5 players you didn't know played for Barcelona


Barcelona are one of the most successful clubs in football, especially since the turn of the century. Along with Real Madrid, the Blaugrana have the most trophies (91) of any club in Europe's top five leagues.

In 2009, under the tutelage of a certain Pep Guardiola, Barcelona won a staggering six titles, which included the first-ever continental treble by a Spanish club and three other domestic and continental honours.

Six years later, the Blaugrana became the first club in the history of the sport to win multiple continental trebles. Even though their fortunes may have dwindled since then - Barcelona endured a first trophyless season in 12 years last campaign - they remain a force to be reckoned with.

Five players you didn't know played for Barcelona

Considering the history and rich pedigree of Barcelona, some of the finest players in the sport have turned up for the club over the years.

The likes of Johan Cryuff, Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten, Ronaldo Nazario, Luis Figo, Ronaldinho, Xavi and Lionel Messi, to name a few, have donned the famed Barcelona jersey and etched their names in the club's folklore.

However, a few other players enjoyed greater success elsewhere than they managed at Barcelona. On that note, let us have a look at five such players, in no particular order.

#5 Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta

Current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta began his professional career at Barcelona but found first-team opportunities incredibly difficult to come by.

After three years with the club's B-team, Arteta had stints at Paris St. Germain, Rangers and Real Sociedad before landing in the Premier League, where he blossomed into a fine midfielder.

In over 350 cumulative games at Everton and Arsenal, the former Barcelona player flourished in a deep-lying playmaking role, scoring 51 times and providing 44 assists.

In a later interview, Arteta revealed that he left Barcelona because he was behind in the pecking order and had little chance of breaking into the first team.

"I was playing in Barcelona and Guardiola and Xavi were ahead of me; it was a complicated situation. By that time I was 17 and Luis Fernandez called me from PSG to sign me. The next day I was already flying to Paris."

#4 Juan Roman Riquelme

Juan Roman Riquelme
Juan Roman Riquelme

Juan Roman Riquelme, considered one of the world's finest playmakers when in his prime, weaved his magic at Boca Juniors and Villarreal but struggled to make much of an impact during his lone season at Barcelona.

Riquelme had a largely underwhelming stint at Camp Nou, producing six goals and nine assists in 42 games, as he was played in an unfamiliar role in the wings by then-Barcelona manager Louis Van Gaal.

A frustrated Riquelme showed only fleeting glimpses of his prowess on the ball before he left Barcelona to join Villareal, where he rediscovered his mojo.

Former Barcelona player Hristo Stoichkov launched a scathing attack on Van Gaal for his handling of Riquelme, saying in this regard:

"He did not succeed because of the way Van Gaal put him on the field. But even so, the first year in Barcelona, he also enjoyed a lot. I enjoyed his goals, passes, plays, stepovers, but when one comes who wants to invent one thing from something else, it's impossible."

#3 Maxi Lopez

Maxi Lopez
Maxi Lopez

Maxi Lopez made a memorable debut for Barcelona when he scored with his first touch in a Champions League game against Chelsea.

However, that was as good as it got for Lopez at Barcelona. He scored only once in 12 more appearances in all competitions before leaving the club after failing to break into the first team.

Lopez played for a number of clubs during his career - 14 of them to be exact - but struggled with consistency, scoring less than ten goals for as many as 12 clubs.

#2 Ricardo Quaresma

Ricardo Quaresma (left)
Ricardo Quaresma (left)

After attracting the attention of top clubs during his stint at Sporting Lisbon, Ricardo Quaresma arrived at Barcelona in the summer of 2003 with much fanfare.

However, for all his guile and prowess on the ball, Quaresma's temperament turned out to be his worst enemy as also his inconsistency, questionable work-rate and tactical indiscipline.

Quaresma had all the attributes in the world to succeed at Barcelona: he could play at either flank; he could dribble, cross and create opportunities for teammates; and he could trouble opposition defences because of his finesse, speed and creativity.

However, that was not to be as injuries and a fallout with then-Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard meant that Quaresma left the club after only one season.

The 37-year-old, who plays for Vittoria Guimaraes now, went on to play at a plethora of top clubs like Inter Milan, Porto and Chelsea, but inconsistency remained his hallmark and prevented him from fulfilling his true potential.

#1 Thiago Motta

Thiago Motta (left)
Thiago Motta (left)

Thiago Motta began his professional career at Barcelona in the summer of 2001, but injuries and an inability to break into the first team meant that the player had a largely underwhelming six-season stint at the club.

Motta, who could play in a number of positions in midfield, scored only ten times at Barcelona before he left for stints at Atletico Madrid, Genoa and Inter Milan, where injuries continued to play spoilsport.

It was during a seven-stint at Paris St. Germain that Motta found some semblance of consistency as he made several goal contributions from a deep-lying playmaking role and won titles galore.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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