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Best Barcelona XI of all time

Monday04 January 2021 | 18:30
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The Blaugrana have had some wonderful players since the establishment of the club. Read on to find out more about the best Barcelona XI of all time.

FC Barcelona

is undisputedly one of the greatest football clubs of all time. They refer to their club as 'mes que un club' meaning 'more than a club', as this phrase has also adorned the chairs of their Stadium 'Camp Nou'.

As they themselves believe, respect, effort, ambition, teamwork and humility are main principals of the club which have helped them win 91 official titles so far, and be the most decorated European club alongside Real Madrid, their eternal rival. In many experts' opinions, the Barcelona team from 2008 to 2012 is the best team in the history of football by winning 14 trophies in only 14 years.

Being founded in 1899, the club has been through different 'eras', and have hosted a huge number of legendary football players since then, who has written the history, been a turning point for the club and gotten their names tangled up with the clubs name. For instance, the years between 1969 and 1978 are known as the 'Cruyff and democracy' years.

Moreover, the club has won 26 La Liga titles, 30 Copa del Reys, 5 UEFA Champions leagues, 3 FIFA World Cup trophies as well as 5 European Super Cups and 13 Spanish Super Cups. No club is able to win these abundant titles with mediocre players, and Barcelona has not been an exception, considering the players who have played there.

The following article is the best Barcelona XI of all time:

With regard to so many legends, it seems somehow beyond the bounds of possibility to choose best Barcelona XI of all time. Although the number of extraordinary players seems to suffice to form three or four outstanding line ups, we bent over backward and gave it the best possible shot to choose

Barcelona best 11 of all time

.

Victor Vlades-Goalkeeper

Victor Valdes was the team's first choice goalkeeper in the golden years of the club for 12 years.  Even though Victor Valdes was never a goal keeper to rely on in every vital situation, he fit in the puzzle due to his ability of playing with his feet, since Barcelona's style of play required the keeper to play a role in the tactic of ' take the ball, pass the ball'.

He had great reflexes and was good in one-one-one situations. Furthermore, not only was he good at reading the opponent's play, he had great vision and most remarkably, he was a super courageous keeper who saved the net many times by jeopardizing his health. His stats say a lot about his merits; he has the keeper with the most appearances for the club, and also the most titles.

He has worn Blaugrana's shirt in 539 official matches and has conceded 442 goals. Valdes has also won the 'Zamora' trophy (the best goalkeeper of the season in

La Liga

) five times. In the 2011/12 season, he went the stunning number of 896 minutes without conceding any goals, which is a club record.

Victor Vlades has won six La Liga trophies, two Copa Del Reys, three Champions league titles, six Spanish Super Cups and two European Super Cups.

However, the current keeper of the club,

Marc Andre Ter Stegen

is highly likely to be regarded as the best goalkeeper in the club's history in very near future  due to the fact that he is fantastic with the ball at his feet and has been performing astonishingly in the club's achievements in the last couple of years. But for now, Victor Valdes would be our choice to be on the list of

Barcelona's best ever XI

.

Daniel Alves-Defenders

Not only is Dani Alves the best right back in the history of Barcelona, he is also commonly regarded as one of the best defenders in the history of football with a glittering career. The Brazilian has won 41 titles in his professional career, more than any other player in the history, which is definitely one of the brightest records anyone can ever hold.

Alves joined Barcelona in 2008 for 32.5 million Euros from

Sevilla

, where he had spent 6 successful years. However, his brightest days were to begin with Blaugrana. His first season in the club was the best year on the history of the club by winning all of the 6 possible titles, a record which is still unbeaten.

Alves has 391 official appearances for the club which makes him one of the foreigners with the most appearances for the club. He has provided 101 assists, most of which were for the Argentinean superstar

Lionel Messi

. Dani Alves is said to be one of the players to have had the best coordination with Messi on the pitch.

Alves has also scored 21 goals for the club. To speak of his honors at Barcelona, six La Liga titles, three Champions leagues, four Copa del Reys, three European Super Cups, four Spanish Super Cups as well as three clubs World Cups are worthy to mention.

Furthermore, Dani Alves is known for his great stamina. To clarify the point, he is always running up and down of the field, participating in attack and actually playing an important role in them, while being a great 'defender' when the opponent is attacking.

What is more, he is great at taking free kicks. If he was not teammates with players with Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi, this expertise would be bolder when talking about his abilities. He has played in two FIFA World Cups and five Copa Americas.

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It might be an empty place which attracts attention that he have not won a FIFA world Cup yet, but he has won 2 Copa Americas and two FIFA Confederations Cups, which compensate for that negative point to some extent. In conclusion, Daniel Alves is the irreplaceable right back in the

Barcelona best XI of all time

.

Related Article: 

Top facts about Jordi Alba

Jordi Alba-Defenders

Jordi Alba

is one the many great players that has been introduced to the world of football by Barcelona's football academy 'La Masia'. He is one of the best left backs in the world for his glittering career in the club and national team.

Alba was a player of the club

Valencia

when he became the Spanish national team's first choice in Euro 2012 where they won the title. His great performance in that tournament, with his goal in the final match being the icing on the cake, was his get-back ticket to the club which had nurtured him.

He has been crucial to the team's achievements ever since he returned to the club such as 5 La Liga titles, as well as a Champions League title in 2015 and 4 Copa del Reys he has won with Blaugrana so far.

The stats of the left back of the

best Barcelona XI of all time

would approve giving this title to him. He has played in 353 matches for Barcelona and has scored 18 goals, but scoring is not what he is used to. His passes into the box are fatal.

To clarify the point, Alba has provided 73 assists with Barcelona's shirt. In the current team, only the great Lionel Messi has done better.

Related Article: 

FC Barcelona history

Carles Puyol-Defenders

The most iconic captain in the history of Barcelona spent all of his professional career in his favorite club. Carles Puyol is a symbol of Barcelona.

The best defender in the history of the club made his debut for the first team in 1999 and showed his capabilities from that moment. Hence, he became an inseparable player of the team.

However, it was to be another 6 years until they were able to win a cup, and Puyol was the captain of the team at the time. He continued being the captain of the team during the best years of the club in the years from 2008 to 2012, under Pep Guardiola's management.

He was the 'wall' that stopped the shots from passing the goal line. Besides being a great player technically in terms of having outstanding control on the ball, great intelligence in reading the play and tackling, this is now his personality and dedication to the club, as well as his courageous and brave acts on the pitch, for which people will remember him.

Puyol played as if he was defending his honor. Even though he was an incursive defender and scary to all the attackers, he was a very just player. He has 663 appearances for the club, which makes him the third player to have the most appearances for Barcelona after Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi, in his 15 years at the club.

He has won three UEFA Champions league titles, six La Liga trophies, one Copa del Rey, 6 Spanish Super Cups, 2 European Super Cups and 2 FIFA Clubs World Cups. In addition to his achievements with the club, he has a luminous career with the national team.

Puyol has won European Championship in 2008 and 2010 FIFA World cup with the Matadors. It was a pity that he lost the chance of playing in EURO 2012 and win that Cup for the second time due to the injury he was suffering from.

Barcelona is so proud to have had a player with his characteristics, both on and off the pitch. He is undisputedly the best defender in the history of Barcelona and the

best Barcelona XI of all time

.

Ronald Koeman-Defenders

Ronald Koeman was the defender who is now known not for his defensive abilities, but for mainly for his goals, freekicks and penalty kicks.

Koeman was a player that his goal led the 'dream team' of Barcelona to their first ever European Championship in 1992 under management of the great Johan Cruyff.

That free kick is definitely the highlight of his entire career. His strong legs enabled him to make long accurate passes as well as powerful long range shots.

He has won four La Liga titles, one European Super Cup, one Copa del Reys and three Spanish Super Cups in addition to the mentioned European Championship.

Ronald Koeman has made 350 appearances for the club and scored 106 goals which makes him one of the most incursive defenders of all time.

Johan Cruyff-Midfielders and Attackers

Hendrik Johannes Cruijff (25 April 1947 – 24 March 2016) was a Dutch professional football player and coach. As a player, he won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1971, 1973, and 1974.

Cruyff's unique achievements as both a player and coach at Barcelona made him one of the most influential figures in the history of the club.

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He was a very talented footballer, especially good at every aspect of offensive football vision, shooting, passing and dribbling.

The central defensive midfielder position of best Barcelona XI of all time goes to Johan Cruyff who was a Dutch professional football player. He was another Barcelona self-made legend. His ability in reading the game and technical skills are what distinguish him on the pitch

.

Cruyff moved to Barcelona in 1973 and helped the club win their first La Liga title in 14 years. His world record move from

Ajax

to Barcelona made him the first player to cost more than two million US dollars

.

<span style="font-family:times new roman,serif">

He moved to Barcelona with a world record transfer fee of 6 million Euros.

After retirement, Cruyff became a coach/manager, and was almost just as successful as he was a player. It was due to his coaching that the tiki-taka style of football was invented by Barcelona. Unfortunately, he passed away on 24 March 2016 in Barcelona after losing his battle with lung cancer.

 Related Article: 

Facts about Xavi Hernandez

Xavi Hernandez-Midfielders and Attackers

It is believed by some people that Xavi Hernandez is the greatest midfielder of all time. Having taken a good look at his career, that claim would not seem non sense at all. Without any doubts, Xavi is the most successful Spanish player ever by winning so many domestic and international titles.

Xavi is one of the most creative players the world of football has ever seen. Xavi always looked for the players in the best space to pass the ball to, and he did it perfectly.

He spent 17 seasons in the club and has made 767 appearances, the most appearances in the history of the club. He has scored 85 official goals and has provided 184 assists with Blaugrana.

He has won eight La Liga titles as well as four Champions leagues and three Copa del Reys. He is one of the few players who has won to trebles with the team in 2009 and 2015. He has won two EUROs in 2008 and 2012 and was the key player to Spain's championship in 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Xavi was nominated for the Ballon D'Or in 2010, even though he lost it to his fellow teammate, Lionel Messi.

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Xavi has left a great heritage for all the generations to come, for recently he was included in the "best XI ever" published by France Football. Thus, he is one of everybody's first choices to be on the list of best Barcelona XI off all time.

 Related Article: 

Facts about Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta-Midfielders and Attackers

'Don Andres' was a perfect match for Xavi. The duos conquered the world together. With his silky and smooth style of play, his dedication to the club and his outstanding skills with the ball he made his way through the hearts of millions of football lovers.

Moreover, the great intelligence he was endowed with paved the way for his teams to achieve everything. He has scored the last minute goal against

Chelsea

which took Barcelona to UCL final in 2009, and most importantly, he has scored in the extra times in the FIFA World Cup final against Netherlands and took his national team to the peak of their glory, the same thing he did to Barca.

'Don Andres' has played in 674 matches for Barcelona and has provided 139 assists as well as 57 goals. He has made 131 national appearances too. He has managed to win 32 trophies with Barcelona including nine glorious LaLiga titles and four Champions leagues.

7 Spanish Super Cups, 6 Copa del Reys and 3 European Super Cups has adorned his career honors list. A Street is named after him in his hometown. And a statue was made so as to pay a tribute to his goal in 2010 final World Cup match.

Not only is Iniesta an undeniable choice in the

best Barcelona XI of all time

, he is also regarded as one of the best midfielders in the history of the sport.

Ronaldinho-Midfielders and Attackers

The Brazilian legend is undoubtedly among the all-time greatest XI of FC Barcelona. Ronaldinho changed the story of the club in his only 5 years stint at the club. As the legendary Puyol once said, "We hadn't won anything for years, until Ronaldinho arrived." He is known to be one of the most skillful players of all time.

Very few players could do the things he could do with the ball. He excited fans on his first Camp Nou match with a stunning goal. His glamorous career with Barcelona continued with him being the leader in the achievements with scoring 94 goals and creating may goal chances with his amazing dribbling skills.

Thus, he has provided 71 assists for his teammates in Barcelona, including Lionel Messi's first ever goal. He helped the club win two consecutive La Liga titles after a 6-year drought, as well as winning the club's second ever European championship in 2006.

Moreover, he has helped the club achieve two Spanish Super Cups. He is a World Champion with Brazil in 2002 and has won Copa America in 1999 with his national team. Ronaldinho won Ballon d'Or in 2005. Furthermore, he has been awarded the best FIFA men's player twice. He is one of the eight players in the history who managed to win UCL, FIFA World Cup and Ballon D'Or in their careers.

Ronaldinho is one of the most remarkable players in the history of the club and unquestionably deserves a place in best Barcelona XI of all time.

 Related Article: 

Lionel Messi Biography

Lionel Messi-Midfielders and Attackers

Messi is definitely among the

Barcelona's greatest all-time XI

. Messi has been born to play football, a genuine natural. He does the hardest things and shows them as if they are the simplest to be done. Many children have been idolizing him since his first steps on the green pitch, many boys have been named after him.

Leo Messi is not only the greatest player in the history of Barcelona, but according to many experts and coaches he is also the greatest of all time. He is an attacker, but provides assists more than any other midfielder.

He's broken most of the records in the world of the sport. He is Barcelona's all-time leading scorer with 644 goals and is probably going to be the player with the most appearances for the club with 750 matches played so far.

Only Xavi Hernandez stands above him with 767 appearances, a record which is in imminent danger of getting broken. Lionel Messi has provided the most assists in the history of club (281 and counting) and La Liga (197 and counting). He holds the record of scoring the most goals in a single season in La Liga (50) and the most assists provided in one single season (21).

Messi has won the ' Pichichi' trophy (best scorer in a La Liga season) more than any other player with winning the trophy seven times. He has won FIFA Ballon d'Or six times, more than any other player in the history.

One of the most glittering records of Messi is scoring 91 goals in only 69 matches in the year 2012, more than many clubs like Manchester United (85), Chelsea (87), and Dortmund (88). 

Messi has won the Golden Boot 5 times, again more than any other player. He has recently broken a very unique record of scoring the most goals for one single club, which PELE had hold it with 643 goals for ' Santos' before Messi broke it like many other records. He has been named the top scorer of 19 different tournaments.

Including six LaLigas and six Champions leagues. Furthermore, he has been awarded the UEFA best player in Europe three times. The 'KING' of Camp Nou has won four Champions leagues with Blaugrana and ten La Liga titles. No other player has won more La Liga trophies than him.

Lionel has also won six Copa del Reys and eight Spanish Super Cups as well as three FIFA Club World Cups. He is an Olympics gold medalist with Argentinean national team in 2008 in Beijing. He has taken his national team to four different finals, one World Cup and three Copa Americas.

Sadly for him, none of which has been won by his teams, leaving an empty space in his international career, which there is still hope will be filled. In conclusion, Messi is Barcelona, and Barcelona is Messi.

His name is the first name when thinking of the topic 'best Barcelona XI of all time', with the great heritage he will leave when his career is over, which is, as Mourinho once said, "We'll be all crying for Messi when he is 34" a very sad day for the entire football society.

 Related Article: 

Facts About Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez-Midfielders and Attackers

Among

Barcelona's greatest XI of all time

is

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Luis Suarez

, the third all-time top scorer of the club with 198 goals in 283 appearances. He has gotten his position in this list only 6 seasons. Suarez has provided 113 assists in addition to his goals for Blaugrana.

He helped the club win their second treble in 2015 with his astonishing performances. He is known for his extraordinary goals. He makes goal out of the situations which everybody think is impossible to score in.

He went on to win four La Liga trophies, four Copa del Reys as well as the Champions league in his first season at the club in 2015. He has also won two Spanish Super Cups and one European Super Cup.

Suarez is the only player to have won the 'Pichichi' trophy while Messi and Ronaldo were also competing. He has been named the top scorer of five different tournaments and has won two golden boots.

Suarez also managed to win 2011 Copa America with

Uruguay

. Although he was forced to leave the club at the start of the season 2020/21, and hence joined

Atletico Madrid

, his years at the club are convincing enough to put him in the best Barcelona XI of all time.

Many other legendary players have played for Barcelona, such as Maradona, Ronaldo Nazario, Rivaldo, and Neymar.

All of them are worthy of being included in the Barcelona best XI of all time. However, a football line up has only eleven places available. What is obvious, great clubs have had, and will continue to have great players to win great titles.

 

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