Real Madrid Team of the Decade: Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema reunite

Bale/Ronaldo/Benzema split
With 2020 approaching, Goal has decided to pick out the best players to have lined up for Los Blancos over the past 10 years

  1. GK: Iker Casillas

    GK: Iker Casillas

    A Real Madrid icon, Iker Casillas gave the club incredible consistency between the sticks for nearly two decades. 

    His final five years at Real at the beginning of the decade may have been interrupted by injury and a spat with Jose Mourinho, but the Spaniard's skill still managed to shine through. 

    Casillas was crowned La Liga's best goalkeeper in 2012 and is considered one of Los Blancos' greatest ever servants.

  2. RB: Dani Carvajal

    RB: Dani Carvajal

    A Real Madrid youth product, Dani Carvajal was allowed to leave in 2012 for Bayer Leverkusen.

    Less than a year later and he was back at the Bernabeu, with the Blancos exercising their buy-back option after realising he was too good to let go.

    Since returning, Carvajal has become a key part of the Madrid side and has been twice named in the Champions League team of the season.

  3. CB: Sergio Ramos
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    CB: Sergio Ramos

    Over the past decade, if Real Madrid have ever needed rescuing, more often than not it's been Sergio Ramos that's stepped up.

    The veteran defender is not only ruthless at the back, but surprisingly clinical in attack.

    Ramos' ability in front of goal has regularly proven crucial for Los Blancos, with his injury-time equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final one of his most memorable strikes. 

    In defence, he has become infamous for poor discipline and is the most carded player in La Liga history, but those 'dark arts' have also often been decisive for his side.

  4. CB: Raphael Varane
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    CB: Raphael Varane

    Described as the best defender in the world by Jose Mourinho in 2014, Raphael Varane has become a rock at the back for Real Madrid.

    Showing maturity well beyond his years since signing for the club in 2011, the Frenchman boasts the speed and strength few centre-backs can match. 

    When fit, Varane is one of the first names on Real's team sheet and rarely puts in a bad performance. 


  5. LB: Marcelo
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    LB: Marcelo

    Described by Diego Maradona as the third best player in La Liga behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in 2011, Marcelo has been a constant force for Real Madrid down the left flank over the past decade. 

    Boasting blistering speed and real skill on the ball, the Brazilian is an asset in defence and attack. 

    Since joining Los Blancos, Marcelo has scored 36 goals, stopped many more with last-ditch challenges and is closing in on 500 appearances. 

  6. CM: Luka Modric
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    CM: Luka Modric

    Midfielders don't come much more complete or classy than Luka Modric.

    Since arriving at Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2012, the Croatia international has twice been named La Liga's best midfielder and few would argue he doesn't deserve a place in this side. 

    With his unbelievable work-rate, precise passing and propensity for scoring long-range stunners, Modric is the type of player any manager would dream of having in their team. 

  7. CM: Xabi Alonso
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    CM: Xabi Alonso

    "One of the best midfielders I've ever seen in my life."

    That's how Pep Guardiola described Xabi Alonso in 2017 and the former Liverpool ace showed why the Manchester City boss was such a fan during his five seasons at Real Madrid.

    Voted La Liga's best midfielder in the 2011-12 season, Alonso was an invaluable anchor for Los Blancos during his time at the club, combining creativity and consistency with stunning regularity. 

  8. CM: Toni Kroos
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    CM: Toni Kroos

    A midfield maestro that often flies under the radar, but Toni Kroos played a massive part in putting Real Madrid up in lights during their extraordinary Champions League run.

    After starring at the 2014 World Cup with Germany, Los Blancos signed Kroos for just €25 million, and he has gone on to more than prove his worth both domestically and in Europe. 

    Named in UEFA's Team of the Year three times this decade and the La Liga side once, Kroos' flexibility and intelligence in midfield has been a massive asset for Real. 

  9. FW: Gareth Bale

    FW: Gareth Bale

    While his Real Madrid career looks destined to end on a sour note, Gareth Bale's spell at the club has been synonymous with success.

    Since joining from Tottenham, the Welshman has helped the club claim four Champions League titles, with his stunning overhead strike in the 2018 final a moment no Real fan will soon forget. 

    Bale's general output in front of goal has been consistently strong too, with the 30-year-old striking 104 times across 238 appearances. 

  10. FW: Karim Benzema

    FW: Karim Benzema

    Real Madrid's unsung hero in some ways, Karim Benzema has been the key vocal point of Los Blancos' frontline for the past decade. 

    Aside from scoring goals, the Frenchman has often done the hard work that allowed those around him to shine. 

    While his 228 goals for Real to date is impressive in itself, Benzema's 126 assists should also underline the invaluable and often selfless role he plays.

  11. FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

    FW: Cristiano Ronaldo

    Winner of four Ballons d'Or and three Golden Shoes while at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo reached unprecedented levels of goalscoring excellence at the Bernabeu.

    His presence was undoubtedly key to Real's extraordinary Champions League success and Los Blancos have unsurprisingly struggled in his absence. 

    The club's all-time top scorer with 450 goals, Ronaldo is not only a star of the past decade but one of the greatest players in the club's long and illustrious history.

  12. Honourable mentions

    Honourable mentions

    Casillas' replacement in goals, Keylor Navas, did exceptionally well in the Champions League for Real Madrid.

    In midfield, the likes of Kaka, Isco, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria were all in the running for selection but didn't have the same overall impact as those named ahead of them. 

    Further up the field, Gonzalo Higuain was also fairly reliable in front of goal for Los Blancos at the start of the decade, netting 22 league goals in the 2011-12 season, but was unable to usurp Benzema.

  13. How they line up

    How they line up

    So, there you have it, our Real Madrid Team of the Decade!

    But what do you make of our selections? Are there any glaring omissions, in your opinion?

    Post your thoughts – and your own line-ups – in the comments...