La Liga’s home-grown talent endlessly supplies La Furia Roja with talent worthy of their global reputation. But, fans of Spain’s top tier have always had an intense admiration for their foreign stars. The Brazilian, Dutch and East European contingent of players have dazzled Spanish audiences with their skill. But, few have had the impact of the very famous Argentine footballers who have played in the Spanish top division. According to FootballCoin stats and standards, these are the greatest players to have worn a Spanish club’s jersey.
We begin with, arguably, the most influential player in La Liga’s modern history. Lionel Messi is an FC Barcelona man through and through, having begun his career at La Masia, the famed Catalan youth academy.
Breaking into the first team at 17 years of age, Messi would go on to win every major football tournament at club level. In an intense rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo throughout his career, Messi would also go on surpass the majority of individual records set in La Liga or, for that matter, on an international level.
His impact for the Argentine national team is nearly as important. Messi has earned to date more than 130 selections in the Albiceleste shirt, becoming the nation’s highest goalscorer. The World Cup has eluded him however. Perhaps, this is why, when the curtain will finally be drawn on his career, Messi will remain forever associated with FC Barcelona more than any other sporting organisation.
Mascherano, like his teammate Lionel Messi, is synonymous with all that is good with today’s Argentine football. The midfielder arrived at the Catalan giants at the specific request of manager Pep Guardiola who viewed the player as the missing piece in what was to become one of Barca’s most successful sides.
Mascherano, who is also Argentina’s most capped player, was active for eight years in La Liga. El Jefecito won 5 La Liga trophies, 5 Copa del Rey medals and the UEFA Champions League on 2 occasions. Throughout his eventful Primera Division, Mascherano set a new standard in both centre-back and defensive midfielder positions. For that he earns a place on our list.
Alfredo Di Stéfano
No other player had quite the same impact on the early history of the Primera Division as Alfredo Di Stéfano. Real Madrid’s legendary results during that period were in no small part aided by the contribution of the first football superstar.
However, his addition to the list might be a controversial one for some given the fact that the Argentine born,Di Stéfano represented three national teams throughout his career (Argentina, Colombia, Spain).
For Real Madrid, the forward won the Primera Division on 8 occasions and the European Cup 5 times. He remains one of Los Blancos’ most esteemed figures and a crucial player in establishing the global brand of the Spanish first tier of football.
Aimar’s legacy is one that is intrinsically linked with one of Valencia’s best ever periods. It was in this period (2001-2004) that Valencia managed to reach the Champions League final and win the UEFA Cup. It was also during this period that the Bats once again became of Spain’s most respected sides.
Pablo Aimar was an inspiration for the young Lionel Messi and is regarded as a club legend. All in all, the attacking midfielder will always successfully stepping into the boots of another famous Argentine, arguably the Bats’ most famous player up to that point. But, more of him in the next section.
The original Argentinian superstar, Kempes is the man most often remembered for helping his nation win the 1978 World Cup on home ground. Because of his profile, Kempes also became one of La Liga’s first foreign stars.
From 1976 to 1981, Mario Kempes represented Valencia managing 95 goals in 142 appearances. Arguably, one of the famous football players on the planet, the striker’s homesickness had him return to River Plate for one season.
But, the call of the Primera Division proved too strong. Kempes was once again a Valencia player between 1982 and 1984, netting 21 goals in 42 matches. As a key figure of the team, Kempes helped Valencia win their only international silverware until 1998, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup.
The 5 greatest Argentinian players in La Liga history
- 1. Lionel Messi
- 2. Javier Mascherano
- 3. Alfredo Di Stéfano
- 4. Pablo Aimar
- 5. Mario Kempes
Happy with the list? Who did we leave out? We are aware that the great Diego Maradona did not make the list, albeit we think that his brief involvement with FC Barcelona is not enough to guarantee him a place on this list. What about the undeniable talent of Fernando Redondo?
Argentinians remain a force to be reckoned with in La Liga. If you think they are doing enough for their clubs, why not make them part of your fantasy football team in FootballCoin. The game is free and important prizes are at stake.