HomeFast & FuriousBlaugrana legends

Blaugrana legends

Published on:

When you’re dealing with one of the best clubs in the world, compiling any list of rankings is difficult. Now try compiling that same list, but having to sift through the entire comprehensive and illustrious history of that club, as well as each and every person that ever threw on the Barcelona uniform.

Barcelona are arguably the most prestigious team in Spain. The Camp Nou and La Masia, in particular, have produced and nurtured excellent players and created legends over the years. Some of the famous Barcelona legends are still playing while most are retired.

“Barcelona had history and culture, the coast, the weather, all wrapped around a wonderful football club that was the spiritual headquarters of a nation,” Sir Bobby Robson said of the side he managed in the 1996/97 season.

Robson was right. Catalonia’s unique blend of art and passion has come to be represented at Camp Nou. ‘Mes Que Un Club‘ – “more than a club” – is painted on the stadium’s seats and it’s more than just hyperbole. This is not just a football team but an institution.  So let’s run through the greatest-ever that the Catalan club have seen.

Lionel Messi

The numbers of his career have to be seen to be believed. 672 goals in 778 appearances for Barcelona. 228 assists on top of that. 10 domestic titles, four Champions Leagues, seven Ballon d’Ors, six European Golden Shoes and eight hat-tricks in Europe.

We often talk of Messi’s achievements through pure numbers – and perhaps that’s how he sees the game, crunching the angles as he glides through defenders. But it doesn’t do justice to the magic that he’s given to Barca fans along the way. The last-minute Clasico goal in which he held his shirt aloft at the Camp Nou. Putting Jerome Boateng on his backside. The Getafe goal. The move to false nine. The 2011 Champions League final performance. The countless moments he did something that no one else could.

And that’s just a few. He’s not only Barcelona’s greatest player ever, he’s the most talented person to ever lace up their football boots, having changed the game one shoulder drop at a time.


Johan Cruyff

Thought by many to be the man who started it all for Barcelona, the Dutch international will go down in Catalan lore for centuries to come. Upon joining the club from Ajax back in 1973, Cruyff informed the papers that he had chosen Barça over Real Madrid because he could not play for a club associated with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

But it was on the pitch that the flying Dutchman did most of his talking. He scored 48 goals in 143 league appearances for the club, and in his first season guided Barcelona to their first La Liga title since 1960, picking up the Ballon d’Or in the process, and winning the prestigious award again the subsequent season.

However, most supporters will argue it was on the sideline where Cruyff crafted his enduring legacy at the Nou Camp. He became manager of the club back in 1988 and introduced the tiki-taka style of play that Barça continues to employ today. The short passing and patient movement as well as the maintaining of ball possession has been frustrating and vanquishing opponents ever since, and the organization has a former chain-smoker from Amsterdam to thank for it.

Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman was one of the key players of Barcelona’s dream team of the early 90s.

The former Barcelona manager is one of the best goalscoring defenders in the game’s history. Koeman, a set-piece specialist with a penchant for scoring from distance, used to operate as a ‘sweeper’.

His tally of 86 goals for the club would put many attackers to shame. One of Koeman’s strikes sealed Barcelona’s triumph in the 1991-92 European Cup final, a year before the competition was rebranded as the Champions League.

Koeman scored a staggering 44 times in Barcelona’s four successive La Liga triumphs between 1991 and 1994. That included an impressive 16-goal campaign in 1991-92, when Barcelona also won the European Cup.


Carles Puyol

Former player Carles Puyol is often described as a golden retriever rather than a footballer. He captained the Catalans for seven years and is rated among Barcelona’s legendary defenders. He played for Barcelona his entire career and is currently the club’s assistant sporting director at Barcelona.


Pep Guardiola

If this was a list of Barcelona managers, there would be no one above Pep Guardiola – as it is, he was a blooming good footballer, too. The deep-lying playmaker was Johan Cruyff’s brain on the pitch, leading the Blaugrana with intelligence and bite. He was strong, his passing was excellent and even back then, he was a leader quite unlike anyone else. He was a fulcrum in the Barca side that won the 1992 European Cup, too.


Sergio Busquets

A truly extraordinary defensive midfielder. Busquets has been at the base of the team for years and has calmly orchestrated the greatest era in Barca’s history, an iconic footballer.

After nearly dedicating his entire career to the Catalans, Busquets has decided to leave at the end of 2022/23 season. The Barcelona legend has yet to confirm his next club but reports suggest he might join Lionel Messi at his next club.



Although he was poached from Deportivo de La Coruña back in 1997 for a cool 4000 million pesetas (about €19.5 million), the Brazilian still left an indelible mark on the club for which he played six seasons from 1997-2002. The attacking midfielder, who became the first of many players whose surname terminated in “o” to shine at the Nou Camp, tallied an impressive 130 goals in all competitions during his Barça career and in 1999, won both the FIFA World Player of the Year Award and Ballon d’Or in guiding the Catalans to the La Liga title.

His career-defining moment at Barcelona came back in 2001 in the last game of the season against Valencia. In a 3-2 victory, Rivaldo secured a hat trick with an astounding bicycle kick from outside the box in the 90th minute that found the back of the net and sent the home supporters into an unbridled frenzy. Not only did the mesmerizing strike give the club a victory, but it also guaranteed Barcelona a spot in the following season’s UEFA Champions League. Oh, and it was also Rivaldo’s 36th goal of the year: a season-best for the Brazilian attacker.


Andres Iniesta

The Spaniard first made himself known to European audiences by coming on in the 2006 Champions League final and changing the game. His directness, dribbling, touch and movement has become legendary, with mentor Pep Guardiola assessing that “his mastery of the relationship between space and time,” is second to none.

Because though Iniesta was rarely the full stop at the end of the move, he was everything that Cules hold dear. He was beautiful to watch, looked after the ball like his life depended on it and played the game with such grace that he made it look like ballet. Plenty have tried to replicate him: none ever truly will.



Xavi Hernandez is one of the best midfielders in the game’s history. Period. The 41-year-old was the engine room of the Barcelona and Spain midfield during a hugely successful career for club and country.

The eight-time La Liga and four-time Champions League winner orchestrated play from the middle of the park like no one else. Xavi could slice open the tightest of opposition rearguards with precision inch-perfect crosses and passes.

With over 750 games, Xavi was Barcelona’s all-time appearance maker before he was surpassed earlier this year by Lionel Messi.

Like Iniesta, the La Masia academy product didn’t score too many goals, but laid out plenty of assists to teammates. Xavi, the current Barcelona manager, will look to return his boyhood club to their heydays after taking charge in 2022.



The Brazilian is one of the greatest players of all time and he defined the Rjikaard era at Barca with 94 goals and 71 assists in 207 games. Bought from PSG for a bargain in 2003, he is fondly remembered by fans for his dazzling ability on the field and the other worldly skills under his sleeve.


Gerard Pique

At his peak, he may well be the most talented defender of all time. The rock at the heart of everything brilliant that Barcelona have achieved, Gerard Pique cemented his place in Barca hearts with a pay cut during the hard time, too. Strong, vocal, a brilliant passer and a taker of a great selfie, there are few centre-backs quite like him.


Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

also read