Ranking Barcelona strikers is a Herculean task, if only because there are so many great world-class players to have donned the Blaugrana kit. We nonetheless take our shot at pairing the best eleven.
Lionel Messi (2004–
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 tied in a record-setting 5 Ballon d’Ors and led the stripes to 9 domestic league titles, 6 Copa Del Rey, and 4 champions league titles.
Johan Cruyff (1973–1978)
Sold to Barcelona in 1973 for a then-record transfer fee of $2 million, the speedy Dutch forward helped Barcelona win its first league triumph since 1960. He also won the European Footballer of the year, which he repeated the following year. He made a total of 148 games at Barcelona, totaling 48 goals but more importantly 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, a Cup Winners Cup, four consecutive league titles, and one Copa Del Rey and European Super Cup, along with three Spanish Super Cups.
Yes, he spent only one season in the mid-1990s with the Barcelona side but it was prolific. The Brazilian legend bagged 47 goals in 51 matches. He helped Barcelona win the Copa del Rey, UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup, and the Spanish Super Cup.
Luis Suarez (2014–
If you thought Luis Suarez starred at Liverpool, he’s been on an absolute tear at Barcelona. The hard-working and physical attacker has scored 113 goals in 137 La Liga appearances. On top of his prolific goal-scoring record, he’s won a Champions League, three La Liga titles, and is a three-time Spanish Cup winner with Barcelona. His other trophies include a Copa America win with Uruguay where he was named the player of the tournament.
Ladislao Kubala (1951–1961)
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.
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.
Patrick Kluivert (1998–2004)
The Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert made 257 appearances with the Barcelona side over six years, scoring 122 times. Tall and physical, the pacy and technical player helped Barcelona win La Liga with coach Louis van Goal whom he played for at Ajax in the early 90s.
Samuel Eto’o (2004–2009)
Rejected by Real Madrid early in his career, the Cameroonian striker went on to have an illustrious career with Barcelona and Inter Milan in the first decade of the 21st century. At Barcelona, he scored a magnificent 130 goals in 199 games and won the Treble in the 2008/09 season winning Champions League, La Liga, and Copa del Rey.
As part of the core offensive unit consisting of Messi and Luis Suarez, Neymar helped Barcelona win the treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the Champions League during the 2014-15 season. He scored 105 goals in 186 appearances before heading to Paris St. Germain on a $263 million record transfer fee.
The Brazilian striker Romario won FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994, rewarding him for his remarkable 30-goal season at Barcelona and leading his national side to the World Cup trophy. Although he only spent two years playing for La Blaugrana, he finished his tenure with 65 goals in 39 games with a La Liga championship to boot.
David Villa (2010–2013)
A fruitful scorer in his time with Valencia, David Villa signed to Barcelona for €40 million in 2010. He continued his scoring spree with Barcelona, where he bagged 48 goals over 119 appearances. He also won his first Champions League and first and second La Liga titles with the club.