Thrive or barely survive: Why not every good player is suited to play for Barcelona
Barcelona have a distinct playing style and not everyone is able to adapt to the same.
It is a verified truth that not every player is suited to be a Barcelona player. You just need a bit of technique and craftiness, if not all. Most players gain fame and respect playing elsewhere, but when they come to Barcelona, they have to start again.
Barcelona has a unique style of play in Europe with dominant possession and intricate passing, which requires synchronization among each player. So, players need to get adapted to that style with perfection in order to be successful in Catalonia.
No, you are not good enough for Barcelona
These words are a nightmare for any player who dreams of playing for Barcelona in his career. Not every player is made for the Blaugrana outfit, and very few are eligible to pass the test. So, dreams are dashed now and then.
This pedigree started with Johan Cruyff, as he came and conquered. He brought the distinctive style with him and changed the whole complexion of the modern game. First as a player, then as a manager, he orchestrated the tiki-taka style and started the process.
At that time, the team adapted to the new style and slowly results started pouring in. The opposition got startled, getting robbed of possession so long that frustration started creeping in. And with so many passes in the midfield and off-the-ball positioning, the game was being played to an altogether new level never seen before.
Barcelona were simply invincible from 2005 to 2009 when they mesmerized the world with technical prowess blended with passing flair. Graduates from the academy with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets became legendary and defined an era of football. Not only Barcelona, but Spain also benefitted by winning the World Cup and back to back European Cup.
Many players have come and gone through these years, but those who have adapted to this style have thrived, others just faded away. To play in Barcelona, a player needs to have perfect passing quality, top-notch ball controlling skills and split-second decision-making ability.
Players like Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman, and Michael Laudrup were part of the growing era of the club, and they were pretty successful during their stint. They were technically gifted players and adapted to the style and philosophy of the team.
One example of a player who enthralled people during his tenure in Brazilian wizard Ronaldinho. The enigmatic Brazilian restored back the club's pride after a barren run of 4 years and proved his greatness.
No Barcelona fan will ever forget the El Clasico match in which he single-handedly destroyed Real Madrid with his deceptive passes and uninhibited style of football.
Big names have failed in the past
On the other hand, players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexis Sanchez, Javier Saviola were signed to play alongside Messi and Iniesta but they failed to shine in Camp Nou. There was no doubt about their quality but every player doesn't suit the Barcelona style. Being inconsistent and not able to prove their worth, the club either sold them off or loaned them elsewhere.
There is no dearth of talent nowadays, but to be successful at the club, that talent needs to be cast in the Barcelona mould. If he is persistent enough, then he is surely a Barca guy. Recent players like Gerard Deulofeu, Andre Gomes, Aleix Vidal have not been able to live up to the expectations, and are facing the axe.
In spite of sky-high expectations, lots of players have the desire to play for Barcelona as success will earn them fame and respect in the football fraternity. And who doesn't want to play beside Lionel Messi and be a Blaugrana?