FC Barcelona has one of the most storied histories in all the sports. The Spanish giants have won 26 La Liga titles, a record 30 Copa del Rey championships, and five UEFA Champions League Finals. A total of 12 Barcelona players have won the Ballon d’Or Award, more than any other club in the world, and it’s not uncommon for someone on the team to be considered the best player in the world at any given time. With all that in mind, choosing the best 11 players to suit up for Barca is a difficult task for a team that boasted several different generations of special talents.
Here is Barcelona’s All-Time Best XI:
Zubi is the all-time leader in international caps for Spain, and he made his name as a consistently great goalkeeper for FC Barcelona. He was never flashy in goal, but he could stop just about any shot that came his way. A fantastic leader who was adept at keeping his defence organized, Zubizaretta was part of the “Dream Team” that won La Liga four years in a row from 1990-91 to 1993-94. He became the club’s sporting director in 2010, where he built teams that won the league twice and the Champions League once.
Nobody in professional soccer has won more trophies than Brazilian right-back Dani Alves. A total of 23 of the 43 trophies on his resume came during his eight years at Barcelona, between 2008 and 2016, when he mastered the art of being a modern attacking fullback. He was already an accomplished defender by the time he joined the Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 he played an instrumental role in Pep Guardiola’s magical 2009 team and finished with three Champions League titles and six La Liga titles in eight seasons before leaving Barcelona for stints at Juventus and Paris Saint Germain. He has since returned to Brazil and is playing for Sao Paulo.
Puyol made 593 competitive appearances for Barcelona and was captain from 2004 until his retirement in 2014. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation and he captained Barcelona’s back four through a trio of Champions League titles and six LA Liga championships. Puyol was known for determination and hard work and he often trained himself well after official sessions ended.
One of the greatest defenders in the history of the game, the Dutch legend was ahead of his time as a sharp passing central defender who was also a goal-scoring threat and assists man. Koeman helped lead Barcelona to four La Liga titles and he scored the winning goal in the 1992 European Cup Final against Sampdoria, earning Barcelona its first European title.
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Segarra was Barcelona’s captain during a run in the 1950s that saw them win the Copa del five times and La Liga four times. Segarra was a leader both on and off the pitch that helped develop the club as being more than just a soccer team, taking up social causes that meant a lot to the fans throughout all of Catalonia. A one-club player, Segarra played 299 matches over 15 seasons at Barcelona.
One of the best midfielders in the history of the game, Xavi played the game like no one before or since, serving as the heartbeat for a Spain side that won two Euros and the 2010 World Cup, while also serving as the midfield engine of Barcelona’s most successful period. He and Andres Iniesta formed a legendary tandem for club and country, boasting the kind of passing vision and ability to read the game that remains the standard all future playmakers will be measured by.
A legend as a player and manager, Cruyff helped revolutionize the game, first as a mesmerizing attacker and eventually as one of the leading minds in the history of the game. A three-time Ballon ‘dOr winner, Cruyff one the third of those three honors while at Barcelona, which he helped lead to the 1974 La Liga title. He embraced the concept of “total football” and devised coaching methods that influence many of today’s greatest coaches and youth academy programs.
Check here Interesting facts about Johan Cruyff
The pale magician who built his legacy on the strength of some historic goals and memorable championship runs, Iniesta spent 16 seasons dazzling Barcelona fans with his bag of tricks and fearless attacking mentality. Iniesta helped lead Barcelona to nine La Liga titles and four Champions League titles, forming a partnership with Xavi that also helped Spain win multiple titles, including the 2010 World Cup (which saw him score the winning goal in the final).
Ronaldinho arrived in Barcelona in 2004. Ronaldinho used his flair and flashiness to score 70 league goals during his five seasons at the Camp Nou. He helped lead Barca to a pair of La Liga titles along with the 2005 UEFA Champions League title. He was one of Barcelona’s first players to transcend the world of soccer as a popular culture icon and he still enjoys a massive popular following today.
Check here Interesting facts about Ronaldinho
Kubala could be considered Barcelona’s first superstar player. He arrived at the club in 1951 and spent the next ten years wowing fans with his dribbling ability, composed finishes, and mesmerizing free kicks. He scored 280 goals for the club in that time and is recognized as one of the club’s greatest players, even nearly 60 years after he left. He also coached the team, too little success, in two separate spells.
Regarded by many as the best player in the history of the game, Messi has cemented his status in Barcelona lore by dominating the sport for more than a decade. His deadly left foot, defensive-destroying moves, pin-point passing and uncanny creativity have made him virtually unstoppable for years. A six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi has helped lead Barcelona to 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League titles, shattering goal-scoring records along the way. He has scored an incredible 474 goals for Barcelona. In 2021, Messi was transferred to Paris Saint Germain. But he will always remain the No. 1 player for Barcelona.
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