The Spanish top tier - the Liga BBVA or La Liga - produces some of the best players in the world - for example, Lionel Messi - but scouts are also responsible for bringing in world-class talent. Here are five of the most memorable to join La Liga.
Who else but Cristiano Ronaldo can be first on this list? A world-record £80 million transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 meant that all eyes were on the 24-year-old. He didn’t, however, disappoint as nine seasons later and Ronaldo had helped Real to 15 major honours including four Champions League successes.
The Portuguese international’s exploits saw him leapfrog Madrid great Raul as the club’s record goalscorer with a remarkable 451 goals in 438 appearances. With Real, Ronaldo won four Ballon d’Ors to take his tally to five and became the highest Champions League scorer of all-time.
Ronaldo left for Juventus in 2018, and is currently 7/1 to be Serie A top goal scorer which may well be worth a flutter, and look out for any relevant free sports bet no deposit offers.
Luka Modric had hit the heights with Tottenham in the Premier League before Spanish giants Real Madrid came calling in 2012. 14 goals in 212 appearances later and Modric has established himself as one of the standout midfielders in the world, ending Ronaldo’s and Messi’s Ballon d’Or run in 2018 and winning 14 major honors - including four Champions League titles - in his time in the Spanish capital.
Voted the Croatian Player of the Year seven times and taking home the Golden Ball for his performances in the 2018 World Cup as the Vatreni qualified for the final, Modric is a superbly talented deep-lying playmaker and has been pivotal to Real’s success.
The highly-controversial figure left Liverpool for Barcelona in 2014 and has not looked back since. Having formed a telepathic relationship with Messi and Neymar, Suarez helped fire Barca to the treble in his first season. Since his move, the Uruguayan has netted 141 times in 179 appearances and has scooped up nine trophies at his time at the Catalan club so far.
Four league titles in his five seasons at Barcelona is nothing to be sniffed at and the 32-year-old continues to impress with his goal-scoring prowess.
Brazilian forward Neymar joined Barcelona in 2013 following a move from boyhood club Santos. Four seasons at the Catalans club later and Neymar had 68 goals in 123 appearances, helping Barca to two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey, one Supercopa Espana, one Champions League success and one Club World Club.
In controversial circumstances, Neymar left Barcelona to join PSG in 2017 for $222 million, making him the most expensive player in the world.
Though Gareth Bale’s current status at Real Madrid is less than impressive, the Welshman has been a vital component of Real’s success in the past decade. Bale announced himself to the Spanish football crowd in his first season in 2013, helping Real win the Copa del Rey and Champions League, scoring goals in both finals and 22 in the campaign as a whole.
A La Liga title and three further Champions League successes have followed, but despite contributing heavily to six major trophies, Bale has often found himself the target of undeserved abuse from Real fans and head coach Zinedine Zidane. Even a non-bettor will agree that Bale’s future career lies away from the Bernabeu.Back to the National Teams Newsfeed