Jose Santamaria won only 36 international caps but represented different countries in the final stages of two FIFA World Cups™.

In 1952 Santamaria debuted for Uruguay, for whom he won 20 caps. His Uruguayan career included the 1954 FIFA World Cup where the reigning champions finished fourth.

The strapping defender then went on to earn 16 more appearances for Spain following a move to Real Madrid in 1957, featuring at the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Chile. Santamaria also coached Spain as FIFA World Cup hosts in 1982.