When the 21st century started, Spain was always deemed as the underachievers of the footballing roster. Despite possessing exceptionally bright talents, they always choked in the knock-out stages and their hopes of coming close to prestigious silverware kept on tumbling right before their eyes.
However, the entire equation changed as we approached the latter half of the 21st century’s first decade. All those raw talents that were harnessed by Spain for the last 7-8 years started flipping the tide towards themselves, and they started reaping handsome dividends.
The first major triumph came in the 2008 Euro Cup when Fernando Torres carved an excellent lob over an advancing Lehmann to register the solitary strike of the night that ended Spain’s tormenting wait for 46 years to notch up a major international trophy in football.
A couple of years later, Iniesta’s late strike won the Spaniards their first World Cup which featured several other brilliant performances and most importantly also flagged the rise of tiki-taka football. Spain was not done yet. They went on to compound their glories in 2012 with another cream of a performance at the Euro Cup as a resounding victory over Italy in the finals saw them winning it for the second time and in a row as well.
Spain’s rise in history has never been about scoring loads of goals. They have always been silent assassins and have focused a lot more on stitching intricate passes to reach that final third and hammer when the iron is hot. Despite keeping a low-key profile they are still touted as one of the best footballing nations of all time. In their glittering antiquity, we will take a quick look at their all-time top five goal-scorers in international football.
Players with the highest number of goals for Spain:
5. Fernando Hierro – 29 goals
It is very surprising to actually see a central defender featuring in the list of the top goal-scorers for Spain. However, there is no denying the fact that Fernando Hierro’s attacking prowess was equally stellar alongside his defense-marshaling abilities.
Hierro’s career spanned a staggering thirteen years for the Spanish national team and in those glorious years of conquest alongside his defensive onus, he also managed to bag 29 goals from 89 appearances at a decent average of 0.32 goals per game.
4. David Silva – 35 goals
One of the most majestic midfielders of Manchester City who served at the Etihad for a career-defining decade was also a crucial part of Spain’s exploits in the international circuit. He was never a reckoning goal-scorer but his eye for those million-dollar runs from his compatriots is what made him one of the best midfielders of Spain.
silva shuffles exceptionally well between the wings and the center and that is why marking him becomes an elusive task. He has played in 125 matches for Spain from which he has managed to smash 35 netters at a decent average of 0.28.
3. Fernando Torres – 38 goals
El Nino was one of the most sensational scoring talents that Spain ever had in their ranks. He was a prolific goal-scorer and his positional sense made a menace wherever he went. It was his strike that helped Spain to achieve their first major trophy in 46 years when he chipped the ball brilliantly over an advancing Lehmann to peg back the soaring Germans.
Torres played a staggering 110 games for his country that saw him banging in 38 goals at a stunning average of 0.34. His career got into a vertiginous decline for some inexplicable reason that saw him losing his phenomenal touch and he finally chose to step down from national duties.
2. Raul Gonzalez – 44 goals
One of the most towering strikers to have played for Spain and Real Madrid was Raul Gonzalez. The man led the Spanish armada for a significant amount of time and his finger-kissing celebration after every goal also flagged humility that he brought along with himself to the platter.
Gonzalez was an adept shooter and his eye for goals even in the crunchiest situations made him an untenable threat to the oppositions. He donned on 102 caps for his national team that saw him smashing 44 goals at a stunning average of 0.43.
1. David Villa – 59 goals
The man who helped Spain to lift the 2010 World Cup also stands out in this list by a staggering margin to be perched at the ace. David Villa played an extremely crucial role in the initial stages of the tournament that saw Spain turning around a defeat in the first game to not only advance to the next rounds but also win the tournament after an enduring 120-minute finale.
Villa was significant in Spain’s goal-scoring after all those neatly stitched passes and from the 98 appearances that he has made for the country, he has managed to smash 59 goals at a sublime scoring average of 0.60 goals per game.