Player Features

The best German players to play for Real Madrid


Real Madrid have welcomed world-class players from across the globe. Real Madrid are most notorious for their production of Spanish talent, obviously. However, they have also seen some exceptional German players come through their ranks, most notably via the transfer market route.

Germany has produced some of the best talent in the history of football. Therefore, it does not come as much of a surprise to see the hefty pedigree which has passed through the Spanish capital. As the biggest club in the history of the sport, Real Madrid have attracted some huge names. Naturally, many of those have come from Germany.

Taking a look through the history archives, here are the 5 best German players to play for Real Madrid…

5. Sami Khedira

Sami Khedira, Real Madrid

Sami Khedira hung up his boots in 2021 after a fruitful career across Europe. However, it was with Real Madrid where he really garnered worldwide acclaim. The midfielder was signed from Stuttgart after four years of developing in their first team. In total, he made 102 Liga appearances for Real Madrid, winning the league title once and the Champions League once.

Classy on the ball, Khedira worked alongside some stellar talent in the Real Madrid setup, forming some great relationships with the likes of Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric.

4. Günter Netzer

Gunter Netzer, former Real Madrid player

Admittedly, Günter Netzer spent his best days in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach. However, he did certainly make an impact when he joined Real Madrid for a period of time towards the end of his career.

The legendary midfielder made 85 Liga appearances for Real Madrid, scoring 8 league goals in the process. He won two Liga titles and two Copa del Reys. He also deserves a special place in this list, as he was the first ever German player to represent Real Madrid.

3. Mesut Özil

Mezut Ozil, Real Madrid

Playing around the same time as Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil more than warranted his place in this prestigious list. Being born and raised in West Germany, Mesut Özil became an established player for the German national team. He was developed by his boyhood club Schalke 04 but he really made a name for himself at Werder Bremen.

As a young player, Mesut Özil was picked up by Real Madrid in 2010. He spent three years at Real Madrid but in many ways, would have lasted longer had it not been for the era he played in. He showed world-class attributes of technical ability and a wide range of passing. In fact, he benefited from playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the Real Madrid attack of the time.

2. Uli Stielike

Uli Stielike, Real Madrid

Ulrich Stielike, commonly known by his nickname Uli, is a Real Madrid legend. Playing as a central midfielder, he was part of the revolutionary German movement of playing as a “sweeper” and as a player, he was of huge benefit to Real Madrid to become early adopters of this midfield craze.

Another player who was signed from Borussia Mönchengladbach, Stielike spent eight seasons with Real Madrid and won three consecutive Liga titles to kickstart his campaign. In total, Stielike left Real Madrid in 1985 with three Liga titles, one UEFA Cup (now Europa League) and two Copa del Reys.

1. Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos, Real Madrid

Without a doubt, the best German player to play for Real Madrid is Toni Kroos. The Real Madrid legend represented the club for a decade between 2014-2024. He retired at the early age of 34 years old but he retired at the peak of his powers. In fact, in his final Real Madrid game, he assisted a goal and won the Champions League.

In total, Toni Kroos left Real Madrid with four Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and five Champions League trophies. He is among the greatest midfielders of all-time.



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