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5 players whose careers dipped after joining FC Barcelona

Arda Turan (right) was one of several players who found out that moving to Barcelona doesn
Arda Turan (right) was one of several players who found out that moving to Barcelona doesn't always guarantee success.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 30 Sep 2020, 19:31 IST
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Barcelona are one of the most decorated football clubs in the world and a dream destination for several players. The club, which has been graced by several top players in the past, continue to recruit the very cream of the current crop of players too.

However, given the challenges and expectations that come with representing the Blaugrana, not everyone is able to succeed and leave a mark at the Camp Nou.

Five players whose careers dipped after joining Barcelona

Despite Barcelona continuing their pursuit of major trophies, some recruits have failed to contribute to the club's cause for reasons ranging from recurring injury problems to struggles in adjusting to the club's unique brand of football.

Here we look at five such players who flopped at Barcelona and subsequently witnessed a dip in their careers:

#5 Ibrahim Afellay

Ibrahim Afellay made just 34 appearances in three years at Barcelona.
Ibrahim Afellay made just 34 appearances in three years at Barcelona.

Ibrahim Afellay, one of the most highly rated youngsters at PSV Eindhoven, fell short of fulfilling his potential at Barcelona after struggling to establish himself in the Blaugrana first-team.

After being signed in January of 2011, Afellay was effective during the second-half of that season for the Catalans. The Dutch winger made 28 appearances that included one in the Champions League final after coming off the bench, and he scored a goal in the La Liga too.

However, it didn't help the winger break into the Barcelona first-team the next season as Pep Guardiola used him sparingly, and Afellay's career steadily declined. Even loan spells to Schalke and Olympiacos failed to revive the player's career.

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Afellay was eventually sold to Stoke City in 2015 on a permanent basis. After impressing there in his first year, he was plagued with injury issues once again, prompting the club to release the Dutchman in January last year.


#4 Alex Song

Alex Song was a square peg in a round hole at Barcelona.
Alex Song was a square peg in a round hole at Barcelona.

That Alex Song's time at Barcelona is best remembered for that embarrassing gaffe in 2013 when he thought Carles Puyol was handing him the La Liga trophy pretty much sums up his time in Catalonia.

The Cameroonian, widely considered to be one of the most puzzling transfers to Barcelona to date, admitted to have joined the club solely to 'become a millionaire'. But a series of poor showings affected his career in the long run as he never again captured the form that propelled him to stardom at Arsenal.

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In the two years he spent in the Spanish league, Song made only 39 top-flight appearances, most of them by coming off the bench. He couldn't acclimatise to Barcelona's playing philosophy and returned to the Premier League with West Ham in 2014.

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Published 30 Sep 2020, 19:31 IST
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