Top 5 Homegrown players in Barcelona's history
Over the years, Barcelona's esteemed youth academy has come to represent everything good about the club. While the Blaugrana's incredible achievements over the course of their 118 year history are astounding, the fact that some of the best players in their history were honed and nurtured by their own academy makes it even more special.
La Masia's astounding success has redefined what it means to be a footballing academy. While clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea can pride themselves on having their graduates playing at the highest levels in Europe, neither of them can claim to produce players of the pedigree that La Masia does.
Over the years, it's not only given Barca the means to become a global footballing behemoth, its also provided world class players for the Spanish national team, players who ushered in the Golden Era that saw them win two successive Euros and a World Cup.
Choosing only 5 players from La Masia's long and illustrious alumni is not an easy task, but here is my opinion on who the best of the best are.
#5 Pep Guardiola
One of Barcelona's most legendary midfielders and the most successful manager in the club's history. If you were to make a list of the people who are responsible for Barca being the club that it is today, Pep would probably be at the top.
Almost everyone knows what he's done for them as a manager (14 trophies in 4 seasons), but he was actually even more successful for them as a player.
In the peak of his playing career in the 90's, Pep was one of the most technically gifted deep lying playmakers in the world. He represented Barca's C and B teams before breaking into the first team in 1991 at just the age of 20.
He was a first team regular throughout that decade, helping Barca dominate the La Liga and win an unprecedented 6 league titles.
He never possessed pace or an imposing physicality, so he was mostly utilised to start attacking moves from the back with his vision and creativity. Eventually, his playing time would be restricted thanks to the emergence of two younger Spanish midfielders (we'll meet them a little ways down the list), but at his peak, he was one of the best in the world.