Barcelona are one of the most popular football clubs in the world. They have a glorious history and their legacy has been shaped by some of the greatest players to have ever pulled on a pair of cleats. Whenever Barcelona is mentioned, there is a barrage of names that come rushing into our minds.
Players like Lionel Messi, Johan Cruyff, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Ronaldinho, to name a few, have lit up the Camp Nou and are given legendary status. However, there have also been players who simply haven’t really been afforded the credit they deserve.
Barcelona are a club that has consistently fielded some of the biggest stars in the world of football. So it’s only natural that a lot of players get lost in the shadows. But we’re here to spill some light onto them.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five Barcelona legends who don’t get the credit they deserve.
#5 Victor Valdes
Victor Valdes suffered a rather underwhelming end to his footballing career as it was marred by injuries and poor form. However, it would be reductive to define his career by its lowest period as he was simply exceptional for Barcelona in his prime.
During the Catalans’ extremely successful years in early 2000s, it was Valdez who was their first-choice goalkeeper. He rose through the ranks at he club and broke onto the first team scene in 2002. A year later, he became their main guardian of the sticks.
He was particularly impressive during Pep Guardiola’s extremely successful reign as Barcelona manager. Valdes won six La Liga titles, three Champions League titles and two Copa del Reys. Somehow, he is not given the credit he deserve despite all his successes.
#4 David Villa
David Villa’s strike partnership with Fernando Torres was pivotal to Spain’s success on the international stage between 2008 and 2012. They won two European championships and the FIFA World Cup during that time. He had a successful five-year stint at Valencia before copping a move to Barcelona in 2010.
Villa formed an incredible attacking trio with Messi and Pedro for Guardiola’s Barcelona. He was a force to be reckoned with in attack thanks to his elite dribbling skills and exquisite finishing. Villa won two La Liga titles, one Champions League title and one Copa del Rey in his three-year stint at the Camp Nou.
In 119 appearances across all competitions for Barcelona, the Spaniard scored 48 goals and provided 24 assists.
#3 Michael Laudrup
Michael Laudrup is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. He enjoyed a glorious career winning league titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus. He was a versatile midfielder who could also play anywhere across the frontline.
Laudrup was part of Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’ at Barcelona and he picked up four successive La Liga titles between 1991 and 1994 a the Camp Nou. However, his move to arch-rivals Real Madrid in 1994 did not go down well with the Barca faithful.
To make matters a little worse, Laudrup won a fifth successive La Liga title in his debut season for Real Madrid. In 225 appearances for Barca across all competitions, the Danish midfielder scored 54 goals and provided 16 assists.
But despite winning nine titles with the Blaugrana during his five-year stint, Laudrup is hardly ever mentioned among the greats to have played for the club.
Pedro will go down in history as one of the most criminally underrated forwards of the 21st century. He is a product of La Masia and played a crucial role for the Catalans during the Pep Guardiola era. He was an exceptional forward who was neat with his dribbling and link-up play.
Pedro also possessed a deep understanding of the philosophy and style of play that Guardiola was trying to implement at Barcelona. After making his debut for the senior team in 2008, he became a mainstay in the starting lineup in the 2009-10 season.
Not only was he a technically gifted attacker, but he was also a tenacious footballer who never failed to put in a defensive shift. He proved to be the perfect foil for LIonel Messi, who was starting to establish himself as the greatest player in the game at the time.
In 321 appearances for the Catalans, Pedro scored 99 goals and provided 62 assists. The Spaniard won five La Liga titles, three Champions League titles and three Copa del Reys during his time at the Camp Nou. But his name is rarely brought up when discussing the Barcelona greats of recent times.
#1 Sergio Busquets
Football fans will never stop raving about Andres Iniesta and Xavi. Credit where it’s due, those two are indeed footballing greats who left us spellbound with their elite skills and vision. But they needed someone to set the stage for them and Sergio Busquets played that role to perfection for years.
Busquets is one of the greatest holding midfielders of all time. He is rarely spoken of in the same breath as Iniesta or Xavi even though he deserves to be. Busquets has been pulling the strings from deep and orchestrating play with ease and grace for the Catalans for over a decade now.
He is an extraordinary player who has enjoyed extraordinary levels of success on both the domestic and international stages. Busquets has made 676 appearances for the Blaugrana so far. He has won eight La Liga titles, three Champions League titles, seven Copa del Reys and three Club World Cups with Barcelona.