The 10 Barcelona Best Midfielders of All Time

Barcelona Best Midfielders of All Time: Barcelona has a great history of making really good midfielders. These players have been very important for the team, helping them win in their own country and in Europe.

Barcelona Best Midfielders of All Time

In this article, we will talk about the 10 best midfielders that Barcelona has ever had.

10. Luis Enrique

  • Date of Birth: 8 May 1970 (age 53)
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder, Forward

Starting our list of the best Barcelona midfielders at number 10 is Luis Enrique, who is now the manager of Paris Saint-Germain. Back in 1996, he joined Barcelona from their rivals. At first, fans were unsure about his dedication, but he quickly became a favorite and eventually became the team captain. In his first three seasons in the Primera División, he scored 46 goals and helped Barcelona win the Spanish championship twice (1997/98, 1998/99) and the Spanish Cup (1996/97, 1997/98). He played a total of 207 games for Barcelona in the Primera División until he retired in 2004, scoring 73 goals.

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For the Spanish national team, he scored 12 goals in 62 international matches and played in the 1994 World Cup, the 1996 European Championship, the 1998 World Cup, and the 2002 World Cup. He even won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Luis Enrique’s last game for Spain was in 2002 after they were eliminated from the World Cup.

In a notable incident during the 1994 World Cup quarter-final against Italy, he had his nose broken by an elbow from the Italian Tassotti, which went unnoticed by the referee. FIFA later reviewed the footage and banned Tassotti for eight games.

9. Luís Figo

  • Date of Birth: 4 November 1972 (age 51)
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Winger, Midfielder

In the 9th spot for the best Barcelona midfielders of all time is Luís Figo. In 1995, Figo was about to join a big European club, but there was a problem between Italian clubs Juventus and Parma. They both had contracts with Figo, and this led to a two-year transfer ban for Figo in Italy.

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Eventually, Figo ended up joining the Spanish giants Barcelona for a fee of £2.25 million. He was loaned back for the rest of the season because there was a rule that Portuguese players couldn’t sign with foreign clubs outside a certain period, preventing him from joining English club Manchester City.

Figo’s career really took off with Barcelona. He won the 1996–97 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and played alongside Ronaldo, helping Barcelona win successive Primera División titles. The team had a strong attack with players like Rivaldo and Patrick Kluivert. Figo played 172 times in the league for Barcelona, scoring 30 goals. He became highly respected in Barcelona, and his presence there gave Catalonia a sense of external approval.

8. Pep Guardiola

  • Date of Birth: 18 January 1971 (age 52)
  • Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Position(s): Defensive midfielder

Pep Guardiola takes the 8th spot in the list of best Barcelona midfielders of all time. When we talk about Guardiola, we’re talking about FC Barcelona. As a player, he was a crucial part of Johan Cruyff’s team from the 1990/1991 season to 2000/2001, winning 16 titles in 10 years. However, his biggest achievement came when he became a coach.

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As a coach, Guardiola became the mastermind behind the best team in Barcelona’s history. His coaching success was built on the lessons he learned while playing under Johan Cruyff. The ‘sextet’ was a pinnacle moment, showcasing the spectacular combination play of Barcelona that amazed the world.

Guardiola’s impact as a coach went beyond just Barcelona; the Spanish national team also benefited from the style of play developed in the culé team. This influence contributed to the success of several players, including Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Puyol, Piqué, Jordi Alba, and David Villa.

7. Deco

  • Date of Birth: 27 August 1977 (age 46)
  • Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Deco secures the 7th position in the ranking of the best Barcelona midfielders of all time. After the 2004 European Championships, there was talk of him joining FC Bayern Munich, but he ultimately chose FC Barcelona. In Barcelona, he played a crucial role in the successful team under coach Frank Rijkaard, alongside notable players like Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, and Xavi.

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Deco experienced championship success with FC Barcelona in 2005 and 2006, and he also contributed to their Champions League victory in 2005/2006. Following this triumph, he received the UEFA award for the best midfielder of that Champions League season.

Wearing his preferred number, 20, at FC Barcelona, Deco announced in May 2008 that he wouldn’t complete his contract until 2010 and would leave the club in the summer of 2008. This decision was influenced by a planned overhaul of the team and growing discontent among fans regarding Deco.

6. Pedro

  • Date of Birth: 28 July 1987 (age 36)
  • Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Winger, midfielder

In the 6th position for the best Barcelona midfielders of all time is Pedro. He made his debut for the first team on January 12, 2008, coming in as a substitute for Samuel Eto’o in the 88th minute during a game against Real Murcia. In the 2008/09 season, part of the historic treble-winning year for Barcelona, he played 14 competitive games but did not score.

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Pedro’s breakthrough moments came in the 2009/10 season when he played a significant role in Barcelona’s success. He scored in important matches, including the Spanish Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. His performances helped Barcelona defend the Spanish championship in 2010. During his time at Barcelona, Pedro extended his contract until 2016 and won numerous titles, including five championships and three Champions League trophies. In the 2014/15 season, he secured the treble with Barcelona but played a reserve role behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Neymar.

After more than 11 years with Barcelona, Pedro joined Premier League champions Chelsea FC in August 2015 for 27 million euros. In his debut for Chelsea against West Bromwich Albion, he scored the opening goal and was named the player of the game in a 3-2 win.

5. Sergio Busquets

  • Date of Birth: 16 July 1988 (age 35)
  • Height: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Position(s): Defensive midfielder

In the 5th position among the best Barcelona midfielders of all time is Sergio Busquets. He started with FC Barcelona’s senior youth team in 2005, winning three titles in two years alongside key players like Crosas, Giovani, and Bojan. In 2007, he moved up to FC Barcelona B, scoring two goals in 23 games under coach Pep Guardiola.

Source: Instagram

Busquets made his league debut for the senior team on September 13, 2008, against Racing Santander, playing the full season. Just under a month later, he scored his first competitive goal for Barcelona in a win over FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League. Despite tough competition in the defensive midfield from players like Yaya Touré and Seydou Keita, Busquets played a significant role in his first season, contributing to Barça’s first treble win in 2008/09. He continued his good form in the 2009/10 season, playing 33 league games and helping Barcelona defend the Spanish championship.

Busquets consistently performed well, earning contract extensions in 2008, 2011, 2013, and 2018. He took over the number five shirt for the 2014/15 season and became the deputy team captain in 2018. In September 2018, he extended his contract until June 30, 2023, with a release clause of 500 million euros.

After Lionel Messi’s departure in the 2021/22 season, Busquets was named the new team captain. However, on May 10, 2023, it was announced that Busquets would not extend his expiring contract and would leave FC Barcelona at the end of the 2022/23 season after 18 years and over 700 competitive appearances. In mid-July 2023, Busquets, along with teammate Jordi Alba, moved to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer during the current 2023 season.

4. Ivan Rakitić

  • Date of Birth: 10 March 1988 (age 35)
  • Height: 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Ivan Rakitić holds the 4th position in the ranking of the best Barcelona midfielders of all time. He joined FC Barcelona for the 2014/15 season, signing a five-year contract and taking over the number 4 shirt from Cesc Fàbregas.

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In his debut season, Rakitić made an impact by scoring his first league goal for Barcelona on September 21 in an away game against UD Levante, which his team won 5-0. During that season, he played a pivotal role as Barcelona clinched the UEFA Champions League title, and he scored in the final against Juventus.

In total, Rakitić achieved success by winning four Spanish championships and the Spanish Cup four times with Barcelona.

3. Rivaldo

  • Date of Birth: 19 April 1972 (age 51)
  • Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Position(s): Forward, attacking midfielder

Rivaldo claims the 3rd position among the best Barcelona midfielders of all time. His arrival at Barcelona in 1997, with a transfer fee of 23.5 million euros, marked him as the successor to the world-renowned Ronaldo. Under the new coach Louis van Gaal, Rivaldo played as a left-winger in a 4-3-3 formation and made an immediate impact, becoming a key player. He scored important goals, including a brace in the first league game against Real Sociedad and in the El Clásico against Real Madrid.

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In his first season, Rivaldo was instrumental in Barcelona’s league and Copa del Rey double, winning the UEFA Super Cup against Borussia Dortmund. The following season (1998/99) was arguably the best of his career. Alongside Patrick Kluivert and Luís Figo, Rivaldo helped Barcelona secure the league title and finished second in the race for the Pichichi Trophy, awarded to the top scorer in La Liga. His outstanding performances earned him the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year in 1999.

In the 1999/00 season, Rivaldo was again a top scorer, sharing the honor with Raúl and Mário Jardel in the Champions League. However, conflicts with van Gaal arose, and Barcelona focused on the European Cup but fell short in the semi-finals against FC Valencia. In 2000/01, under coach Llorenç Serra Ferrer, Rivaldo achieved his career-best of 36 goals in 53 competitive games. Despite his remarkable individual performance, Barcelona didn’t win any titles that season. His last season with Barcelona (2001/02) was plagued by injuries, and after the 2002 World Cup, Rivaldo agreed to terminate his contract early due to financial constraints.

During his time at Barcelona, Rivaldo scored 130 goals in 235 competitive games, making him one of the top foreign goalscorers in the club’s history. He played his last game for Barcelona on April 20, 2002, against Celta Vigo.

2. Andrés Iniesta

  • Date of Birth: 11 May 1984 (age 39)
  • Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Ranked as the second-best Barcelona midfielder of all time is the legendary Andrés Iniesta. Known for his versatility and exceptional vision on the field, Iniesta is considered one of the best midfielders in the history of the sport.

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Iniesta, a product of FC Barcelona’s La Masia training center, dedicated the majority of his career to the club from 2002 to 2018. Over this period, he played an impressive 675 matches and scored 57 goals for Barça. His intelligence on the field, exceptional passing ability, and technical prowess contributed to his status as one of the club’s all-time greats.

During his time with Barcelona, Iniesta collected an extraordinary array of trophies, including 9 Spanish championships, 6 Copa del Rey victories, and 4 Champions League triumphs.

In addition to his domestic success, Iniesta also had a significant impact on the international stage. As a key player for the Spanish national team, he played a crucial role in Spain’s historic victory in three consecutive major international tournaments: Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup, and Euro 2012. Iniesta’s influence on both the club and international level solidifies his place as one of the footballing greats in history.

1. Xavi

  • Date of Birth: 25 January 1980 (age 43)
  • Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Position(s): Midfielder

Taking the top spot in the list of “Barcelona Best Midfielders of All Time” is Xavi, a Spanish midfielder widely regarded as one of the best players of the 21st century. Renowned for his exceptional passing skills, he is the orchestrator of FC Barcelona and stands out as one of the greatest passers in football history. Despite not being a prolific goal-scorer, Xavi’s influence on the game is immeasurable.

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Trained within the ranks of FC Barcelona, Xavi quickly became a key figure for the club, forming remarkable partnerships with players like Iniesta and Messi. Over 17 seasons, he played an impressive 767 matches for Barça, making him the second-most-capped player in the club’s history. During his tenure, Xavi secured numerous titles, including 8 Spanish championships, 3 Copa del Rey victories, and 4 Champions League triumphs, solidifying his status as one of the greatest players in Barcelona’s history.

Xavi’s success extends to the international stage, where he earned 133 caps for the Spanish national team. Notably, he played a crucial role in Spain’s triumphs at Euro 2008, Euro 2012, and the 2010 World Cup, contributing to what many consider the greatest Spanish team of all time. Xavi’s exceptional career and achievements make him a footballing legend, particularly in the context of FC Barcelona.

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