After an incredible 2014/15 campaign, the new Spanish league season is fast approaching and Luis Enrique’s treble winning side will be attempting to emulate the incredible heights of last term when they kick off their La Liga campaign away against Athletic Bilbao. It’s been a quiet summer so far on the transfer front with Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal the only new faces to arrive at Camp Nou (although they can’t play until January) but as it is transfer season, I’ve been inspired to look back at some of La Blaugrana’s best and worst signings.
Brazilian star Ronaldinho headed to Barcelona in 2003 from PSG and thanks to his majestic skills and tireless dedication he soon became a crowd favourite. In his second season with the club he managed to help Barcelona to another league title and he was also named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004. With 70 goals in 145 appearances, he also inspired Barca to clinch their first major European title in 14 years and he will always be remembered as one of the all-time greats.
Another Brazilian to make the list and this time it’s right back Dani Alves who joined Barcelona in 2008, much to Sevilla’s dismay; becoming the world’s most expensive defender in the process. Over 200 appearances later and Alves is still an integral part of arguably the best club side that the game has ever witnessed.
The next man on our list needs no introduction. Still considered to be the best player in the world, Lionel Messi has spent his entire senior professional career with Barcelona after rising through the ranks at Newell’s Old Boys and the Argentinian maestro has scored an incredible 286 goals in just 315 appearances: not bad for a player who signed an informal contract with the club on a restaurant napkin. Leo has been part of the team for more than a decade, winning numerous accolades as well as picking up an incredible 24 trophies during his time in Spain and his presence is one of the reasons why Barcelona are being tipped by 888 Sport offers to retain the treble they clinched so impressively last season.
Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen made his name at Premier League side Arsenal however his run of top form and defensive aptitude was cut short thanks to a whole host of injury problems. Arsenal managed to get £15 million for the centre back at the time but unfortunately he’s spent more time on the injury table than he has done on the bitch, making just one solitary appearance for Barcelona to date.
When this immensely talented Swede arrived at the Camp Nou it seemed like an absolute given that he would perform just as well as he had done for his previous teams that included Ajax and Juventus. Unfortunately for Zlatan- and Barcelona fans-the lanky front man was unable to make his mark during his time with the club and he failed to emerge from the shadows of Messi, Villa, Iniesta, Xavi and co.
In another example of an ill-fated Arsenal to Barca transfer, French international Petit made the switch from England to Spain in the summer of 2000. After partnering Patrick Vieira in the Arsenal midfield, the purchase seemed like a no-brainer; however, injuries took their toll on the fading Frenchman and he was never able to nail down a first team spot before moving back to London to play for Chelsea the following season.
Do you agree with these selections or do you have your own view on Barcelona’s best or worst signings? Let us know your thoughts below.