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10 greatest Barcelona players of the 21st century 

Messi waves to the Camp Nou crowd
Messi waves to the Camp Nou crowd
Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Modified 27 Feb 2020, 07:35 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Following a disappointing end to the 20th century and a poor start to the new millennium, Barcelona turned a corner in the next few years and went on to cement their legacy as arguably the best team in history.

A total of 34 major trophies have been won in the 21st century, while the Blaugrana also became the first side to win six trophies in a calendar year as well as the first to win two continental trebles.

A lot of their success has been down to the successful implementation of the 'tiki-taka' style of play, with La Masia playing a key role in the development of these players who went on to achieve global renown.

In terms of coaches, the iconic Pep Guardiola led the way for success in this century and others like Frank Rijkaard, Luis Enrique, Ernesto Valverde, and the late Tito Vilanova also enjoyed varying degrees of prosperity.

Barcelona's pedigree and historical standings mean that the club has always attracted the best players throughout history and nowhere was this more evident than in the 21st century, with some of the players who represented the club with distinction having genuine claims to be considered among the best of all-time.

Hundreds of players have represented Barcelona in this century and predictably, not all of them enjoyed the same level of adulation, with some passing as fleeting memories, while others cemented their stake in the club's annals and starred as protagonists in the successes enjoyed in this period.

Given the immense capabilities and contributions of some of these players, finding or indeed classifying the best ten is no thankless task but here, we look at the top 10 players to have represented Barcelona in the 21st century, with parameters such as longevity, impact, and success put into consideration.

Honourable mentions: Neymar, Victor Valdez, David Villa


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Also Read: El Clásico – How Real Madrid v Barcelona defines the beautiful game


#10 Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez brought his brilliant but highly-troubled spell in England to an end when he was signed by Barcelona in the summer of 2014. The transfer represented a major gamble by the Catalans, given his chequered history and he was unable to represent the club until October due to his lengthy ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

It was initially not smooth-sailing for the former Ajax man and Suarez looked out of his depth at first but things slowly fell into place and he ended his first season at the club with 25 goals in all competitions, helping the club to their second treble.

Alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, Suarez formed one of the best-attacking triumvirates in history, with their partnership fondly referred to as 'MSN' and together, the trio tore defences apart for fun and guided Barcelona to several major trophies.

So far, Suarez has made 270 appearances for the Blaugrana, winning 13 major trophies, while his haul of 191 goals is fourth on the club's all-time list, behind Lazlo Kubala (194), Cesar Rodriguez (232) and Lionel Messi (626 and counting).

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Also Read: 3 players who need to leave Barcelona to kick-start their career

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Published 27 Feb 2020, 07:35 IST
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