Monday, January 28, 2019

Barcelona All-Time Team for Foreign Players

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Ronald Koeman, Johan Cruyff and Michael Laudrup

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Barcelona's Foreign Players.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Catalonia World Cup 2010
Spain without Catalan players World Cup 2010
Catalonia All-Time Team,
Barcelona All-Time Team
Barcelona All-Time Team for Spanish Players
Barcelona Dutch Best XI
Dutch-German Rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Barcelona "La Masia" Academy Greatest All-Time team

Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, Spanish, English, and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto "Més que un club" ("More than a club"). Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the fourth-most valuable sports team in the world, worth $4.06 billion, and the world's richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €840,8 million.

Despite of being one of the best Spanish sides domestically, Barcelona did not win their first European Cup until 1992 when Johan Cruyff's Dream Team beat Sampdoria in the Final.  For a club with such a long and successful record, the victory was long overdue. However, in the 21st Century, Barcelona's luck changed.  They had won four, more titles.
Luis Suarez, Claudio Bravo and Dani Alves
GK: Ruud Hesp (Netherlands)
Ruud Hesp first got his opportunity with Fortuna Sittard from 1987 and 1994. He then playd for Roda from 1994 to 1997.  However, it was at Barcelona, where he enjoyed the best part of his career. He was their surprise starter over Victor Baia while playing Louis Van Gaal.  He travelled with the Dutch national team to Euro 1996 and the World Cup 1998, but he never earned a single cap for Holland.

GK: Claudio Bravo (Chile)
As of 2018, Claudio Bravo is Chile's most capped player with 119 times.  He was the hero of Chile's two back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016, winning penalty shootouts on both Finals.  He also went to two World Cup Finals. He started his professional career playing with Colo-Colo at home.  He also played with Real Sociedad, Barcelona and Manchester City.

GK: Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany)
After four seasons in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach,  Marc-André ter Stegen joined Barcelona in 2014. He won the treble in his first season in Spain, playing for Barcelona in Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League while Claudio Bravo started in La Liga.  At the international level, he has earned 21 caps.  He was a backup at Euro 2016 and the World Cup in 2018.

RB: Dani Alves (Brazil)
Dani Alves spent 6 years with Sevilla, winning two UEFA Cup's before joining Barcelona in 2008.  Between 2006 and 2022, he played 126 times for Brazil, the third best ever.  In 2016, he joined Juventus, where he played a single season.   He appeared in his fourth Champions League final as Juventus were defeated 4–1 by Real Madrid. In 2017, he joined PSG.  later, he would play for Sao Paulo and UNAM in Mexico.

RB: Julio César Benítez (Uruguay)
Benítez began his football career at 16 in 1955 and played for various teams before joining FC Barcelona. He achieved success with Barcelona, winning the Copa del Generalísimo in 1964 and Inter Cities Fairs Cup in 1966. Tragically, he died days before a crucial match against Real Madrid. His funeral drew 150,000 FC Barcelona fans. The game was postponed but ended in a draw. Barcelona later won the cup final in his memory.

CB/DM: Javier Mascherano (Argentina)
Nicknamed "El Jefecito" ("The Little Chief"), he played for River Plate.  In 2005, he joined Corinthians along with Argentine compatriot, Carlos Tevez.  A year later, he moved to West Ham again with Tevez.  He later played for Liverpool and Barcelona.  He has made over 140 appearances for the Argentina national team, making him the second-most capped player in the country's history. He has represented the nation at five Copa América tournaments, and three World Cups.

Javier Mascherano 

CB:  Rafael Marquez (Mexico) 
Rafael Marquez is one of the best players in Mexico's history.  He started his career with Atlas before moving to play in Europe, notably with Monaco and Barcelona.  He was the first Mexican to win the European Champions' League. He is the first player ever to captain his national team in four consecutive World Cup Finals, captaining Mexico in the 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. He had a total of 146 caps for Mexico between 1997 and 2018.  He won two Gold Cup in 2003 and 2011.

CB:  Ronald Koeman  (Netherlands)
Ronald Koeman was the rock solid sweeper of Holland's Euro1988 team.  He was capped 78 times. He also won two European Cups, one each for PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona FC.  He scored the winning goal for Barcelona's victory in 1992. The Cup was Barcelona FC's first ever European Cup.  In Holland, he played for all of the "big three" clubs, namely Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.

CB/LB: Frank De Boer (Netherlands)
At one point, Frank De Boer was Holland's most capped player. He was a part of Ajax's Champions' League winning team in 1995.  He was an important player in the late 1990's. He captained the Oranje to the semi-finals of both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000.  He also played with Barcelona for 6 years. His twin brother Ronald also played with him for Oranje.

LB/DM:  Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (Netherlands)
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst played for Holland in three World Cups, in 1998, 2006 and 2010, as well as three European Championships, in 2000, 2004 and 2008.  He was the captain of Holland at World Cup 2010, where Holland finished second.  He played 106 times for Holland.  At the club level, he also played with Feyenoord, Barcelona Arsenal and Rangers. 

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst

LB: Éric Abidal (France)
In his career, Abidal played mainly for Lyon and Barcelona, winning 21 major titles the two teams combined, including two Champions League trophies with the latter. His later career was marked by liver disease, resulting in a transplant. A French international across nine years, Abidal represented the nation in two World Cups – finishing second in 2006 – and Euro 2008.

CM: Ivan Rakitic (Croatia)
Born in Switzerland of Croatian background, Rakitic started his career with FC Basel. He played with Schalke 04 from 2007 and 2011.  Then, he moved to Sevilla in 2011.  At Sevilla, he won the Europa Cup in 2014.  He moved to Barcelona.  For Croatia, he earned 100 caps at the time of writing. He played in the midfield with Luka Modric as Croatia reached the Final of the 2018 World Cup Finals.

CM: Bernd Schuster (Germany)
Schuster was the star of West Germany's Euro 1980 winning team, but disagreed with the German Football Association and seldom played for West Germany after the tournament.  He started with FC Koln in 1978. He was a star at La Liga in the 1980's, playing for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. He was the first player to have won the Spanish Cup for the big three in Spain. He later played for Bayer Leverkusen.

CM: Johan Neeskens (Netherlands)
Johan Neeskens was considered to be one of the greatest Dutch midfielders. He had 49 caps for Holland between 1970 and 1981.  Her led Holland to two second place finishes at the World Cup Finals in 1974 and 1978.  He was Holland's top scorer at the 1974 World Cup Finals.  At the club level, he also won three straight European Cups with Ajax: 1971, 1972, 1973. He also played with Barcelona FC and New York Cosmos.

Johan Neesken

AM/FW: Rivaldo (Brazil)
Rivaldo was a part of the attacking trio known as "Three R's" with Ronaldo and Ronaldinho at the 2002 World Cup Finals.  He scored 5 goals in 5 games as Brazil took its 5th World Cup. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1998. He won the 1999 Ballon d' Or. He played for many clubs in his career.  He spent five years with Spanish club Barcelona.  He also played for many clubs in different countries.

RW: Luis Figo (Portugal)
Figo is one of Portugal's greatest players.  He was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year., He is one of the few football players to have played for both Spanish rival clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. His controversial 2000 transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid set a world record fee of €62 million.  With Real Madrid, he was the first member of the Galacticos. He won the Champions' League title in 2002.

LW: Zoltan Czibor (Hungary)
Zoltan Czibor was widely considered to be one of the greatest left winger in history.  He was also a member of the Mighty Magyars of the 1950's.  After 1956. he fled to the West. He joined Ladislao Kubala and Sándor Kocsis to play for FC Barcelona. Together with Ramallets, Evaristo and Luis Suárez, they formed the great Barcelona team of the 1950's. He later played for Espanyol, t FC Basel, FK Austria Wien and Primo Hamilton FC.

LM: Ronaldinho (Brazil)
Ronaldinho was a member of tyhe "Three R's" with Rivaldo and Ronaldo that helped Brazil winning the World Cup in 2002.  He started his career with Gemio before moving to Europe. He played with Paris St Germaine and Barcelona before his form started to drop. He formed the REM line with Etoo and Messi before fighting among them destroyed the team. 

AM/FW: Michael Laudrup  (Denmark)
Michael Laudrup was the Golden Boy of the "Dynamite" Denmark at the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico.  He is regarded as Denmark's greatest offensive players.  He played 104 times for Denmark. In 1999, he was voted the Best Foreign Player in Spanish Football over the preceding 25-year period.  He won five straight La Liga titles 4 with Barcelona and then, one more with Real Madrid. He also played with Brondby, Lazio, Juventus, Kobe Vessels and Ajax.

FW: Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)
Johan Cruyff is the greatest Dutch player ever.  He won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1971, 1973 and 1974.  He was considered one of the best players in history.  He was noted for his brilliant performance at the World Cup in 1974.  He also won three straight European Cups with Ajax in the 1970's.  He moved to Barcelona in 1973 for a world record transfer fees, where he became a legend.  He also played in the NASL.

Johan Cruyff

ST:  Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
Luis Suarez both the 2013-2014 FWA and the PFA Player of the Year while playing for Liverpool in England.  He was also the European Golden Shoe winner that year. Unfortunately, he was known for biting an opponent at a few occasions.  With Barcelona, he was a part of the MSN line. For Uruguay, he helped them to win the Copa America in 2011 and controversially a 4th place finish at 2010 World Cup Finals. He played 138 times for Uruguay.

ST: Sandor Kocsis (Hungary)
Sandor Kocsis was a prolific goalscorer for the Mighty Magyars in the 1950's.   He scored 75 goals in 68 appearances for Hungary.  He scored 11 goals at the WC in 1954, the second highest for a single tournament.  He played for Honved at home before he went to play for Barcelona after the Soviet invasion in 1956.  With fellow Hungarian exiles Ladislao Kubala and Zoltan Czibor, Barcelona became a force in Europe.

FW: Laszlo Kubala (Slovakia/Hungary)
Born in Hungary of a multi-cultural background, Laszlo Kubala  was known as one of the greatest Barcelona players ever.  He still managed to win 4 Li Liga titles in the 1950's in an era dominated by Real Madrid.  In 1961, Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid from the European Cup, the first ever loss by Real Madrid at the tournament. He was capped by Hungry, Spain and Czechoslovakia. He was a guest player for Catalonia national football team.

 Laszlo Kubala

ST/FW: Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)
Hristo Stoichkov is Bulgaria's greatest player. At the 1994 World Cup, Stoichkov was awarded the Golden Boot as the joint top goal scorer of the tournament with six goals, as well as earning the Bronze Ball award. Bulgaria reached the semifinal before losing to Italy. At Barcelona, he was part of Johan Cruyff's "dream team" that won four consecutive La Liga titles and one UEFA Champions League.  He also won the Ballon d'Or in 1994.

RW/FW:  Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona. Messi has won a record eight Ballon d'Or awards, a record six European Golden Shoes, and was named the world's best player for a record eight times by FIFA.  He holds the records for most goals in La Liga (474),For Argentina, he has played over 180 times. He helped them to win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Lionel Messi
Honorable Mention
Samuel Umtiti (France), Gabriel Milito (Argentina), Ronald Araújo (Uruguay),  Juliano Belletti (Brazil), Gianluca Zambrotta (Italy), Michael Reiziger (Netherlands), Seydou Keita (Mali), Phillip Cocu (Netherlands), İlkay Gündoğan (Germany), Diego Maradona (Argentina), Neymar (Brazil), Deco (Portugal), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Evaristo (Brazil),  Allan Simonsen (Denmark), Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands), Hans Krankl (Austria), Steve Archibald (Scotland), Gary Lineker (England), Cayetano Ré (Paraguay) Hugo Sotil (Peru), Ronaldo (Brazil), Romario (Brazil), Robert Lewandowski (Poland).

Squad Explanation -
-- The original team was created in 2019, but I did an intensive review in April 2024.  
-- The greatest ever foreign players for Barcelona would be Ronaldinho, Johan Cruyff, Laszlo Kubala, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Hristo Stoichkov. They are automatic selections.  
-- Laszlo Kubala (Hungary/Slovakia), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria), Dani Alves (Brazil), Ronald Koeman (Holland), Johan Neeskens (Netherlands), Rivaldo (Brazil), Ronaldinho (Brazil) and Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) were on my All-time Team for Barcelona.
-- Johan Cruyff, Hristo Stoichkov, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Leo Messi all won the Ballon d'or over here.  
-- During the 1951-52 season, Barcelona emerged victorious in five competitions, earning them the moniker "Barça of the Five Cups" (Catalan: el Barça de les Cinc Copes). Throughout the 1950s, they continued their success by clinching the La Liga title on three occasions, capturing the Copa del Rey trophy five times, and conquering the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup once. I only took Laszlo Kubala from the "Five Cups" team. The other two Hungarians (Sandor Kocsis and Zoltan Czibor) on this team also played in the 1950's.
-- Since Johan Cruyff joined the club in 1973, Barcelona has been associated with Dutch players.  In addition to Cruyff, I only had Ruud Hesp, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, Frank De Boer, Johan Neeskens and Ronald Koeman.  I also had three Brazilians and three more Hungarians. 
-- Lionel Messi spent 17 seasons on the first team winning 34 trophies.  His teammates on this team included Marc-André ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo, Dani Alves, Luis Suarez, Rafael Marquez, Éric Abidal, Ronaldinho, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and Ivan Rakitic
-- The Bleacher Report came up with their All-Time Best XI for Barcelona in 2012.  The lineup was as following: Antoni Ramallets, Carlos Puyol, Ronald Koeman, Joan Segarra, Pep Guardiola, Xavi Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi, Cesar Rodriguez.
-- also had their own All-Time Best XI during the Champions' League era.  The lineup was as followed: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Dani Alves, Carlos Puyol, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ronaldinho. 
-- Only 4 foreign goalkeepers earned significant playing time with Barcelona: Ruud Hesp, Vitor Baia, Claudio Bravo and Marc-André ter Stegen.  
-- I dropped Vitor Baia, despite the fact he had better international reputation than at least Hesp.  He spent two seasons with the club but was sidelined with a long injury on his second season.  In fact, Ruud Hesp took over the starting position from Vitor Baia during their career here. Ruud Hesp and Marc-André ter Stegen had longer spells than him in Barcelona.   The German has spent more than 10 seasons with the club while winning a Champions' League medal.
-- Claudio Bravo set a La Liga record for not conceding from the start of season for 754 minutes, previously held by Pedro María Artola with 560 minutes; the streak was broken when he conceded his first goal of the season from the penalty spot to Cristiano Ronaldo in a 1–3 defeat to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.
-- Ronald Koeman and Dani Alves were the only foreigners on the defensive unit for my Barcelona All-Time Team.  So I had to create a new set of defenders for this team.
-- With the "Dream Team", Ronald Koeman won La Liga four years in a row from 1991 to 1994. He scored the only goal of the 1992 European Cup Final with a free kick against Sampdoria to give Barcelona their first ever European Cup.
-- Rafael Marquez (Mexico) spent 7 seasons in Barcelona.  He is one of the most-capped non-European players in the club's history.  He was an important player as Barcelona completed the "Sextuple" in 2009.  Frank De Boer spent 5 seasons with the club, but only winning a single title.  Nevertheless, his career over there was fair.  Javier Mascherano won the FC Barcelona Player of the Season (Trofeo Aldo Rovira) for the 2013–14 season.  Brcelona usually used him as a central defender.
-- Lillian Thuram played here at the end of his career. Fernando Couto, Thomas Vermaelen, Samuel Umtiti, Gheorghe Popescu and Laurent Blanc also never settled down in Barcelona. Gabriel Milito was mainly a bench player.  Ronald Araújo already surpassed them.
-- On the right, I locked down Dani Alves.  Julio César Benítez was known for his epic battle with Francisco Gento of Real Madrid.  His sudden death a few days before El Classico remained one of the saddest part of Barcelona FC's history.  He was well-liked and remembered by the fans. Juliano Belletti was mainly a bench player, but he did score a goal in the 2006 Champions' League Final against Arsenal. Gianluca Zambrotta only spent two seasons here.
Julio César Benítez
-- Éric Abidal (France) won the FC Barcelona Player of the Season (Trofeo Aldo Rovira) in 2012.  I also chose to take Giovanni van Bronckhorst over Michael Reiziger.  Known as "Gio" here, he had more impact here than Reiziger.  He was one of the key players as Barcelona won the 2004-2005 La Liga title. Frank De Boer and Phillip Cocu could also play as a leftback.  
-- Seydou Keita was an integral part of Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, but he was mainly a bench player.  This team did not need him as Javier Mascherano and Rafael Marquez also played as defensive midfielders over here.  The position is well-covered.
-- Johan Neeskens was one of the greatest ever central midfielders in history, but in terms of trophies won, his career in Barcelona was relatively unsuccessful.  However, although his impact here was overshadowed by Johan Cruyff, his signing still changed the "DNA" of the team.  He also won the Don Balón Award.  
-- In 2019, I selected Phillip Cocu. He held one of the highest appearance record for a foreigner at the club, but after 2019, Ivan Rakitić's statistics were as good as Cocu.  Furthermore, he was named on La Liga Team of the Season in the 2018-2019 season. I replaced Cocu with Rakitic in 2024.
-- Bernd Schuster outshone Diego Maradona during their time together over here.  He finished third place in Ballon D'or in 1981 and 1985, largely for his performance in Barcelona.  He also came second in 1980, but it was for his performance with West Germany in Euro 1980.  The, I took Michael Laudrup who was a big star in Cruyff's "Dream Team". His departure to Real Madrid changed the balance of power in La Liga.  His first season in Madrid ended Barça's dominance in Spain and gave Real Madrid the league title. While Deco was a big name here, he could not be lay the same claim.  Maradona's name was up for discussion because he was simply Diego Maradona.  His club career was defined while playing for Napoli and Boca Juniors.  He did not do enough for Barcelona. Laudrup was a bigger player than Maradona. This team also had Ronaldinho who was the best player in the world when he was playing here. He won many individual awards. 
-- Luis Figo joined the team to fulfill the role of a right winger, addressing the team's specific need. Although his inclusion stirred controversy, his exceptional performance at Barcelona cannot be denied. He was never a serious consideration for my All-Time team because of his "deflection" to Madrid. For this foreigner only team, I overlooked the transfer move because the alternative choice for a right winger was limited.  Michael Laudrup also left Barcelona for Real Madrid.  Rivaldo and Messi also played as right wing-forwards.
-- In 2024, I added left winger Zoltán Czibor to the team.  In 2019, he was inexplicably neglected during the earlier selection process.  He scored some important goals for Barcelona FC in Europe.  Ronaldinho also played on the left side.  This side of the field was stocked.
-- My Barcelona All-Time Team already included Johan Cruyff, Laszlo Kubala, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Hristo Stoichkov. In 2019, I still added Romario, Ronaldo, Luis Suarez Diaz and Sandor Kocsis to this team. Unfortunately, this influx of talented forwards created an imbalance that needed to be addressed. Consequently, in 2024, I decided to reduce the number of forwards by two so that I could add Julio César Benítez and Zoltán Czibor to the team.
-- Luis Suarez' Diaz's stats and numbers speak for himself. He has scored over 180 goals for the club.
-- Ronaldo scored 34 goals in 37 games for his only season with Barcelona. No one in Barcelona's history had a better season than he did in 1996-1997. He also won the Cup Winners' Cup here. In fact, that might be the greatest single season performance by any player in Europe. As comparison, Romario only scored 9 more goals than Ronaldo in his entire career in Barcelona. He formed a lethal partnership with Hristo Stoichkov, but he came the season after the 1992 Champions' League. He left the team in a controversial manner. So, I decided to drop both Ronaldo and Romario.
-- According to Barcelona's official website, Sandor Kocsis scored around 160 goals in 242 games here.  That number was much better than Romario and Ronaldo.
-- Samuel Eto'o deserved to be on this team.  For some fans, he was the best player not selected.  
-- Neymar's move to PSG finished his chance.  He did not do enough as compared to the others.  His career here was overshadowed by Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez Diaz.  If he stayed to build a stronger career, he might have gotten his credentials, but it would not happen now.
-- Hristo Stoichkov was runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1992 and 1994, and received the Ballon d'Or in 1994. He also brought home Barcelona's first ever European Cup.
Hristo Stoichkov
-- Patrick Kluivert was not seriously considered as compared to the players I just mentioned, but he still earned honourable mention.  Cayetano Ré and Hugo Sotil were also big-timers at the club.
-- Paulino Alcántara (the Philippines/Spain) has represented both the Philippines and Spain. Normally, I would put the first country for oriundo players.  Alfredo Di Stéfano, José Santamaría and Héctor Rial had represented for Spain, but they were considered to be foreign players. However, Paulino Alcántara had played for Catalonia before he played for the Philippines.  So, I put him as a domestic player. He is not considered to be a foreign player.
-- Laszlo Kubala represented Spain late in his career, but no one really considered him as a Spaniard. So, I put him as a foreign player. 

Hesp was more steady while playing for Barcelona. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Barcelona All-Time Team for Spanish Players

Albert Ferrer and Pep Gaurdolia

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Barcelona's Spanish Players.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Catalonia All-Time Team
Barcelona All-Time Team
Barcelona All-Time Team for Foreign Players
Spain without Real Madrid and Barcelona
Barcelona "La Masia" Academy Greatest All-Time team

Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, Spanish, English, and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto "Més que un club" ("More than a club"). Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the fourth-most valuable sports team in the world, worth $4.06 billion, and the world's richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €840,8 million.

Despite of being one of the best Spanish sides domestically, Barcelona did not win their first European Cup until 1992 when Johan Cruyff's Dream Team beat Sampdoria in the Final.  For a club with such a long and successful record, the victory was long overdue. However, in the 21st Century, Barcelona's luck changed.  They had won four, more titles.
Iniesta and Xavi

GK: Andoni Zubizarreta 
Andoni Zubizarreta represented La Roja in 4 World Cup Finals. He was at one point Spain's cap record holder with 126.  He started his club football with Athletic Bilboa in 1981.  He joined for Barcelona in 1986.  He won Barcelona's first ever Champions' League in 1992.  After the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League, where Barça lost 0–4 to A.C. Milan in the final, Zubizarreta was deemed surplus to requirements. He joined Valencia in 1994.
Andoni Zubizarreta 
GK: Antoni Ramallets 
Antoni Ramallets was the starting keeper for Barcelona in the 1950's. He played alongside with Laszio Kubala and Luis Suarez.  He won the Zamora Award 5 times. He won 6 La liga titles in an era that was known to be dominated by Alfred Di Stefano's Real Madrid.  At the international level, Ramallets played 35 games for Spain during 11 years, making his debut against Chile on 29 June 1950, during the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Xabi Alonso, Kroos, Modric
GK: Victor Valdes 
Victor Valdes spent most of his career with Barcelona. With them, he won three Champions' league title.  He also had a unsuccessful stint with Manchester United. For the national team, he only managed 20 caps due to playing behind Iker Casillas during the prime of his career. He was part of the Spanish squads that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012, despite not playing in either tournament.

RB: Albert Ferrer 
Albert Ferrer represented the nation in two World Cups and at the 1992 Olympic Games, winning the latter tournament. He was a part of Barcelona's Dream Team in the 1990's. He won a Champions' League with Barcelona in 1992. After Louis van Gaal took over, Barcelona gradually signed more Dutch players and his places were uncertain. He left for Chelsea. 

CB/RB: Carlos Puyol 
As an one-club man, Carlos Puyol served as the long-time team captain for his only club Barcelona after taking over from Luis Enrique in August 2004, and went on to appear in 593 official games for the club and win 20 major titles, including three Champions League: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11. He earned 100 caps for Spain, winning the World Cup in 2014 and the European Championship in 2008.  His abilities and prowess on the field earned him the nickname of "El Tiburón".

CB: Gerard Pique 
Pique started his career with Barcelona's academy, but left for Manchester Uniued. In England, he was seldom used by the team.  He returned to Spain in 2006 with Zaragoza.  He gradually became a good defender in La Liga.  From 2008 to 2022, he played for Barcelona where he won over 30 trophies. He has been capped 102 times.  He won the 2010 World Cup as well as Euro 2012. His grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, is a former vice-president of Barcelona.
Gerard Pique 
CB: Migueli
Migueli was born in Ceuta.  He started his career with Cadiz in 1970. In 1973, he joined FC Barcelona, winning the 1979 and 1982 Cup Winners Cup.  He spent 20 seasons over there. Known for his physical power, he was nicknamed Tarzan.  He had 32 caps for Spain between 1974 and 1980.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1978 as well as Euro 1980 held in Italy.  He was named Don Balón Award )Best Spanish Player) for two seasons: 1977–78, 1984–85.

CB: Joan Segarra 
Joan Segarra played for Barcelona from1949 to 1964.  He was a part of the great Barcelona team of the 1950's. He was the captain of the "Barça of the Five Trophies". They finally reached the 1961 European Cup Final, but losing to Benfica. He is ranked fifth among all players, by number of starts, in the history of Barcelona. For the national team, he had 25 caps between 1954 and 1958.

LB: Jordi Alba
Jordi Alba started his career at Barcelona, but was released after being deemed too small. After joining Cornellà, he moved to Valencia in 2007. In 2012 he returned to Barcelona.  In 2023, he joined Inter Miami in the MLS.  For Spain, he played 95 times between 2008 and 2013. He was a member of the team that won the Euro 2012.  he was named on the Team of the Tournament. He attended the 2014 and 2018 World Cup Finals.  

LB: Sergi Barjuan 
Sergi was promoted to Barcelona's first team in 1993. He helped them to win the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1997 and three league titles.  In total, he spent 9 seasons there.  He moved to Atletico Madrid in 2002.  He played there until retiring in 2005. He was capped 56 times for the Spanish national team between 1994 and 2002. He went to two World Cup Finals (1994 and 1998) and two European Championships (1996 and 2000).

DM: Sergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets was Spain's unsung hero at winning the 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012 tournaments. He made his national team debut in 2009.  He has earned 142 caps at the time of writing. He captained the 2022 World Cup team. At the club level, he started his career in 2008 with Barcelona.  He has been an important member of the team ever since.  His father Charles played goalkeeper for Barcelona during the 1990's.
Sergio Busquets
DM: Pep Guardiola 
At the club level, Pep Guardiola won a Champions' League with Barcelona in 1992. It was Barcelona's first ever European Cup. He was their captain from 1997 to 2001.  He also played for Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico. He was capped 47 times for Spain, winning the Olympic Gold Medal in 1992, and later appeared at the 1994 World Cup and Euro 2000. He also played friendly matches for Catalonia.

CM/RM/UT: Luis Enrique
Luis Enrique started his career with Sporting Gijon in 1989.  From 1991 to 1996, he played for Real Madrid.  In 1996, he moved to Barcelona, where he played for 8 seasons. At the international level, Luis Enrique played for Spain in three World Cups: 1994, 1998 and 2002 as well as UEFA Euro 1996, and scored 12 goals while gaining 62 caps. He was also a member of the gold-winning squad at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

CM: Josep Samitier 
Josep Samitier was one of the earliest star footballers in Spain.  He played for Barcelona between 1919 and 1932. He is the club's all time third top goalscorer.  He joined Real Madrid in 1932 from Barcelona FC and then played for Nice in France from 1936 to 1939.  In 1920, Samitier was also a member of the first ever Spanish national squad. The squad won the silver medal at the 1920 Olympic Games. He subsequently made 21 appearances and scored 2 goals for Spain.  

AM./CM: Xavi 
Xavi was perhaps one of greatest playmakers of his generation.  He won everything in football.  Xavi has won 31 trophies, only surpassed by Andrés Iniesta as the most successful Spanish player in history.  For the national team, he had 133 caps and was a part of  the team that won the  2010 World Cup and two European Championship in between.  He was named Euro 2008's player of the tournament. He was finished third at the Ballon d'Or in 2010 and 2011.

CM: Guillermo Amor
Amor was a product of FC Barcelona's youth ranks, and made his first-team debuts in the 1988–89 season. He was a part Johan Cruyff's Dream Team that the 1992 European Cup. Amor left Barça in 1998, whet he was among the leader in appearance for the club.  He then played for Fiorentina and Villarreal CF. At the international level, he earned 37 caps. He appeared in Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup Finals.

CM:  Luis Suarez Miramontes 
Luis Suarez was considered to be Spain's greatest player until 1970's. Luis Suarez won Ballon d'Or in 1960.  In 1964, he led La Roja in winning the European Championship.  For club football,  he played as a midfielder for Deportivo de La Coruña, CD España Industrial, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan and Sampdoria. He was known for his career with Barcelona and Inter Milan. He was a member of "Grande Inter" and won two consecutive European Cups.
Luis Suarez Miramontes
RW: Estanislau Basora 
Estanislau Basora was considered of the Barcelona's greatest players. He was a member of Barcelona's team in the 1950's, the greatest Spanish club team before the emerge of Alfred Di Stefano's Real Madrid.   He was capped 22 times for Spain between 1949 and 1957. He went to the World Cup Final in 1950. He also represented Catalonia XI on several occasions.

RW: Carlos Rexach 
From 1965 to 1980, Carlos Rexach played for Barcelona.  He won the Pichichi Trophy in 1971.  He also won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1979.  He was also known for his partnership with Johan Cruyff at Barcelona.  He won a combined eight titles both capacities combined, including the La Liga championship in the 1973–74 season and the 1979 Cup Winners' Cup.  For the national team, he was capped 15 times. He went to the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina, but only appeared once in the Finals.
Carlos Rexach 
LW/FW: Txiki Begiristain
Toxic began his professional career with Real Sociedad in 1982 at the age of 18.  He became an essential member of the side that was coached by John Toshack. From 1988 and 1995, he played with Barcelona alongside fellow Basque José Mari Bakero, Andoni Zubizarreta, Julio Salinas and Ion Andoni Goikoetxea.  He was a member of the Dream Team. At the international level, he earned 22 caps between 1988 and 1994.

LM/CM/AM:  Andres Iniesta 
Andres Iniesta scored the World Cup winning goal in 2010 that gave Spain its first ever World Cup title. At Euro 2012, Iniesta led Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, again being chosen as the Man of the Match of the final against Italy, and was named the Player of the Tournament. He also won four Champions' league trophies with Barcelona where he played from 2002 to 2018.  He also played in Japan and UAE at the end of his career.

AM: José Mari Bakero
José Mari Bakero made his debut with Real Sociedad in 1980 when only 17. He was a part of the Basque sides which won back-to-back La Liga titles.  In 1988, Bakero signed for FC Barcelona.  He won the 1992 European Cup with the team known as the "Dream Team". He earned 30 caps for Spain at the international level between 1987 and 1994. He was a member of the 1988 European Championship team as well as the World Cup team in both 1990 and 1994.
 José Mari Bakero
ST: Mariano Martín
Martín joined FC Barcelona in 1939, proceeding to become one of the club's most prolific scorers. During his nine seasons at the Camp Nou, he netted 128 times in only 150 matches, including 30 in 23 contests in his fourth season, although Barça finished in third place. Martín closed out his career in 1952, after playing for Gimnàstic de Tarragona, Real Zaragoza and UE Sant Andreu.  For Spain, he was capped 3 times.

ST:  Paulino Alcántara 
Born in the Philippines of a half-Spanish, half-Filipino, he made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 15 and remains the youngest player to play or score for the club. He also scored 100 goals in 69 matches, making him the club's highest goalscorer He was selected for the Philippine national football team in 1917 and represented his country at the Far Eastern Championship Games.  In 1921. he was selected to play for Spain.  He scored 6 goals in 5 games for Spain.

ST/FW: Cesar Rodriguez 
During his career, Cesar played mainly for Barcelona, appearing in 351 official matches and scoring 232 goals, making him the highest goalscorer in the club's history until he was passed by Lionel Messi.  He won the Pichichi Trophy for the 1948–49 season. He won five La Liga championships with the team in a total of 13 major trophies.  At the international level, César had 12 caps. He represented Spain at the 1950 World Cup. 
Honorable Mention
Ricardo Zamora, Salvador Sadurní, Javier Urruticoechea, Pedro Artola, Juan José Nogués, Miguel Ángel Nadal, Sigfrid Gracia, Gustau Biosca, Alexanko, Eladio Silvestre, Ferran Olivella,  
Antoni Torres, Julio Alberto, Ramón Zabalo, Sigfrid Gracia, Juan Manuel Asensi  Victor Muonz, Julio Salinas, Agustín Sancho, Josep Valle, Lobo Carrasco, Mariano Gonzalvo III, Joaquim Rife, Gallego, Josep Fuste, Ramon Torralba, Cesc Fabregas, Ion Andoni Goikoetxea,  Pedro, Quini, David Villa, Josep Escolà

Squad Explanation
-- This original team was created in 2019, but i did a review of the team on April, 2024.
-- The greatest ever Spanish players for Barcelona would be Xavi, Luis Suarez Miramontes, Andres Iniesta and Carlos Puyol.
-- Andoni Zubizarreta, Antoni Ramallets, Carlos Puyol, Victor Valdes, Albert Ferrer, Migueli, Joan Segarra, Jordi Alba, Sergi Barjuan, Pep Guardiola, Josep Samitier, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Estanislau Basora, Luis Suarez Miramontes and Andres Iniesta are on my Barcelona All-Time Team.  So, I only had 9 spots left for this team.
-- The first Barça winner of the Ballon d'or was Luis Suárez in 1960. He was followed by Johan Cruyff, Hristo Stoichkov, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Leo Messi, but only Luis Suarez Miramontes was from Spain.  He played in the 1960's while Luis Suarez Diaz of Uruguay might be more famous for the younger fans.
-- During the 1951-52 season, Barcelona emerged victorious in five competitions, earning them the moniker "Barça of the Five Cups" (Catalan: el Barça de les Cinc Copes). Throughout the 1950s, they continued their success by clinching the La Liga title on three occasions, capturing the Copa del Rey trophy five times, and conquering the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup once. I only took Antoni Ramallets, Cesar Rodriguez, Joan Segarra and Luis Suarez from that generation.
-- Johan Cruyff as the manager led Barcelona to win the European Cup in 1992.  I selected the following players from the 1992 Dream Team members: Andoni Zubizarreta, Pep Guardiola, Albert Ferrer, Txiki Begiristain, Ramón Alexanko, Guillermo Amor and Jose Mari Bakero.
-- Barcelona dominated club football from 2008 to 2012.  They completed the "Sextuple (football)" in 2009. Players from the era selected for this team included Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, Pique, Jordi Alba, Carlos Puyol, Victor Valdes and Segio Busquets,
-- The Bleacher Report came up with their All-Time Best XI for Barcelona in 2012.  The lineup was as following: Antoni Ramallets, Carlos Puyol, Ronald Koeman, Joan Segarra, Pep Guardiola, Xavi Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi, Cesar Rodriguez.
-- also had their own All-Time Best XI during the Champions' League era.  The lineup was as followed: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Dani Alves, Carlos Puyol, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ronaldinho. 
-- This section was almost the same as the part about goalkeepers on my Barcelona All-Time Team.
-- It was safe to say that Andoni Zubizarreta and Antoni Ramallets were the two greatest goalkeepers ever for the club. Zubizarreta was a big part of Cruyff's "Dream Team" while Ramallets was the goalkeeper of the "Barça of the Five Cups".
Antoni Ramallets 
-- Ricardo Zamora is considered one of the greatest ever goalkeepers from Europe.  But I took three goalkeepers with longer careers here.  Zamora had issue with the board of Barcelona over pay.  This disagreement cut short his career over there. While his departure from Barcelona and subsequent move to Espanyol did not diminish his status as one of the greatest goalkeepers ever for Barcelona, there were other goalkeepers with longer and decorated careers for the club. 
-- Salvador Sadurní spent almost two decades with the club. Javier Urruticoechea put in a great performance by saving two penalties at the European Cup final against Steaua Bucharest,  but that loss deprived him of a major accomplishment in the club's history. I also looked into Pedro Artola and Juan José Nogués.
-- In the end, I took Victor Valdes for the third goalkeeper. He was one of the most decorated players in Barcelona's history.
-- Most of the defenders are on the all-time team. Only one defender's spot was available (Ronald Koeman's position). Ramón Alexanko, Gerard Pique were considered.  In the end, I took Gerard Pique.
--  Joan Segarra was the captain of "Five Trophies".  He played over 400 appearances for Barcelona at a time when there were few games. Many people considered him to be one of the most charismatic players in the history of the Barça team.  Known as 'Tarzan', Migueli was at one point the all-time appearance leader for the club. The last and not least would be Carlos Puyol.  He captained Barcelona's historical treble season.  In total, he won 24 major trophies and he won his first one at the age of 27 years old.  He also operated as a rightback.  
-- Gerard Pique was considered to be one of the best defenders of his generation.  In fact, he was often chosen among the top four ever for Barcelona, but for my Barcelona All-Time team, I went with Joan Segarra and Migueli, both of whom embodied distinct eras from the past.  For this team, I seriously considered. Ferran Olivella . He was better remembered for being the captain of the Spanish national that won the European Championship in 1964.  I only ranked Ramón Alexanko very high. I also put Gustau Biosca, Alexanko, Eladio Silvestre and Ferran Olivella on honorable mention. Miguel Ángel Nadal is the uncle of Rafael Nadal.  Rafael Nadal, however, is a fan of Real Madrid.  Antoni Torres also missed out along with Nadal and Pique.
-- Albert Ferrer was the obvious choices on the right side.  Ferrer, the right wingback of Cruyff's "Dream Team," was often regarded as the missing link that completed the team's puzzle upon his return to Camp Nou after a loan spell.   In 2024, I came upon Ramón Zabalo whom I did not know when I created this team. I decided not to select an extra rightback.  Carlos Puyol, a versatile player capable of performing on either side of the fullback position, would act as the backup fullback for both flanks in case of emergencies.
-- Sergi Barjuan was on my original choice for the leftback, but I later added Jorge Alba the team. He was capped 56 times for the Spanish national team. He went to two World Cup Finals (1994 and 1998) and two European Championships (1996 and 2000).  Sigfrid Gracia also spent a long time with the club.  
-- Sergi Barjuan, although a part of my Barcelona All-Time team, unfortunately did not secure a spot in this particular team. This decision was made intentionally to prioritize the inclusion of highly accomplished players in advanced positions. It is not a contradiction, but rather a strategic choice to emphasize notable individuals further up the field.
-- In 2016, I promptly selected six midfielders for inclusion in this team: Pep Guardiola, Josep Samitier, Xavi, Luis Suarez Miramontes, and Andres Iniesta. 
-- From the deep, the team needed Pep Guadiola as the deep-lying playmaker position.  Sergio Busquets spent a total of 15 seasons on the first team.  He was also their captain for at least two seasons. His defensive presense was needed for this team. Luis Enrique showcased remarkable versatility and stamina as a player, possessing exceptional technique and the ability to excel in various positions.  Guillermo Amor made 567 appearances for the club.  He stood as a true emblem of the Barça youth system. His ascent to the first team coincided with the formation of the legendary Dream Team. In due course, he evolved into a pivotal force within the squad, serving as one of its driving forces.  Luis Enrique and Guillermo Amor would sever as the "engine: of this team. I also cannot find space for Victor Muonz.
-- Luis Suarez Miramontes was Spain's greatest player before the Golden Generation between 2008 and 2012.  At the time of writing, he is the only Spanish Ballon d'or winner.  During his prime, he was also the most expensive player in the world after he joined Inter Milan from Barcelona FC.  
-- Xavi and Andreas Iniesta needed no introduction.  Xavi never won the Ballon d'or.  He should have won a few of them from Lionel Messi.  However, he was named in the Ballon d'Or Dream Team in 2020.  He also won the World Player of the Year in 2010 by "World Soccer".  He is probably Spain's greatest player ahead of Luis Suarez Miramontes.
-- Josep Samiter was one of the earliest star players on the team.  His impressive tally of 187 official goals remained the fifth best in the club's history. He was a big star with Barcelona before heading to Real Madrid. He also made my Real Madrid All-Time for Spanish Players He is the only player to made both team.  
Josep Samitier 
-- Fabregas was very famous due to his time with Arsenal and the Spanish national team.  For Barcelona, he only played three seasons.  He was not seriously considered by this team.  Instead, I took José María Bakero from Cruyff's "Dream Team". I also left out Mariano Gonzalvo and  Juan Manuel Asensi.
-- My Barcelona All-Time Team only had a single true winger Estanislau Basora.  First, I added Txiki Begiristain from the "Dream Team".  On the left, I took Cruyff's partner on the forward line Carlos Rexach.  In 1979, he became the player with the all-time appearance leader for Barcelona.  Andres Iniesta could also play as a wing-forward.
-- Not many Spanish attackers were considered for my original All-time Barcelona team.  Romario and Stoichkov were the great strike partnership from the "Dream Team".  The "REM" or "MSN" line consisted entirely of foreign players. 
-- Before Messi, Cesar Rodriguez was Barcelona's All-Time leading scorer.   Cesar Rodriguez's name was less well-known outside of Barcelona.  So I left him off my All-Time team.  For this team, he was undisputed.
-- Josep Escolà and Mariano Martín are among the highest goal scorers for the team. I took Martin over Escola because he had a longer career. David Villa's career was short with Barcelona.  Pedro was a part of Barcelona's great teams in the 2010's, but he was mainly used as a sub in his career.  I only put him on honorable mention.  Quini had a fruitful career here, but the players ahead of him had great statistics. He was the La Liga top scorer for three straight seasons.
-- Paulino Alcántara scored 395 goals in 399 matches for Barcelona. I usually put naturalised players as foreign players if they had previously capped by his native national team.  Paulino Alcántara has played for the Philippines before he represented Spain. Normally, I would consider him to be a Filipino player, but he has also represented the Catalonian representative team before that.  Thus, he is not a naturalised Spanish players. On the other hand, I did not consider Laszlo Kubala as a Spaniard even through he had played for Spain.
Paulino Alcántara 
-- I only took three strikers because I wanted to select Guillermo Amor. He stood for many things about Barcelona. He was considered for the last spot. The other option was the striker, Josep Escolà.