Ranking Real Madrid’s top 5 defensive midfielders of all-time – The Real Champs

MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 29: Casemiro of Real Madrid applauds supporters during celebrations at estadio Santiago Bernabeu after winning the UEFA Champions League Final on May 29, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid’s splendour has been in lockstep with its elevation ever since the club’s founding in early 1900s. Many players have come and gone, and they have all contributed incalculably to getting this renowned club to where it is now. Many of them achieved their personal best while playing for the Spanish club.
When you look back at Real Madrid’s history, you can’t help but be in awe of the grandeur and success that have resulted through decades of hardship and the mindset that is still deeply ingrained in the club’s core ideology.
In a similar period of reflection, what struck us was the small but remarkable number of defensive midfielders who have served their time at Real Madrid and have fought tirelessly to defend and always been committed to achieving the highest accolades, selflessly at times.
In this article, we will look at the top 5 defensive midfielders who have formerly represented Real Madrid and made a name for themselves, and then rank them in an ascending hierarchy based mostly on the impact the players had throughout their tenure and the accomplishments they had at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Liverpool’s Scottish midfielder David Johnson (up) is tackled by Real Madrid’s midfielder Uli Stielike. (Photo by DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images)
The German midfielder Stielike was one of Real Madrid’s most significant players of his era and is widely recognized for his capacity to play in a variety of positions, including defensive midfielder or positions closely related to that.
It’s fascinating to remember that Stielike was Santiago Bernabeu’s final major signing during his 35-year presidency, and what a successful signing the midfielder turned out to be. When Stielike was on the rise and playing for Real Madrid, it was an age marked by magnificence and swiftly changing football.
The athlete possessed a fierce determination on the field and a commanding, aggressive demeanour that was well complemented by a creative genius. Stielike had all the skills necessary for a great number 6—and much more—including the ability to dribble, defend, and lead.
His skills comprised those of a holding midfielder in an adaptable defensive role. Though the German alternated between creative and defensive responsibilities, he was mostly responsible for clearing up spaces and distributing the ball while holding the opponent in the defensive third and preserving possession from tight spots.
Six major trophies were won by him during his eight years with Real Madrid, where he was a fan favourite and was appreciated for his abilities back in the day. Stielike is easily the club’s fifth finest defensive midfielder in history.

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