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La Liga: Five of Barcelona’s Best Ever

Barcelona are one of the biggest and most storied football clubs not just in La Liga but in the whole world. Throughout the years, dozens and dozens of the greatest footballers in history have called the Camp Nou home.

The likes of Diego Maradona and the original Ronaldo are just some of the legends who have donned the Blaugrana shirt. But it takes a lot more to be considered a true Barca great.

With that said, here are SBOTOP’s selections for five of the greatest players in Barcelona history.

 

Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho was one of, if not the most talented footballer of his generation. And while he didn’t stay at his very best as long as probably should have, he was clearly on top of the world during his time at the Camp Nou.

Ronny was responsible for Barca’s revival in the mid-2000s. With the buck-toothed Brazilian leading the way, the Catalans won back-to-back La Liga titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06, as well as their first Champions League/European Cup title since 1992.

Ronaldinho won back-to-back FIFA World Player of the Year awards and a Ballon d’Or for his brilliant performances, none more memorable than his dominant showing at the Bernabeu in 2005, which received a standing ovation from rival Real fans.

While he sadly flamed out just a few years later, Ronaldinho’s amazing run at Barcelona remains one of the club’s most memorable periods and more than justifies his place among the Blaugrana greats.

 

Laszlo Kubala

Anyone who has a bronze statue standing outside the Camp Nou — as Laszlo Kubala does — clearly deserves his place as one of Barca’s greats.

The Hungarian’s life story is a remarkable one, from his journey to flee the communist country in order to play professional football, to his brush with death after not boarding the Torino’s plane which tragically crashed.

Thankfully, Kubala survived and made his way to Spain, where he helped build Barcelona into the club it is today. He scored 280 goals in 345 games over 11 years at the Camp Nou as he led the Catalans to four league titles and several other trophies.

Unfortunately, he fell short of claiming the European Cup, but he still did more than enough to be considered one of the Catalans’ true legends.

 

Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta definitely left La Liga and Barcelona as a legend following his outstanding contribution to the Catalans
Andres Iniesta in action during Barcelona’s La Liga clash against Deportivo Alaves in 2018

It’s incredible to think that Andres Iniesta, who could’ve been the best player in the world in another era, might have been the third-best player on his own team for most of Barca’s dominant run, which began in the late 2000s.

Still, that doesn’t take away from Iniesta’s sheer brilliance. A man for the big moments, Iniesta had several memorable performances in the Champions League. His dramatic winner against Chelsea in the 2009 semi-finals and his virtuoso performance in the 2011 final spring to mind. He also scored the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final.

With 674 career appearances, nine La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues, there is no doubt that Iniesta deserves his place among Barca’s most beloved greats.

 

Xavi

Xavi was never the flashiest player in the world. He didn’t score impressive goals like Leo Messi or pull off amazing dribbles like Iniesta. But Barcelona fans who watched him for nearly two decades knew what a genius he truly was.

He was the lynchpin of the whole tiki-taka movement, as his metronomic passing and vision paved the way for Barca’s historic run of dominance under Pep Guardiola. He was also invaluable in Spain’s remarkable run of three consecutive major international tournament victories.

Xavi was a constant for the Catalan club, racking up a record 767 games — with 25 trophies — in 17 seasons. With that remarkable resume, his spot among Barca’s best is undeniable.

 

Lionel Messi

There can only be one. Messi is not only the greatest player in Barcelona history, but he’s also arguably the greatest football player in history, full stop.

Cristiano Ronaldo supporters may feel otherwise, but from the statistics to the silverware, Messi is the consensus pick. He’s already La Liga’s all-time goalscorer (by a wide margin) with 438 goals and was still making La Liga 2020 highlights before the halt in this season. He could realistically finish with over 500 league goals when it’s all said and done.

But Messi’s impact goes so much further than goals. As he’s shown over the last few seasons with Barcelona, he is also the team’s most effective creator. Despite their flaws, Barca are still the favourites for the title according to the La Liga 2020 odds, which is a testament to Messi’s brilliance.

Messi has already cemented his status as the greatest of all-time, and even with all the legends who have played at the Camp Nou, he stands head and shoulders above them all.

 

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