Lionel Messi

Top 10 Barcelona Players in History

The greatest Barca legends so far - here we go!

by Konstantin Simidchiyski

The best Barcelona players of all time – do you agree with our list?

FC Barcelona is one of the greatest football teams on the planet. Right now, the Catalans are going through some hard times, but you should never doubt this giant’s ability to get back on its feet. You cannot keep a club of this stature on the ground for too long. The Catalans will be back to their best soon – we are sure about that.

Barcelona’s fans are lucky because some of the greatest players in history used to defend the club’s badge. Ballon d’Or winners, World Cup winners, magicians with extraordinary abilities – Barca had them all.

But who are Los Cules’ greatest players of all time? We at the Dope Lists are curious to see.

10. Romario

One of the best strikers of his generation, Brazilian legend Romario left his mark in Barcelona. With a height of just 1.67 m, he compensated with skillful movement in the penalty area, predatory instinct, and clinical finishing. His low center of gravity actually helped him to be almost uncatchable for the defenders. Romario won La Liga with Barca, but in 1994 he and his teammates were beaten by AC Milan in the Champions League final.

9. Rivaldo

Having magnificent left foot, allowing him to shoot the ball like a sniper, Rivaldo was one of Barcelona’s best players for a certain period. Even the best one. He led the Catalans to two league titles, but the club had too many problems to compete for European glory as well. At certain moments it looked like Rivaldo is carrying the team on his back, and it’s not far from the truth. Rivaldo won the Ballon d’Or in 1999, and he remains one of the best Barcelona players of all time.

8. Ronaldo

Here we go with another Brazilian genius on our list of Barcelona’s greatest players. Younger fans don’t know, but before Cristiano Ronaldo, there was another player with a similar name. O Fenomeno is regarded as probably the best pure striker in the history of the game. In his prime, he was simply unplayable. Ronaldo was the ultimate YouTube player before YouTube even existed. His technique and dribbling ability were out of this world while he was also clinical in front of goal. Despite playing just one season for Barca, he’s one of the Top 10 Barcelona legends.

7. Diego Maradona

Years before Lionel Messi’s era, Barcelona had another Argentinian genius in their hands. Maradona was as just brilliant as Messi, but his career at the Camp Nou developed very differently. The hot-head Argentinian had some serious fights with Barcelona’s board before eventually getting shipped to Italy. Now Barca’s fans can ask themselves – what it could have been?

6. Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol is arguably the greatest captain in the history of Barcelona. It’s a rare thing to see such a passionate and self-sacrificing player, especially in modern football. Puyol is one of the players who simply didn’t care if they are in pain or not – he was always ready to give one hundred percent for the team. Having a legendary career as a centre-back, Puyol remains one of Barca’s most significant symbols.

5. Andres Iniesta 

The little magician from Fuentealbilla is probably one of the greatest midfielders in the history of the game. Making his way through Barcelona’s youth teams, Iniesta charmed the world with his ability to play the slickest football possible. Every time Andres Iniesta touched the ball, it looked like a jeweler is doing his work. Nowadays, he’s finishing his career in Japan, but he remains a true icon for Los Cules. One of the most amazing Barcelona players in history.

4. Xavi

Many pundits regard Xavi Hernandez as the most outstanding midfielder in the history of Spain. The ultimate passer of the ball, Xavi was perfect in controlling the game, changing the tempo, and overall making his teammates better players. Everyone talks about players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but trust us – many managers would prefer to have Xavi in their teams. In 2021 he was appointed manager of the team after the sacking of Ronald Koeman. Now the fans hope Xavi will repeat his greatness as a head coach, too. 

3. Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho’s peak was relatively short because of his frivolous lifestyle, but this Brazilian wizard remains probably the most entertaining footballer the world has ever seen. Nothing looked ordinary when Ronaldinho was touching the ball. For him playing football was firstly having fun and then everything else. His sandbox of tricks was just like magic that never ends. Here’s the painful truth – football needs more players like Ronaldinho at the moment. And he’s one of the Top 10 Barcelona legends.

2. Johan Cruyff 

Many historians claim that Barcelona was forever changed when Johan Cruyff signed with the club. Crowned by the IFFHS as the best European player of the 20th century, Cruyff was the ultimate rebel – he only played football the way he thought we should play the game. Three times winner of the Ballon d’Or, Johan Cruyff is one of Barcelona’s biggest legends because of his work as head coach, too. He’s arguably the biggest reason why Los Cules play in the way they usually do.

1. Lionel Messi

Did you really expect to find another name at the number 1 position? Probably the greatest player of all time, Lionel Messi is the biggest treasure in this club’s history. Except for Cruyff, nobody else had such an enormous impact on Barca’s history as Messi. The destruction of Barca by former president Josep Bartomeu forced Leo out of the club, but the memories he left to the fans are priceless. We might never see such a player again.

Honorable Mention: Hristo Stoichkov

Born in Bulgaria during the country’s communist era, Hristo Stoichkov became an unlikely hero after his move from CSKA Sofia in 1990. A quick winger with a deadly left foot, he quickly became adored by the fans thanks to his character and desire to win at any cost. The peak of his career was winning the Ballon d’Or in 1994. The same year, he led Bulgaria to the World Cup 1/2-finals and became the top goalscorer in the competition. He remains one of the most loved Barcelona players in history.

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