It’s almost impossible to count all the football legends that have donned the Blaugrana. Needless to say, we take our shot at pairing the best eleven.
Torching all opposition with his technique, spins, and speed, Lionel Messi has recorded scored a remarkable 387 goals (most ever in La Liga) for the Catalan side, in addition to 150 assists. He’s also achieved a record-setting 6 Ballon d’Ors and led the stripes to 9 domestic league titles, 6 Copa Del Rey, and 4 champions league titles.
Often considered one of the best to ever play the game, the gifted Brazilian dribbler known quite simply as Ronaldinho scored 70 goals for the Catalan side over five seasons. He remains only player other than Maradona to have received a round of applause from Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. The smiling superstar won both a Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the year after winning Champions League and second La Liga title 2005.
Sold to Barcelona in 1973 for a then record transfer fee of US $2million, the speedy Dutch forward helped Barcelona win its first league triumph since 1960. He also won European Footballer of the year, which he repeated the following year. He made148 appearances at Barcelona, totaling 48 goals and won both a League and Spanish Cup trophy.
More importantly, he influenced the modern game with his philosophy on the architecture and space on the field. Not surprisingly, the mastermind of football is Barca’s winningest coach. From 1988 – 1996 he won the club’s first ever European Cup, 1 Cup Winners Cup, 4 consecutive league titles, and one Copa Del Rey and European Super Cup, along with 3 Spanish Super Cups.
The long-legged forward joined Barcelona in 1997 where he scored 109 goals over 5 seasons, none more magnificent than the bicycle kick that completed his hat-trick against Valencia and got Barcelona into Champions League. Winner of back to back La Liga titles in 98 and 99, where he was the league’s top scorer, Rivaldo won FIFA Player of the year and the Ballon d’Or in 1999.
Andrés Iniesta is often considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time. The versatile and inventive midfielder played an essential role in the Catalan side that won the treble in 2009 and 2015. His whopping 33 trophies over 16 years in the first team include 9 La Liga titles and 4 Champions League. He received runner-up to Messi in the 2010 Ballon d’Or.
At the heart of the midfield, Xavi joined partners Iniesta and Busquets as one of the most dynamic midfield trios in football history. A creative visionary, Xavi epitomized the short pass and move philosophy of the tiki-taka. In his 17 year spell for the Catalonia side, he won 8 Spanish titles, 6 Copa Del Rey, and 4 Champions League trophies.
An inspiring leader and hard worker at high back, Carles Puyol captained the Barca side for a decade, winning six La Liga titles and 3 Champions League trophies. On a team of superstars, he may not have been the flashiest player but he was the most committed, spreading a contagious winning attitude.
The Brazilian right-back Dani Alves won 24 different trophies in his 8 years at Nou Camp, including the treble in his first season. Recognized for his technical skills and pace, he’d add to his trophy collection a total of 3 Champions League titles, 6 League titles, 4 Spanish Cups, 5 Spanish Super Cups, and 4 UEFA Supercups.
Signed in 1989 to play a part of Cruyff’s “Dream Team,” the defender scored an incredible 102 goals in his six seasons at Barca, most notably the set-piece goal that won the team’s first European Cup in 1992. The Dutchman with a powerful right boot is also a 5-time Spanish Champion, a 3 time Spanish Super Cup winner, and 1 time Spanish Cup winner. He still holds the La Liga record for 25 consecutive penalties scored.
The comprehensive midfielder has played his entire professional 8-year career with Barcelona. His ability to read the game combined with his pace has contributed to the team’s 3 Champions League titles, 7 La Liga titles, and 6 Spanish cups.
The prolific striker scored 280 goals with the club, winning four league titles and five Spanish Cups in the 1950s. Remembered as a free-kick maestro and inspirational leader, he coached the team without success in 1980. A bronze statue of the legends sits outside Nou Camp to this day.
Transferring to Barcelona for a record fee of $7.6 million, one of the greatest footballers ever had an unfortunate tenure at Barcelona. Maradona picked up a serious bout of hepatitis and then suffered a broken ankle in a match against Athletic Bilbao. He scored 38 goals in 58 games over two years before moving on to Napoli, grabbing a league title, a Spanish Cup, and a Spanish Super Cup.