Best Barcelona players of decade – Top 5
Best Barcelona players of decade? Who are the best players to have worn the Barca jersey from 2010 to 2019?
Without a doubt, La Liga giants Barcelona are one of the best football clubs in the world. Very few other football teams have managed to achieve as much success as they have achieved so far.
Barcelona’s greatest assets are their players themselves – over the years, the club has been well-known for producing incredible some incredible footballers with jaw-dropping abilities.
Today, we take a quick look at the Top 5 best Barcelona players of decade (2010-2019).
Top 5 best Barcelona players of decade
5. Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique joined Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008, for a reported transfer fee of €5 million. Since then, he has made 516 appearances for the La Liga giants – and has also scored 46 goals and 13 assists for them so far. Pique is also one of the most successful Barcelona players ever, having won three Champions Leagues, eight La Liga titles, six Spanish Cups, six Spanish Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups and three UEFA Super Cups with them.
The veteran centre-back has also won the FIFA World Cup and two UEFA Euro Cups with the Spain national team, and is one of the best defenders in modern-day football.
However, it does not seem too long ago that there were suggestions that Pique could not play at anywhere near his optimum level post-Carles Puyol’s retirement, but the 32-year-old himself proved his critics wrong by playing at the highest levels for Barcelona for eleven years in a row. Pique is one of the best defenders to have ever played for Barcelona, and his skills in passing and goal-scoring make him one of the best of his kind in the world.
4. Jordi Alba
Jordi Alba is the second of the two defenders who have made it into our list of best Barcelona players of decade. The left-back joined Barcelona from Valencia in 2012, for a reported transfer fee of €12million, and so far, he has made 309 appearances for the club. He has also scored 16 times and recorded 57 assists. What makes Alba special is his ability to join in Barcelona’s attacks. While Pique takes up the charge of the team’s defence, Alba can generally be spotted running through the left flank to create more passing opportunities – and how many times has that resulted in goals!
Another plus-point for the 30-year-old is his ability to forge an on-field partnership with Lionel Messi, no matter what the situation is. In fact, nearly half of Alba’s goals have been assisted by the Argentine talisman himself, and nearly half of his assists have also been for Messi alone.
3. Sergio Busquets
Without a doubt, Sergio Busquets is Barcelona’s most underrated player of all time. The midfield maestro is seldom appreciated – but that does not mean that he does not deserve praise. “Busi”, as he is fondly called by fans, was not a part of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy until 2005, as until then, he had spent his youth career with Catalan club UE Lleida. He was then called up to the Barca B squad in 2007-08, and a year later, the then-manager Pep Guardiola signed him up with the first team.
So far, the 31-year-old defensive midfielder has played 553 matches for the Catalans, scoring 14 times and providing 37 assists. But to understand Busquets, we cannot use numbers and statistics as he is the team’s “pivot”. You may not see him record many goals or assists, but most of Barcelona’s goals begin from him as he would be the player who distributes the ball to the attackers or orchestrates play.
Once, former Spain national team coach Vicente del Bosque said, “You watch the game, you don’t see Busquets. You watch Busquets, you see the whole game.” And he could not have uttered another statement that was more accurate.
2. Andres Iniesta
Having begun his Barcelona career as a youth-level player, Andres Iniesta is one of the biggest legends of the club. He made 674 senior appearances for the club until 2018, when he reached the end of his contract and joined Japanese club, Vissel Kobe, as a free agent. The 35-year-old is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and his electric partnership with Xavi Hernadez made both Barcelona and the Spain national team one of the strongest teams in the history of world football.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup winner was always a winner at the Camp Nou as well. He lifted as many as 32 titles in 16 years at Barcelona, and is also the only player ever to be named the man of the match in a Champions League, Euro Cup, and World Cup final.
The world-class midfielder is also held in the top regard by pretty much everyone in football. For instance, here is what Messi said about his once: “I always picture him with the ball at his feet. Everything is different with Andres. The hardest thing to do in football is to make it look like everything is easy, effortless, and that’s Andres.”
1. Lionel Messi
Before we speak anything on Lionel Messi, let me point out that we have named him the number one of the best Barcelona players of decade. How many of you found that surprising? We guessed it right. None.
The Argentine legend won six Ballon d’Or’s (five of them came this decade), six European Golden Shoes, and also broke innumerable records in the past ten years. 617 goals, 250 assists, 702 appearances. 140 goals in the Champions League alone, 431 goals in La Liga alone. 34 title wins. The greatest footballer in the world.
In the past couple of seasons, Barcelona’s form as a team has been comparatively poor – and yet they managed to win the league on both occasions while also qualifying for the Champions League knockouts. And there is only one reason for it – Messi. When the 32-year-old scored, Barcelona won, And when he misfired, Barcelona lost.
This season, Messi will be keen to win the Champions League once again – having failed to do so in the past four seasons. Doing so would probably make him even more unreachable, in terms of the dizzying heights he has already scaled with his team.