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25 Greatest FC Barcelona Players of All Time 

FC Barcelona is one of the biggest soccer clubs on the planet, with one of the biggest fanbases in sport, and they have a history that’s the envy of every club in the world.

The Catalan giants have built this reputation thanks to their players, who, over the years, have turned the club into a global powerhouse. 

With a stadium that holds almost 100,000 fans, the need to entertain is huge, and Barcelona rarely disappoints; with 75 trophies to its name as of 2023, Barcelona is one of the most successful clubs ever seen.

Winning attracts winners, and the club has been lucky enough to have had some of the greatest players in history playing at Camp Nou. 

Today, we’re going to look at the greatest FC Barcelona players of all time, global stars, and local heroes; the Spanish giants have a history of nurturing the very best young players and turning them into phenomenal players. 

Here are the 25 greatest FC Barcelona players of all time.

25. Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

  • Position: Centre-Forward

A player so confident in his superior abilities that he often refers to himself in the third person, Zlatan is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum.

The Swedish star is also an outstanding soccer player and would spend two seasons at Barcelona, winning a La Liga title and the UEFA Super Cup. Talented, arrogant, and an excellent striker, Ibrahimovic leaves his mark wherever he plays. 

24. Luis Enrique 

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  • Position: Right Midfield

Few players can play for Real Madrid and Barcelona and still remain popular, but Spanish midfielder Luis Enrique managed it with style.

After playing for Barcelona’s fierce rivals for five years, he was released on a free transfer and spent eight successful years as a Barcelona player before retiring in 2004. 

Scoring 73 league goals for the club certainly helped Enrique settle in, and the player would be far more successful at Camp Nou than he had been in Madrid.

Two league titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, and several European trophies would make the Spaniard extremely popular in Catalonia.

23. Luis Figo 

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  • Position: Right Winger

Just like Luis Enrique, Luis Figo would play for both Spanish giants, spending five years at Barcelona before a further five at hated rivals Real Madrid.

The fallout from the Portuguese player’s move to Madrid would rage on for years, as Barcelona fans vented their frustrations at the perceived lack of loyalty shown by Figo. 

While he was at Barcelona, the winger had been one of the best players on the planet, so the fans’ despair was well founded.

After Real Madrid matched the release clause that Barcelona had assumed was beyond reach, the player left Barca and would be mercilessly abused every time the two teams met. A great player but possibly a bad career move. 

22. Marc-Andre ter Stegen 

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  • Position: Goalkeeper
GamesGoals concededClean sheets

German international Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been the number one for Barcelona for several years. He has established himself as one of European soccer’s calmest, most agile goalkeepers.

A tall, reflexive goalie, ter Stegen is excellent at charging down opponents and has a great passing range, which makes him an ideal sweeper-keeper for Barcelona. 

Being good on the ball matters at Barcelona; the goalkeeper needs to be great at distribution, and long kicks upfield are frowned upon, so ter Stegen’s accuracy is a big plus.

With many years left in his career, we can expect to see the excellent German between the posts for many years to come. 

21. David Villa 

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  • Position: Centre-Forward

A two-time La Liga winner with Barcelona, David Villa was an opportunistic striker whose deadly accuracy encouraged Barcelona to pay Valencia €40 million for their star striker.

Thanks to his ability to shoot with either foot and his superb timing, Villa was a difficult predator to stop. Defenders never knew where the player would pop up, and when he arrived in the area, he seldom missed. 

20. Neymar

  • Position: Left-Winger

Brazil’s golden child, the successor to Pele, Neymar, was a star in the making at 15 years old, and it was only a matter of time before the Santos star would move to European soccer. The question on everyone’s lips, though, was who would sign the precocious talent? 

The answer would be Barcelona, with the Brazilian moving to Catalonia in 2013, where he would enjoy four incredible seasons at the Camp Nou.

Forming a partnership with Lionel Messi, Neymar would help Barcelona to two La Liga titles and a Champions League. 

Incredibly, the player was sold in 2017 to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record €222 million, a record that still stands today.

Despite winning several Ligue 1 titles with PSG, Neymar has never looked truly settled in Paris, and many Barcelona fans would love to see the player return to Spain. 

19. Michael Laudrup 

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  • Position: Attacking Midfield

Denmark’s most outstanding midfielder, Michael Laudrup, spent five seasons with Barcelona before moving to Real Madrid, and while at Barcelona, the gifted midfielder was lauded as the most complete attacking midfielder in world soccer.

Gifted with incredible vision, Laudrup had a speed of thought that allowed him to be several moves ahead of the competition, setting up goals that noone else could see. 

Thanks to his incredible passing range, the Danish legend could pass, shoot, dribble, and create chances from anywhere on the field.

Nowhere was safe when Laudrup had the ball; if players retreated, he would dribble through; if they closed in quickly, he would simply pass over, around, or through them. 

18. Pedro 

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  • Position: Left/Right-Winger

After working his way through the Barcelona youth academy and the C and B teams, Pedro finally made it to the Barcelona first team in 2008. He would spend seven seasons carving opponents apart with his darting runs. 

As intelligent a soccer player as you’ll ever find, Pedro might have been small in stature. Still, his tactical awareness and speed, agility, and dribbling skills make him a living nightmare for defenses.

Moving in from deep, Pedro was impossible to mark out of the game, and the closer defenders got, the easier Pedro would leave them for dead.

17. Samuel Eto’o 

  • Position: Centre-Forward

Cameroon’s greatest ever soccer player, Samuel Eto’o, was a frighteningly good striker, netting almost 300 league goals in a career that spanned 23 years.

In his five seasons with Barcelona, the energetic, hardworking Cameroonian would go on to score a clinical 108 league goals in just 144 games. 

Cameroon’s all-time leading goalscorer was hard-working, tough to dispossess, and had an eye for goal that was lethal.

Able to play on both wings, as well as a lone striker, Eto’o understood the ebb and flow of a game, maintaining his energy for when needed and then destroying teams with his well-timed runs. Eto’o was an irrepressible, incredibly efficient striker at his best. 

16. Pep Guardiola 

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  • Position: Defensive Midfield

Pep Guardiola may be more famous for his incredible management career, but as a player, the Barcelona midfielder was one of the most intelligent in soccer.

Long before he was guiding players to play the Guardiola way, Guardiola was playing what he preached; tactical, intelligent soccer. 

A defensive midfielder with excellent vision and tactical awareness, Guardiola scored a mere six goals in his La Liga career but probably stopped hundreds from being scored past his own keeper.

Calmness personified, Guardiola was the perfect defensive player; rarely ruffled and able to dictate play through sitting in front of the defense and orchestrating moves. 

15. Gheorghe Hagi 

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  • Position: Attacking Midfield

Gheorghe Hagi was a Romanian Attacking midfielder with a penchant for arguing with officials, unsportsmanlike conduct, a terrible disciplinary record, and a left foot that was probably the best in world soccer. 

Despite his many shortcomings, the superb Hagi was one of the most gifted players of his generation and arguably the best Romanian soccer player of all time.

Hagi only spent two seasons with Barcelona while there struggled for game time under Johan Cruyff. Despite this, he did contribute with several key goals and is remembered as an exceptionally gifted player.

14. Patrick Kluivert 

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  • Position: Centre-Forward

From 1998 to 2004, Patrick Kluivert was one of the best strikers in Europe, scoring 124 goals for Barcelona in 249 appearances.

Despite only picking up one trophy in his time at the Camp Nou, A La Liga title in 1999, Kluivert was a well-respected, intelligent striker. 

A big guy, Kluivert was nonetheless a mobile, articulate player with an ability to dominate opposing players, especially in the air. At times considered aloof, Kluivert never really became a fan favorite.

Still, his goal contributions and overall talent make him hard to ignore as one of the best Barcelona players of all time. 

13. Hristo Stoichkov 

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  • Position: Left-Winger

Bulgarian striker Hristo Stoichkov was an outstanding player with a temper that matched his ability. Able to argue with his own shadow, Stoichkov was often seen raging at match officials before setting on on a mazy run and scoring from 30 yards.

His incredible desire to win would see Stoichkov score 220 goals in the league, averaging almost one every two games. 

Stoichkov spent two spells with the club, scoring 83 La Liga goals in his eight seasons with the Catalan club.

He was also a winger, cutting inside and taking long-range shots on goal. A genuinely fantastic player and one that Barcelona fans still talk about. 

12. Ronaldo 

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  • Position: Centre-Forward

It’s a bit cheeky putting the legendary Ronaldo in our Barcelona dream team, but such was the player’s talent and the sheer impact he had on La Liga that we couldn’t leave him off our list.

In his sole season with Barcelona, the Brazilian striker scored 34 league goals in 37 games and finished the season with an eye-watering 47 goals in 49 games in all competitions. 

A striker rate such as this is incredible, and it was in no small part due to the astonishing condition that Ronaldo kept himself.

Before the injuries that would later cripple his phenomenal career, Ronaldo was a robust and bullish player with a turn of pace that terrified opponents.

Once up to full speed, he was impossible to knock off the ball and would simply run through players; he was absolutely world-class. 

11. Luis Suarez 

  • Position: Centre-Forward

After impressing at both Ajax and Liverpool, it was inevitable that the biggest club in soccer would be looking at Luis Suarez, one of Uruguay’s most successful players.

After moving to Spain in 2014, Suarez enjoyed unprecedented success with Barcelona, scoring 147 league goals in just 191 appearances. 

The Uruguayan’s speed of thought and his vision allows him to get into the right places, evading the defender’s attention and popping up with vital goals. 

A technically excellent player, Suarez can shoot with both feet, always finds enough space in which to operate, and rarely misses the target.

10. Dani Alves 

  • Position: Right-Back

A right-back by trade, Dani Alves became known as the most versatile and attacking fullback in Barcelona’s history.

Blessed with stamina, pace, and an excellent crosser of the ball, Alves was a vital player for many years, joining his teammates in attacking phases, overlapping teammates on the wing, and then flying back into his own half to go again. 

Alves won everything with Barca, including six La Liga, four Copa del Rey, three Champions League finals, three FIFA Club World Cup titles, and the UEFA Super Cup.

One of the most decorated players in history, the Brazilian won trophies for Bahia, Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Brazil. Now in his 22nd season as a pro, Alves shows no signs of slowing down. 

9. Ronald Koeman 

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  • Position: Centre-Back

Goalscoring defenders are rare, but none are as rare as Dutch legend Ronald Koeman, the highest-scoring defender of all time.

In his six hugely successful seasons at Barcelona, the Dutch defender scored 90 goals, an incredible number for a defender.

Well known for his long-range passing, Koeman was integral to Barcelona’s success, helping the club to win four La Liga titles and the European Cup.

An excellent defender, Koeman was also the club’s penalty taker and still holds the record for the most consecutive penalties scored in La Liga, with 25 in a row. 

8. Romario 

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  • Position: Centre-Forward

In a career spanning an incredible 24 years, Romario, one of Brazil’s most famous soccer players, scored an impressive 311 league goals.

In his two seasons with Barcelona, the player became part of the Cruyff-inspired dream team, and the prolific striker led the club to a La Liga title, scoring 30 goals in just 33 games. 

Widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers of all time, even by fellow strikers, Romario was a penalty-box predator but also became known as one of the first to drop deeper into the field looking for the ball.

Before Romario, strikers stayed put; after Romario, strikers were expected to help carve out opportunities for themselves. 

7. Diego Maradona 

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  • Position: Attacking Midfield

It’s difficult to know where to place Diego Maradona on a list such as this; on the one hand, he’s one of the greatest players in history, but on the other, he only played 36 league games for Barcelona.

We’ve erred on the side of caution, Maradona was a truly incredible player, and his legacy will remain forever. 

While at Barcelona, Maradona didn’t have the best of times, but he was a crucial figure in the squad, scoring 22 goals in La Liga.

After an ugly game against Atletic Bilbao, in which Maradona knocked out an opposing player and attacked several more, he was sold to Napoli, where he became a legend. 

6. Rivaldo 

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  • Position: Attacking Midfield

An attacking midfielder with the goalscoring ability of a seasoned striker, Rivaldo was one of the greatest Brazilian players of all time.

Possessing incredible skill and a powerful shot, Rivaldo could keep the ball within inches of his feet and fly past defenders at high speed. Despite being tall and thin, the Brazilian was surprisingly strong and could take quite a beating from defenders.

A combination of attributes allowed Rivaldo to become one of the best Barcelona players of all time; his incredible desire to win and the Brazilian penchant for sublime artistry with a soccer ball. Rivaldo would help Barcelona to win two La Liga, a Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Super Cup. 

5. Ronaldinho 

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  • Position: Left-Winger

Before Lionel Messi, there was Ronaldinho, one of the most outrageously talented players Brazil has ever produced.

An exuberant, unpredictable player, Ronaldinho could turn defenders inside out with his trickery and was one of the most entertaining Barcelona players of all time. 

Playing as either a winger or attacking midfielder, the Brazilian superstar would drive towards goal, dribbling past players with ease.

Capable of some of the most outrageous tricks you’ll ever see with a soccer ball, Ronaldinho didn’t care whether it was in the local park or at the World Cup final; he was playing for the sheer enjoyment of it. 

4. Xavi 

  • Position: Central Midfield

After forming a partnership with Andres Iniesta, Spanish international Xavi became one of the best midfielders in the world.

Xavi was an outstanding player with seemingly limitless time on the ball, always finding enough space to take the ball from a teammate and then moving the ball on. 

It’s difficult to explain just how good Xavi was; he rarely got caught in possession, rarely did anything spectacular, but never seemed to misplace a pass or make a wrong decision on the pitch.

Teammates and managers alike understood that Xavi was the heartbeat of the team; for all the players around him, and some were truly great players, Xavi made Barca tick.

3. Andres Iniesta 

  • Position: Central Midfield

A Barcelona youth academy graduate, Andres Iniesta is one of the most complete Spanish midfielders that has ever played soccer.

La Masia, the youth camp for Barcelona’s young players, has provided the first team with players like Xavi, Messi, Pique, and Iniesta, and these players formed the backbone of one of the best squads in history. 

Iniesta spent five years at La Masia before a 16-year career in the Barca first team, where he would go on to become arguably the best midfielder on earth. While not a prolific goalscorer, the Spanish international was one of the most creative midfielders around, with a passing range that defied belief. 

Rarely losing the ball and always finding goalscoring opportunities for his teammates, Iniesta was the complete player.

Always two steps ahead, the World Cup winner could play anywhere except in goal and was superb at finding time and space to drive forwards into attacking positions. The complete player, and a Barcelona legend, Iniesta, was priceless. 

2. Johan Cruyff 

  • Position: Attacking Midfield

One of the most influential players and managers of all time, Johan Cruyff, spent five seasons with Barcelona as a player and a further eight as a manager. As a player, Cruyff transformed Barcelona, helping them to their first La Liga in almost 15 years, and quickly became a fan favorite. 

Cruyff was one of the most unpredictable players, with a skill level that was far beyond anyone else of the era. Able to score incredible goals, the Dutchman could play as a striker or in attacking midfield.

Cruyff transformed soccer, and when he moved into management after finally retiring, he took his ideals on how soccer should be played and created the foundations of the Barcelona ethos we see today. 

1. Lionel Messi 

  • Position: Right-Winger

When you’re the greatest soccer player of all time, it doesn’t matter who you play for, but luckily for fans of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi spent most of his career at Camp Nou.

As a player, Messi is the most gifted, most complete athlete ever seen. With skill, balance, dribbling ability, and a soccer brain that’s often minutes ahead of everyone else in the stadium, Messi is the complete package. 

The record for the most goals scored for Barcelona stood for an incredible 87 years; Paulino Alcantara’s 369 goals was a lofty goal to beat. Messi finished up with 672 goals, 474 in La Liga; it’s a record that will probably never be beaten.

The club’s all-time record appearances belong to Lionel Messi, as does the record for having scored the most goals for a single club; Messi is the best player ever seen in a Barcelona jersey, the best player in history.