Is Sergio Ramos the Best La Liga Defender of All Time?

After swapping Sevilla for Real Madrid in 2005, Sergio Ramos has never looked back. At the time, Los Blancos paid £23 million for the six-foot defender, and few can argue that that hasn’t proved to be a bargain. To date, the Camas-born defender has played 507 games in La Liga for both Madrid and Sevilla combined. But where does Ramos rank among the all-time great defenders of the Spanish top-flight? Well, let’s consider if he’s the best. 

Boasting an Impressive Record 

Concerning appearances, Ramos is closing in on a place in the all-time La Liga top-ten rankings. According to Silly Season, Andoni Zubizarreta tops the list with 622 matches played between 1981 and 1998. In the Spaniard’s position, Fernando Hierro, who played for Los Blancos and Real Valladolid, made 497 appearances. Although a defender, there’s far more to the 34-year-old’s game than keeping clean sheets. Across his first 507 games in the Spanish division, he’s found the back of the net 74 times and provided 31 assists. Although it’s not all about goals, by comparison, Hierro scored 105 goals and created a further nine. 

Regarding the Spaniard’s trophy haul, few can match his achievements. Domestically, Ramos has four La Liga titles and two Spanish Cups to his name. The full extent of his triumphs, however, extend beyond the Spanish top-flight. Internationally, Madrid’s captain has twice won the European Championships and clinched the World Cup in 2021. Moreover, after his fourth Champions League title in 2017-18, Ramos become the first player in the sport’s history to captain a side to three consecutive successes within the competition. 

Numerous Contenders for the Crown 

While nothing will diminish Ramos achievements in La Liga, other players also have a case regarding the league’s best all-time defender. From a trophy standpoint, Hierro won the same number of Spanish titles as Ramos, but one less Spanish Cup. Furthermore, the battle between Madrid and Barcelona also exists within this discussion. With six La Liga triumphs, two Spanish Cups and six Spanish Super Cups to his name, Carles Puyol undoubtedly rivals Ramos. 

Additionally, it’s impossible to overlook Ronald Koeman. Although the Dutch defender only played 192 games for Barcelona, he somewhat changed football’s outlook. During his six-year spell at the Nou Camp during the late-80s and early-90s, the Zaandam-born sweeper scored 67 goals. As a result of his contributions, he won four consecutive Spanish titles and was named Footballer of the Year in 1987 and 1988. Now, the 57-year-old manages Barcelona, and, as of March 4th, his side are 10/3 in La Liga betting to win the title in 2020-21. 

Longevity Over Impact? 

As good as Ramos has been, he hasn’t revolutionised football in the manner as Koeman. However, there’s no reason to say that’s the most decisive factor in this discussion. From a playing standpoint, Koeman had more in his locker. That said, Ramos will hang up his boots with more trophies to his name. Because of that, it’s not unreasonable to say that the 34-year-old is the best La Liga defender of all time.

Have Real Madrid Ran out of Money?

The Galacticos.

The Kings.

Europe’s Big Spenders.

Whatever nickname has been applied to Real Madrid in previous decades has been based on the very simple and true fact that they have, regardless of their league position or Champions League success, been able to attract and afford the best players in the world. Every time a player started to breakthrough in another league, or made a name for themselves at an international tournament, word would start to link them to Real Madrid. The money seemed to be endless, the possibilities seemed to be unlimited. But as we end 2020, we have to approach a very serious question….Have Real Madrid ran out of money? Are the big, free spending Galacticos unable to shell out the money needed to keep them in the elite?

Even at the height of their success earlier this decade, there were rumours circulating that huge debts were being hidden or that they were playing US online casinos for real money. The press latched on and rumours swirled but the money kept being spent. The euros kept being spent and the trophies kept coming. Figures of  541 million euros of debt were quoted as way back as 2013.

Not only have player expenses risen, but an aging stadium has required multi million round renovations. Massive compensation paid to a revolving door of managers and an income hit by Covid-19 is all creating something of a perfect storm of financial woe.

When Real Madrid sold Hakimi to Inter Milan Zinedine Zidane openly said there were financial considerations involved in the sale. When would you ever have heard such a quip from a Real Madrid manager in previous decades? The answer is never….

The way Real Madrid is operated, some would argue, by having no set owner, means they have nothing to fall back on when financial situations emerge. In many ways Real Madrid operate in the way that many feel “should” happen in football, but when competing on domestic and European fronts against clubs with Billionaire owners, life cane be hard on the financial front like ace pokies online. Running this system has meant a loss for many years, and the glitz and glamour can only go some way to hiding the bank balance slipping more and more into the red!

Back to the Stadium development. We are talking over 500 million Euros and many fans are asking for what? For a club piled in debt, saddling more for a redevelopment that is not adding a single extra seat and adding a hotel and retail plaza that a) doesn’t appear in demand and b) seems ill fitting in the uncertain word of Covid.

And if you are a Real Madrid fan, even if the debt isn’t bad enough, I suggest you don’t look at the figures of interest that are due to be paid. You may shed a tear. Without changes to Spanish football law, and without the injection of large amounts of Cash, anyone with a sensible head can see that Real Madrid cannot continue at the current rate, cuts will have to be made and the only short term solution is on the playing front. Getting rid of players, easing recruitment and not paying crazy wages is not in the tradition of Real Madrd but it may well soon have to be! But the money in football has slipped due to Covid….the future in all fronts remains unknown. Real Madrid are heading for disaster and there seems to be no way out.

World’s Top 4 Richest Football Clubs

Football, the king of the sports, has witnessed quite a fortune during its long reign. Staggering amounts of money are passed between clubs and players alike, as transfers are a common phenomenon in this sport. Along with other income from the live matches, the TV broadcasts and the ad campaigns, these clubs hold a world’s treasures in their footballers’ leg techniques.

Still, there are distinctions among teams as total revenues are counted at the end of each season. The Deloitte Football Money League has published their annual ranking according to the three primary income criteria mentioned above. Results may be surprising for sports fans, but they are definitely shocking for normal, middle class people.

#4 – Bayern Munich (€592.0m)

Going one place upwards, the German team from Munich made it to the fourth place on the Deloitte charts. This is mainly due to their 25% rise in annual income as opposed to last year.

Due to recognitions about their professionalism in Germany, this team has managed to win yet another Bundesliga title and DFB-Pokal Final. They even reached the semi-finals in the Champions League, facing some of today’s best football players.

#3 – Real Madrid (€620.1m)

After an 11-year streak of holding the top position on the aforementioned Deloitte ranking, this team fell to third position. They were ultimately toppled by their well-known rivals, but a tenth fraction of a million Euros kept them from keeping a strong second position.

In any case, the 11-year streak is still on when speaking about the European Cup. In all regards, a positive season for ‘Los Blancos’ still got them a positive revenue gain of 7%, enabling them to finally break through the €600m limit which remained unreachable up until now.

#2 – Barcelona (€620.2m)

Holding the firm second position on the Deloitte Football Money League, the Spanish team has kept its nation proud. Along with some of the world’s most loved football players, they maintain an impeccable public image.

What kept them in second place was their 11% revenue growth, in part due to their frequent advertisement appearances and improved attendance to their games. However, the main reason for such progress had been noted due to Bruce Springsteen’s two concerts held at their stadium Nou Camp. As part of ‘The River Tour’, the singer brought the club a staggering €8m in just two nights.

#1 – Manchester United (€689m)

With a strong return to the Champions League, the football team Manchester United finally climbed the top position on the list of wealthiest football clubs. Being used to the spotlight, they barely handled the 11-year long dominance of their Spanish rivals Real Madrid.

In any case, a strong ad campaign benefited The Red Devils just like any other football club, especially their deal with the brand Adidas.

After this preview, all we can do is use our instant sports money from the many betting bonuses and try to topple their record. Careful analyses and a little luck might get you a long way, who knows.

Atletico out for revenge in Champions League Madrid reunion


Atletico out for revenge in Champions League Madrid reunion In a repeat of the Champions League 2014, Real Madrid will face city neighbours Atletico in this year’s final.

Any game of this magnitude is guaranteed to offer up a vast range of betting offers and any nuggets of information can be useful when it comes to deciding how to use any that might come your way in the run- up to the big game on Saturday 28th May.

In addition to checking out any pre-match previews you can lay your hands on for football tips as to team news, injuries, tactics and statistics, a brush-up on some of the FootieQuiz trivia questions on the Champions League, La Liga and the two finalists themselves could also provide some invaluable insight and background.

Two years ago Real Madrid secured their Champions League decima with an extra-time 4-1 victory in the Estadio da Luz, Lisbon.  That scoreline really didn’t do Atletico Madrid justice, with Sergio Ramos only equalizing for Real deep into stoppage-time before three goals in the second period of extra-time put a hugely flattering gloss on the final score for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Atletico have been making amends ever since.  The teams have met on 10 occasions in all competitions since the 2014 final, with Los Blancos winning just once and, for all their attacking prowess, the have mustered just six goals in those games.  By contrast, the Rojiblancos have won five of those matches and certainly won’t go into this year’s final suffering from any inferiority complex.

Nobody could argue that Atleti don’t deserve their place in Milan either, with them having accounted for the two pre-tournament favourites – Barcelona and Bayern Munich – at the quarter and semi-final stage respectively.  Indeed, should they see off their city neighbours, there would be a definite argument for Atletico having overcome the most testing draw in history to secure the top prize in club football.

Then there’s the Atletico defensive record.  The one thing that you can guarantee from a Diego Simeone team is that they will be organised and difficult to breakdown.  This season’s 35 clean sheets in 56 matches in all competitions is a remarkable achievement.  It’s also worth noting that nobody has beaten Atleti by more than a one-goal margin since Celta Vigo on 15th February 2015.  The 2016 Champions League final is destined to be tight.

There are a variety of ways to stay onside with Atletico for the final. For 90-minute bets, there’s Atletico +0.25 on the Asian Handicap (in the event of a draw, half your stake would be matched at the winning price and the remaining half would be returned to your account) at 5/6 with Bet365,  the 2/1 with William Hill on Real Madrid not to score or the 0-0 correct score is 7/1 with BetVictor.  Taking any potential extra- time and penalties into account, Atletico Madrid to win the trophy is 11/10 (2.10) with Paddy Power.


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Footie Quiz Club Profile: Real Madrid

Real Madrid Badge

Real Madrid Badge

Glory Years

Home of the “Galacticos” Real Madrid are one of the richest and most popular club sides in the world and have been a dominant force in European football for the last fifty years. Based in the famous Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid are ranked as the most valuable sports club in the world. This is based on years of success on the pitch, countless silverware and a wide range of superstar players donning the famous white shirts. Success domestically includes being one of only three teams never to have been relegated from the top flight of Spanish football and have won an astounding 79 domestic titles. The club began its rise to dominance in the 1950s winning the La Liga on 4 occasions with a team comprising of footballing greats such as Di Stefano and Ferenc  Puskas led Los Blancos to 4 league titles and 5 successive European Cups.

This success continued through the 1960s when Madrid won a staggering 8 La Liga titles and a sixth European Cup, and into the 1970s, when they claimed 5 more La Liga titles.

A brief dry spell at the start of the 1980s ended in 1986 when Madrid claimed the first of five back to back championships, but despite sustained domestic success the European Cup continued to elude Madrid until 1998 under Jupp Heynckes. An eighth and ninth Champions League title followed in 2000 and 2002, as a team containing superstars such as Raul and Roberto Carlos proved irrepressible domestically and in Europe

Since their first league win in 1932, Real Madrid have won a staggering 32 League Titles and consistently find themselves in the Top 3. Coupled with 19 Copa del Rey titles Real Madrid have been a domestic force in every season in which they have played.

Without question Real Madrid are the most successful club in European competitions. Each season Madrid continue to spend big to maintain their success and with the likes of Cristinao Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale arriving in recent seasons to add strength to the team, their success looks set to continue.

Players on Footie Quiz

Zinedine Zidane


David Beckham

Michael Owen

Nicolas Anelka

Ruud van Nistlerooy

Cristiano Ronaldo

Footie Quiz Stats

At the time of writing there are currently 163 fans registered on the site making them the most popular non UK based supported club amongst our members.

There are currently 57 questions about the Los Blancos in our data bank.

Gareth Bale: Footballer, Superstar or Both?

Unless you were holidaying on the moon during this summer’s football transfer window, you’re sure to have heard about the world record transfer of Tottenham Hotspur’s midfielder Gareth Bale to Spanish giants Real Madrid. The transfer saga of the year finally ended on the second-to-last day of the transfer window with a move reportedly worth over £85m. The twenty-four year-old Welshman’s career over the last year has been impressive, netting 21 goals in the Premier League alone for the North London club in the 2012/13 season, double what he produced the season before. However, does one terrific season justify Madrid’s interest and considerable price tag? Will Gareth Bale be a success at Real Madrid?


Originally a left-back, Bale began his career in the Championship at Southampton and scored his first goal at the age of 17 with a net-rattling free-kick against Derby to bring the club level against their rivals. However, he went on to score just four more goals in 40 appearances for his club before the Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur swooped in and signed the teenager, who was later moved to a more attacking role on the wing in 2009, for £7m on a four-year contact.

Expected to flourish at his new club after a promising start where he scored goals against Fulham and North London rivals Arsenal, Bale unfortunately picked up an injury on his right foot against Birmingham City, which restricted him to just 12 appearances in the 2007/08 season. Then, after an unremarkable campaign in 2008/09, he had to have knee surgery after an MRI scan detected a meniscal tear in his left knee. This common injury among athletes happens when the meniscus, the cartilage between the shin and thigh bones, is moved or twisted in a certain way and doesn’t always require surgery, except in cases where the surgeon is positive the patient will benefit. With Bale under the guidance of expert physicians and reaping the benefits of the latest in medical advances, his recovery has been impressive. Repairing the tear also reduces the chances of the injury happening again, a crucial aspect for any athlete, especially in a contact sport such as football. Bale was out for two months, finally returning on 26th September in Tottenham’s 5-0 win against Burnley.

Despite these set-backs, the rest of Bale’s 2009/10 campaign was promising and in 2010/11 he hit the ground running, catching the eye of pundits and players worldwide, scoring 7 goals and assisting once in the Premier League and picking up the PFA Player’s Player of the Year award. However, most notably was his performance against European Champions Inter Milan where he scored a hat-trick at the San Siro. His goal tally proceeded to climb higher and higher in the following seasons, collecting both the PFA Young Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year for a second time, before completing his ‘dream move’ to nine time European Cup winners Real Madrid.

The Story so Far

Bale has appeared twice for his new club, scoring a tap-in, masterfully assisted by right-back Daniel Carvajal against Villareal, and assisting the second most expensive signing of all time, £80m Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal in Madrid’s 6-1 victory over Galatasaray in the UEFA Champion’s League group stage. The reception of the pacey wide-man from Real Madrid fans has been mixed; although the majority seem delighted with the club’s new signing, many are confused and frustrated at the colossal price tag, resulting in the sale of their midfield and assist machine, Mesut Ozil, to Tottenham’s main rivals, Arsenal, to fund the transfer.

The Question of Bale’s Predicted Success

It’s entirely possible that Gareth Bale could become one of the greats. For his national team, he has a moderate 39 caps and 11 goals, but in his club career he has scored 49 in 187 games. He can create goal-scoring chances out of nothing, was Spur’s best player in the 2012/13 Campaign, and can make scoring from a free-kick look easy.

However, if you compare Bale’s statistics with other players of his age, he doesn’t seem quite so impressive. For example, Theo Walcott of Arsenal started at Southampton at the same time and age as Bale; transferring to the Gunners in 2006 for a fee of reportedly around £5m. Since he joined the North London team, he’s scored 40 goals in 185 appearances (compared to Bale’s 44 in 147 for Spurs). Last season, the Englishman’s assist rate was almost twice that of the ex-Tottenham player, despite scoring 7 less goals, making Walcott statistically around the same mark as his competitor – a fact largely overlooked by the press – and is in fact valued at around £25m, a staggering £60m less than Bale.

Robin Van Persie, involved in the transfer saga of last summer’s transfer window after scoring 30 goals for Arsenal in the 2011/12 season, was famously bought from Arsene Wenger’s club by Manchester United for £24m. Even taking age into account, as Van Persie was 29 with one year left on his contract at Arsenal, is Gareth Bale worth £61m more than one of the best strikers in the world?

The answer is: probably not. Will Bale live up to this monumental hype that surrounds him and become a Real Madrid superstar? Perhaps. Or perhaps he’ll just be what he has been for his career so far: really good.