Barcelona's 15 Greatest Midfielders of All Time

Who is the best Barcelona midfielder of all time?

One of the most important factors that make Barcelona become the most successful football clubs in the world is the presence of the quality midfielders who strengthen their midfield line. These midfielders have a wide variety of roles, ranging from a playmaker, connector between defense and offense, as well as wingers who distribute crossing passes to the strikers.

The question is, who is the best Barcelona midfielder of all time? This question will be answered in the following article. In this article, I'd like to give a list of names of the greatest midfielders who played (or is still playing) for Barcelona. Be sure to vote for your favorite at the end of this article.

15. José Mari Bakero

Jose Mari Bakero is a former attacking midfielder who played for Barcelona for nine years, from 1988 to 1997. Earlier in his career, Bakero played as a striker. However, because his productivity in scoring goal was not too good, he was instructed to try a new position as an attacking midfielder. This position was very appropriate for Bakero, because he has the instincts of a good playmaker. During his career as a professional player, Bakero played 260 times and scored 72 goals for Barcelona.

14. Deco

Deco is a Portuguese central midfielder who helped Barcelona win many titles. This player was transferred from FC Porto after leading the club to win Champions League trophy in the 2003-2004 season. In Barcelona, Deco once again won the Champions League trophy in 2006. He also won two La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey trophies. Another Deco's great achievement with Barcelona is when he was selected as the best player in the FIFA Club World Cup tournament in 2006.

13. Michael Laudrup

Michael Laudrup is a retired Danish midfielder who was part of the golden generation of Barcelona in the 90's, under the leadership of Johann Cruyff as a manager. Together with Guardiola, Hristo Stoichkov and Ronald Koeman, Laudrup made ​​Barcelona become the strongest club in the world in his time. He won four La Liga titles, a Champions League trophy, and a Copa Del Rey trophy. As a Barcelona player, Laudrup played in 167 matches and scored 49 goals.

12. Cesc Fabregas

Fabregas is an original product of La Masia academy who gained his initial popularity outside Barcelona. He became one of Arsenal's best players in the period 2003 to 2011, where he made a record as the youngest captain of Arsenal. Seeing his extraordinary performance, Barcelona decided to buy back Fabregas with high amount of transfer fee. In Barcelona, Fabregas is not only often played as a midfielder, but also as a second striker or forward.

11. Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman may be more likely to play as a central defender, but on several occasions, he also played as a defensive midfielder. Playing in the defensive line of the team, Koeman is very prolific in scoring, especially through set pieces. His free kicks and penalty kicks bring fears for opposing team's keeper because Koeman has incredibly high shooting power. As a Barcelona player, Koeman played in 192 matches and scored 67 goals.

10. Luis Figo

Luis Figo is one of the best wingers in the world ever to play for Barcelona. He played for El Barca for five years, in the period 1995-2000. Figo has very high technique and dribbling skills and always possesses dangerous threats to the opponent's defenders. After playing very well in Barcelona, Real Madrid was interested in buying a Figo. In 2000, Madrid proposed a transfer fee of 60 million euros to sign Figo. This fee was accepted by Barcelona, making Figo became the most expensive player in the world of that time.

9. Phillip Cocu

Phillip Cocu was a very versatile player. His original position was a defensive midfielder, but he can play as a playmaker, a winger, a central defender, even as a forward. This player played for Barcelona for six years, from 1998 to 2004. His best achievement is helping Barcelona win La Liga in the 1998-1999 season. Throughout his career, Cocu played 205 times for Barca and scored 31 goals.

8. Bernd Schuster

Schuster is a retired attacking midfielder who was very prolific in scoring goals. Out of his 170 appearances for Barcelona, he scored 63 goals. Schuster was also part of the German national team that won Euro 1980. After performing brilliantly for eight years for Barcelona, Schuster moved to Real Madrid. Not unexpectedly, with Real Madrid he was even more successful in winning various trophies, among them are two La Liga titles and one Copa del Rey trophy.

7. Luis Enrique

Similar to Philip Cocu, Enrique is a versatile player. This Spanish midfielder was transferred from Real Madrid in 1996 and instantly became one of the most vital players in Barcelona. Although his primary position is a central midfielder, but Enrique was often played as a winger or striker. Throughout his eight-year career with Barcelona, Enrique played in 207 matches and scored 73 goals. He also won two La Liga titles and two Copa Del Rey trophies.

6. Rivaldo

Rivaldo is one of the greatest goal-scorer midfielders in the history of Barcelona. Until now, the Brazilian midfielder was ranked on the top ten list of Barcelona's top scorer of all time. During his time in Barcelona, he served as an attacking midfielder who supported the main striker Patrick Kluivert. In this club, the player won two La Liga titles and one Ballon d'Or award.

5. Luis Suárez Miramontes

Luis Suarez is a legendary Barcelona playmaker who played in the period 1955 to 1961. This Spanish player is known for his very elegant and beautiful playing style. His style of play as a playmaker who is very constructive and planned in building the attacks make him dubbed as "The Architect." Suarez led Barcelona win La Liga twice. He also helped Spain to be the Euro 1964 champion and won a Ballon d'Or award in 1960.

4. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff is one of the most genius players ever born in the world of football. Although better known for his success as a player of Ajax Amsterdam, he also had a great five-year career as a Barcelona player. Cruyff is also considered to be more successful when he serves as a coach than as a Barcelona player. As a player, Cruyff presented only one La Liga trophy for this club. Meanwhile as a coach, he gave four La Liga titles, a Champions League trophy, and a UEFA Super Cup trophy for El Barca.

3. Iniesta

Creative, sharp, and dangerous. Iniesta is a midfielder who becomes the architect of "tiki-taka," a strategy developed by Barcelona. The player from La Masia academy also contributes great roles in making Barcelona be one of the strongest clubs in Europe. Along with Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi, Iniesta shows a very beautiful, super offensive playing style. He also led the club win six La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies, and four times voted as La Liga's best playmaker.

2. Pep Guardiola

Guardiola is a retired defensive midfielder who played for Barca for eleven years, from 1990 to 2001. He was one player who was projected as part of the "dream team" formed by coach Johan Cruyff in the early 90s. As a player, Pep won six La Liga titles and one Champions League trophy. His record as coach of Barcelona is even greater, in which he helped Barca win three La Liga titles, two Champions League titles, and two FIFA Club World Cup titles.

1. Xavi Hernandez

In my opinion, the title of Barcelona's best midfielder of all time should be given to Xavi Hernandez. Xavi joined Barcelona's academy when he was 11 years old, and in 1998 he got his first chance to play for this club. Until now, he holds a record as Barcelona player with the most appearances of all time. In addition to the seven La Liga trophies and three Champions League titles as a Barcelona player, Xavi also won two Euro trophies and one World Cup trophy with the Spanish national team. As a playmaker, Xavi has very high creativity, accurate passes, and he is known as a very good corner kick as well as free kick taker.

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