Barcelona rejects XI

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 22:  Pepe Reina of Villarreal is in action during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal on May 22, 2005 at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Luis Bagu/Getty Images)
Reina played a major part as Villarreal qualified for the Champions League for the first time
Akshay Pai
Modified 04 Jan 2017
Top 5 / Top 10

Barcelona have been the most successful football club in the world in the past decade, brushing aside teams in the both the La Liga and the Champions League, to establish the sort of continental dominance that is rarely seen in football these days.

A large part of this success can be attributed to phenomenally talented players such as Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Carlos Puyol, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and many, many more who have played a significant part in establishing the Blaugrana as a powerhouse in world football after the so-called ‘dry spell’ of the early 2000’s.

Also read: All-time Barcelona XI

The money and the fame that accompanies a player who dons the shirt of the Catalans has lured many great players to the club. While those such as Luis Suarez and Neymar have gone on to become integral members of the team, quite a few, who could easily walk into the first XI’s of any other team in the world, have seen themselves wither away on the bench through no fault of their own.

Here, we present to you a Barcelona rejects XI in a 4-2-3-1 formation, consisting of some incredible players who simply did not make the cut:

Goalkeeper: Pepe Reina

Pepe Reina’s father, Miguel Reina, played for Barcelona in goal in the 60’s and Pepe, in turn, joined the first team from the academy, making 49 appearances before being offloaded to Villarreal.

With Reina between the sticks, the Yellow Submarine qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history. Reina then became regarded as one of Europe’s best keepers and won the FA Cup, the Coppa Italia and the Bundesliga at Liverpool, Napoli and Bayern Munich respectively. He also won the Golden Glove in each of his first 3 seasons with Liverpool in the Premier League.

Now back in Naples, the Spaniard has more than 250 career clean sheets as well as a World Cup and 2 European Championship winners’ medals to boast of.

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Published 04 Jan 2017
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