5 players whose careers dipped after joining Barcelona

FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga
Varun Totadri
Modified 21 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Barcelona has always been one of the biggest clubs in world football. The Catalan giants are synonymous with winning trophies and playing host to some of the best footballers the world has ever seen.

Their infamous La Masia academy has produced some of the greatest players of their generations, such as Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas, and Lionel Messi, to name a few.

Due to the size and stature of the club, it's been a dream for many footballers to eventually don the Blaugrana colors at some point in their careers.

While many top players have fulfilled that dream over the years, including Thierry Henry, Luis Suarez, Neymar and Ronaldinho, the club has seen many of those dreams turn into nightmares. The pressure of playing a certain style of football for a marquee club and performing on a consistent basis proved too much for these five players, whose careers nosedived after joining Barcelona:

#5 Alex Song

Prior to his move to Barcelona in 2012, Alex Song had developed into one of Arsenal's best players during his six years at the club. The defensive midfielder developed a formidable partnership with Dutch star Robin van Persie during his last few seasons with the club, providing a number of assists for the striker.

Despite having a number of other midfielders to choose from, Barcelona made a shock move for Alex Song in 2012 and signed the Cameroonian for Β£15 million.

During his time with the Catalans, Song was often asked to play out of position at centre-back. He made 65 appearances for Barcelona in his first two seasons with the club before being sent to West Ham on loan for two seasons. Song was unable to revive his career with the Hammers and eventually joined Rubin Kazan in 2016 after his contract with Barcelona was terminated.

#4 Alexander Hleb

Barcelona v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League semi-final
Barcelona v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League semi-final

Much like Alex Song, Alexander Hleb developed into a fine player during his three seasons with Arsenal. The Belarusian formed a remarkable partnership with Cesc Fabregas for the Gunners.

Hleb joined Barcelona in the summer of 2008 in a deal worth €17 million and made 36 appearances during his first season with the club but failed to score a single goal.

After spending the next three years of his contract with Barcelona on loan at four different clubs, Hleb's contract was terminated in 2012 and the midfielder joined BATE Borisov.

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Published 21 Apr 2021
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