham
Making over 100 appearances, Beckham helped the Galacticos win the 2007 La Liga title, before jetting off to America to join LA Galaxy.

Ferenc Puskas
Arriving as an overweight forward, Puskas soon won over the Madrid faithful with his famously ferocious left foot, and is still the only player to ever score a hat-trick in two European Cup finals.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.