5 Players that defined the last decade of FC Barcelona
The club is at a stage where it has signed multiple players such as Coutinho and Dembele and is going through some kind of an identity crisis.
It no longer employs the famed Tiki-Taka style of football of the past and is looking to engineer a return to past glory. One way to do that is to understand the type of players it took to achieve that success.
Pique has been instrumental in keeping the Barcelona defense as stingy as it has been throughout the years despite having multiple partners in defense. He was an important and inspirational defensive pillar in his prime, along with the other major stalwarts from the famed Spanish academy La Masia. He deserves a mention here for his contribution to the club.
Valdes was the last line of defense for Barcelona for many years and will be remembered for his excellent distribution and shot stopping skills. Although his career with Barcelona ended rather unceremoniously, he is still fondly remembered among the faithful.
#5 Sergio Busquets
One of the two remaining players on this list still playing in Barcelona, Sergio Busquets is possibly the most underrated of the five. A defensive midfielder by trade, Busquets embodied the Tiki-Taka style of play in his every move. He was an undisputed lock at his midfield position and has provided much needed stability for the club over the years.
Busquets made his senior debut on 13th September 2008 and hasn't looked back since. He has been an integral part of both FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. His ability to read the game and his sense of positioning are what set him apart from most players.
He flourished under Pep Guardiola's system and became a first team regular under him. He is not the fastest and probably not the strongest player on the pitch. But he makes up for it with guile and tactical nuance.
In soccer, tall players are usually not the quickest with their feet and don't have the best balance due to their high center of gravity. But Busquets broke that constraint by showing quick feet and great balance under pressure from opposing defenders.
He is also good in the air due to his height and has scored quite a few goals from set-pieces, an area where Barcelona traditionally lacked good attacking threats.
Although his antics in feigning injuries and diving haven't brought him much love. However, he remains worthy of praise for all that he does on the football pitch. At the age of 30, he now looks to be quickly moving out of his prime and headed for retirement. But his contributions on the field will not be forgotten.