Before Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Real Madrid in 2009, the number 7 shirt had already been adorned by some of the most iconic players in the club’s rich history. From legends who guided the team to European success to revered figures who left an indelible mark on the Santiago Bernabeu faithful, let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the players who donned Real Madrid’s number 7 before Ronaldo.
1. Amancio Amaro (1962-1976):
One of the earliest superstars to wear the number 7 jersey for Real Madrid was Amancio Amaro. Known for his dazzling dribbling skills and precise crosses, Amancio was a key figure in the club’s success during the 1960s and early 1970s. He won the European Cup three times with Real Madrid and played a pivotal role in their attacking line alongside the likes of Ferenc Puskás and Francisco Gento.
2. Juanito (1977-1987):
Juanito is arguably one of the most beloved figures in Real Madrid’s history. A true fan favorite, he epitomized the values of the club with his tenacity, work rate, and unyielding spirit. Juanito’s incredible ability to score important goals in big games made him a crucial player for Real Madrid during his decade at the club. Unfortunately, his career was tragically cut short in a car accident in 1992, but his legacy as a warrior and leader lives on.
3. Emilio Butragueño (1984-1995):
Known as “El Buitre” (The Vulture), Emilio Butragueño was a lethal striker who terrorized defenses in Spain and Europe. His partnership with Hugo Sanchez formed one of the deadliest attacking duos in Real Madrid’s history. Butragueño’s elegant style of play, quickness, and clinical finishing made him a feared opponent. He won numerous domestic and international titles, including six La Liga titles and two UEFA Cups, during his tenure at the club.
4. Predrag Mijatović (1996-1999):
Predrag Mijatović, a Serbian forward, arrived at Real Madrid after a successful spell with Valencia. He was instrumental in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League triumph in 1998, scoring the winning goal in the final against Juventus. Mijatović’s technical skills, intelligent movement, and knack for scoring crucial goals endeared him to the Madridistas.
5. Raul Gonzalez (1994-2010):
Raul Gonzalez Blanco, simply known as Raul, is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to have donned the number 7 shirt for Real Madrid. A true club legend, Raul spent 16 seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer with 323 goals. He won six La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League trophies during his illustrious career. Raul’s leadership, loyalty, and remarkable goal-scoring ability made him a revered figure among Real Madrid fans.
While Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid will forever be etched in the club’s history, it is important to pay homage to the iconic players who donned the number 7 before him. These legends left an indelible mark on the Santiago Bernabeu and helped shape the club’s illustrious legacy. Their contributions serve as a reminder of the rich lineage of talent and success associated with Real Madrid’s number 7 shirt.