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Puyol (born La Pobla de Segur, Lleida, 1978) has been one of the most important in Barça’s history. His determination, strength, heart and love for the club were his defining characteristics and that is what made him a vital figure in the team’s defence for so many years. When ‘Puyi’, as he was known to team mates and fan, retired in at the end of the 2013/14 season, his legendary status at the club was already guaranteed.
Carles Puyol carried out his entire professional career at Barça but his beginnings were with his local side La Pobla de Segur. In his early years he showed great promise and in 1995 when he was 17 he joined the FC Barcelona youth system and moved into La Masia. He very quickly became a regular at the back for Barça B and on 2 October 1999 he made his long awaited debut for the first team. From that moment on, Puyol began to make regular appearances in the first team squad, often initially starting at right back. Thanks to his versatility and his appetite for hard work, he also adapted to playing at centre half, the position in which he would eventually establish himself both at Barça and in the national side.
Puyol had to wait until the season 2004/05 to win his first major trophy with the balugranes. He was the club captain and a key member of Frank Rijkaard’s side that claimed the league title that season, Puyol holding aloft the trophy in front of the Camp Nou crowd. Success continued as the following season with Barça retaining their league title and claiming the Champions League title in Paris. During Josep Guardiola’s time as coach Puyol continued to play a vital role in the Barça back four before injury finally caught up with him in his final two campaigns as a player. When he finally decided to hang up his boots, only Xavi Hernández had played more games for the Club in official competition.
Aside from trophies and individual accolade, Carles Puyol’s career will also be remembered for iconic gestures. Two in particular stand out in the memory: kissing the captain’s armband during the historic 6-2 victory in 2009 at the Santiago Bernabéu and allowing Éric Abidal to lift up the Champions League trophy in 2011 at Wembley.
Eto’o goes down in Barça history as “the indomitable lion”, the forward who never gave up. For 5 years he was the team’s target man, and the host of titles won were, to a massive extent, thanks to the crucial goals he scored
He was on target in both the Champions League finals of Paris 2006 and Rome 2009.
Eto’o (Nkon, Cameroon, 1981) signed for Barça in August 2004 from Mallorca after a long tug of war with Real Madrid, who held the rights to the player. It was not long before it became evident just what an astute buy he was, as he became a nightmare for opposing goalkeepers. A fighter until the end, and a man for whom goalscoring was an art that ran in his blood.
Thanks to assists from the likes of Deco, Ronaldinho, Iniesta, Xavi and Messi, the African scored 152 goals in his 232 games in a Barça jersey. An astounding figure that makes him one of the most prolific strikers in club history. His 108 goals in 144 league outings make him the third highest league goalscorer on the club records, a tally only topped by César and Kubala.
With 130 goals in 199 games, he is also ranked third for goals in official matches, again behind only César and Kubala and tied with Rivaldo. He was league top scorer in 2004/05 (with 25 goals, hence tied with Forlán) and 2005/06 (with 26 goals).
Even though he was born in Brazil (Sao Bernardo, 27-08-1977) Deco made his name as a player in Portugal before coming to Barça. His coach at the Catalan club, Frank Rijkaard, said that Deco was the barometer of the first team
Deco was one of the most important signings made by Barça for the 2004-05 season, Rijkaard’s second as manager. The midfielder came to the club after having won just about everything with Porto including the Champions League and being the best player of the competition in 2004. He was brought in to reinforce the core of the team following the departure of players such as Edgar Davids and Philip Cocu.
His will to win, his tactical nous and his team spirit very soon made him into one of the leaders of one of the best teams in Barcelona’s history which won two back-to-back Leagues and the Champions League. Deco showed that he was a complete footballer who combined commitment and hard work with the great technical skill often found among Brazilians. He was able to make the final pass, to create and to score but also to commit tactical fouls when necessary.
At the end of the 2007-08 season and after four seasons and seven titles with Barça, Deco was transferred to Chelsea.
The Brazilian striker was born at Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 1980. In his five seasons at the club he became one its greatest ever footballers and made a decisive contribution to winning two League titles and the Champions League
Ronaldinho came to Barcelona in the summer of 2003 to head the new club project which began with Frank Rijkaard as manager. The man who was to wear the number 10 shirt for Barça for five seasons immediately thrilled fans with his imaginative play which led to moves that very few footballers could aspire to. During his time at Barça he scored 94 goals in competitive matches even though he also stood out as a passer of the ball. With him leading the team on the pitch, Barça experienced some of the best times in its history, winning two back-to-back League titles and above all the Champions League in an unforgettable final on 17 May 2006 in Paris. Also memorable was the standing ovation he received at Santiago Bernabéu after scoring two magnificent goals in the 3-0 win against Real Madrid on 19 November 2005. While at Barça he also won top international awards such as the FIFA World Player (2004 and 2005) and the Golden Ball (2005).
Rivaldo (Recife, Brazil, 1972) was signed from Deportivo la Coruña at the start of the 1997-98 season as a direct replacement for his compatriot Ronaldo, who had left for Inter Milan after an exceptional year in Catalonia
And Rivaldo was able to fill the role. A tall, sturdy player, he had the kind of abilities that had rarely been seen before, with tricky dribbling skills, a powerful shot and an amazing talent for converting free kicks and penalties, all off his left foot.
He was not an out and out striker, but more of a left winger or attacking midfielder, but still managed to rack up an incredible tally of goals in his time at Barça: 136 in 253 games. He was a serious and discrete footballer, who preferred to do his talking on the pitch and was rewarded in style for his achievements with the Balon d’Or in 1999.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1976, Ronaldo joined Barça in 1996 from PSV Eindhoven, as an outstandingly promising young striker
He was only at the club for one season, but certainly proved his worth, scoring 47 goals in 51 games, the kind of stats you rarely see in the modern game.
The ‘Phenomenon’ was an uncommonly burly player, with sublime skills, a powerful sprint and a fantastic finish. In the 1996-97 season, under Bobby Robson he helped Barça to a Cup Winners Cup, the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup, and the goals he scored in Compostela and at the Camp Nou against Valencia were nothing short of sheer brilliance.
At only 20 years of age, he looked destined for big things at Barça, but an unfortunate series of episodes involving the Board of Directors and his own agents led to him leaving for Inter Milan.
The popular ‘Lucho' (Gijón, 1970) came to FC Barcelona in the summer of 1996 as a free agent after having played at Real Madrid for five seasons
Despite his Madrid past, he adapted quickly to his new club, and soon became one of the most charismatic players ever to represent FC Barcelona.
He was a born leader, and highly committed, for which reason Luis Enrique was one of the team captains. His finest quality was his versatility, the characteristic that best describes his way of playing, although there were so many more. He normally played as a linkman with the out and out striker, although he would also play in wider positions, or even as centre forward.
He was a skilled and tireless worker, and a great goalscorer too, especially when coming from behind, where he was never was one to throw in the towel, even in the most difficult of situations. He would constantly encourage his colleagues, and was an important squad member both on and off the pitch. The character and flair of this Asturian set an example for the fans to admire. He stayed at Barça until he finally hung up his boots in 2004.
In June 2008, Luis Enrique became the Barça B manager, and has since gone on to make a name for himself in management at other clubs.
He was first choice starter and in that same 2001/02
Born in Les Franqueses (Barcelona) in 1971, Sergi Barjuan was a product if the club’s youth system and was a surprise choice on his debut in November 1993 for a difficult and important Champions League match against Galatasaray in Turkey. The game ended without score, and Sergi, a quick, strong and resistant wing back, made his mark. Practically from that day until his last at the club, he was first choice starter and in that same 1993/94 he made his international debut and went to the 1994 World Cup in the USA. Sergi and ‘Chapi’ Albert Ferrer on the right meant that the full back positions were splendidly covered for the remainder of the decade. In his last year at Barça (2001/02), he took over as captain following the departure of Pep Guardiola.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1966, Romario came to FC Barcelona from PSV Eindhoven in 1993
The Brazilian striker immediately justified his transfer in the 1993-94 season, when he produced a spectacular 30 goals in the 33 league games he appeared in. His qualities were nothing short of magical, and manager Jorge Valdano was once moved to describe him as “a cartoon player”. He could dribble, he was fast, and he could change his pace, lose his marker and shoot on goal in superlative fashion. He was the final piece of the ‘Dream Team’ jigsaw, a high-scoring striker.
In the summer of 1994, after winning the league with Barça, Romario also had a wonderful FIFA World Cup in the USA, winning the title with Brazil and being named Player of the Tournament. Unfortunately, there was a controversial side to the player too. He regularly took more days holiday than he was allowed and that led to his premature departure from the club in 1995, whereupon he signed for Flamengo.
Hristo Stoichkov was born in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) in 1966. He left CSKA Sofia to join Barça in 1990 and stayed until 1998, although for one season, 1995-96, he was at Parma in Italy
Hristo was one of the stars of the Dream Team and one of the fans’ most popular players of the 1990s, both for his football and his extraordinary fighting spirit. He was versatile, and could play either on the left or in the middle, making him a highly efficient forward player, with great speed and a goalscoring instinct. He was considered one of the best players in the world for his time, and is the only Barça player to have won the European Cup (1992), the Golden Boot (1990) and the Balon d’Or (1995)
He was a charismatic person both on and off the pitch, and sincerely felt the Barcelona colours, which he was always ready to bravely and intensely defend.
Josep Guardiola i Sala was born in Santpedor on 18 January 1971. After a highly successful career as a Barça player and then gaining promotion as manager of Barça Atlètic, he won fourteen out of a possible nineteen major titles during his four years in charge of the first team. That record was based on an unyielding commitment to the Club’s youth products and to a spectacular style of play built on possession football, passing and pace, which some have described as a re-invention of the game of football. He was, without a doubt, Barça’s best ever coach
Josep Guardiola, one of the most important players in Barcelona's history, took over as first team manager on 17 June 2008 after a brilliant season as coach of Barça Atlètic with whom he won promotion to Second Division B. "I can't promise you silverware, but I can say that we'll keep on battling to the end and you'll be proud of us," he said on the day of his first Gamper Trophy. And he was right.
The thirteenth Catalan manager in the history of the club arrived with the mission to end a two-season long trophy drought. To do that he used the same 4-3-3 system he had experienced as a Barça player and which had brought him success at Barça Atlètic, though he was not afraid to occasionally switch to an even more attacking 3-4-3 system.
Guardiola only understands one way of playing football, which is to attack, keep possession and move the ball around so that the other team has to run after it. That's the way his Barça side plays, as did his Barça Atlètic, and they have had more possession and more shots on goal than virtually every team they have played. He appreciates the talent of his players but he puts hard work and individual sacrifice for the common cause first. He sees football as a squad sport in which he has ultimate responsibility for results and is therefore also the leader of the squad.
Guardiola is a meticulous manager who sees to the tiniest of details. He gets ready for every game with videos of the opposition and never thinks beyond the next match. He is a brilliant motivator who brings the best out of each player in his squad. This philosophy brought him success with the first-team in his first campaign in charge as Barça lifted the treble of Spanish Cup and League and the Champions League (the first ever in Spanish football’s history) in the best season in the club's history, the 2008/09 treble season.
Those three titles, together with the Spanish and European Super Cups, as well as the World Club Cup, made 2009 the most successful year in the history of the Club, becoming the legendary Year of the Six Cups.
That excellent campaign meant that Guardiola became the third manager after Cruyff and Samitier to pick up the League title after having also won it as a Barça player. He also become the sixth man to win the Champions League as a manager having previously done so as a player, the first manager to win the treble in the 21st century and the only one to win six titles in a season.
Guardiola’s second season - 2009/10 – saw his team retain the league title, the 20th in the Club’s history. The team needed a result in the final game of the season and the 4-0 win over Valladolid meant they could celebrate the title in front of their home crowd, something that hadn’t happened since the 1993/94 season.
Things didn’t stop there, for in 2010/11 Barcelona retained the Liga, the Spanish Supercup and yet another Champions League. In the 2011/12 season, Barça won the Spanish Supercup, the European Supercup and their second Club World Cup, as well as the Spanish Cup, beating Bilbao 3-0 in Guardiola’s final game in charge with a first half hour considered by many as one of the team’s best ever performances under Guardiola.
Under Guardiola, Barça have not only been winning, but have been winning in emphatic fashion. In these few years, they have managed to smash more than forty Spanish, European and World records, with those 14 titles out of a possible 19. On an individual level, Guardiola’s awards have been numerous.
- 2011: Medalla de Honor del Parlamento de Cataluña
- 2011: FIFA Coach of the year
- 2011: IFFHS Coach of the year
- 2011: World Soccer Coach of the year
- 2011: Once de Oro as European Coach of the year
- 2011: LFP award as Coach of the year in the Spanish League
- 2010: Gold Medal Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo
- 2010: Miguel Muñoz Trophy as Coach of the year in the Spanish League
- 2010: Don Balón Prize as Coach of the year in the Spanish League
- 2009: Premio Catalán del Año – Catalan of the Year
- 2009: IFFHS Coach of the year
- 2009: World Soccer Coach of the year
- 2009: Once de Oro as European Coach of the year
- 2009: LFP award as Coach of the year in the Spanish League
- 2009: Miguel Muñoz Trophy as Coach of the year in the Spanish League
- 2009: Don Balón Prize as Coach of the year in the Spanish League
Before going into management, Guardiola was a class footballer who played almost all his career at FC Barcelona, which he joined as a child on June 28th 1984. In the 1990/91 season, he alternated between Barça Atlètic and the first team, where he made his debut on December 16th 1990 in a league game against Cadiz. Until he left the Club at the end of the 2000/01 season Guardiola was the team's organiser in his traditional number 4 shirt. His principal quality was the speed of his reflexes, always seeming to know where to make his pass and take the best option. Such was his good positioning that he rarely needed to get into a tackle. Among the trophies he won at Barça are six leagues (1990-91, 91-92, 92-93, 93-94, 97-98 and 98-99), a European Cup (91-92), a Cup Winners' Cup (96-97) and two King's Cups (96-97 and 97-98).
In Italy's Serie A he made his debut with Brescia in the 2001-02 season, followed by a year with Roma before going back to Lombardy. Later on he went further afield to Al-Ahly in Qatar for two seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05) and Dorados de Sinaloa (Mexico), where he hung up his boots for the final time in 2006
'Tintin' Koeman will always get a mention in FC Barcelona history for scoring the goal that handed Barça victory in the 1992 European Cup at Wembley
The Dutch defender (Zaandam, 1963) was one of the central figures in the Dream Team, being a masterful player just in front of the defence and being the provider of amazing pinpoint passes that generated so many dangerous opportunities.
He will also always be remembered for being one of the most reliable penalty takers the sport has ever known, for his free-kick abilities, and for the record breaking power he could put behind the ball. He scored 102 goals in his six years at Barça, an incredible tally for a defensive player. Off the pitch, he was popular for his pleasant, down to earth nature, and he became one of the undisputed club idols of the era. He was part of the club’s coaching staff from July 1998 to December 1999.
Aitor Begiristain (Olaberria, Guipúzcoa, 1964), or 'Txiki' as he is known, was another of the key members of the legendary 'Dream Team'
Signed from Real Sociedad, along with José Mari Bakero and López Recarte, he was a versatile striker who could play just behind the forwards or on either wing, although he always preferred to play on the left.
He was a classically quick-witted player, capable of producing both skill and fantasy. He was a perfect master of the one-on-one, and often finished off his moves with accurate crosses or powerful shots. Manager Johan Cruyff’s common solution for finding ways through in difficult matches was to tell his players to “get the ball to Txiki”. He was also a player with a very down to earth nature, and that won him the full affection of the fans.
He was the FC Barcelona director of football from 2003 to 30th June 2010.
Amor (Benidorm, Alicante, 1967) was one of the most important players in the entire history of FC Barcelona, having made the third most club appearances behind only Migueli and Rexach
He was brought up at La Masía from 1980, and on September 23, 1982, still as a youth player, he came on for Diego Maradona on the day that the Miniestadi was inaugurated.
He is one of the players that best symbolises the Barça youth system, and his promotion to the first team came at the same time that the Dream Team was being put together. He developed into one of the engines of that side, playing as a centre half, and constantly putting in solid performances in a quiet but tremendously effective way. Guillermo Amor was, undoubtedly, the ideal paradigm for a locally produced player that was unconditionally committed to the Barça colours.
He was the FC Barcelona head of youth football from 2003 to 30th June 2007. In July 2010 he rejoined the Club as technical director of football training.
'Michelino' Laudrup was the artist of the Dream Team, a creative striker of such elegance that it was often joked that he was the kind of player that could play in a coat and tails
The Danish striker (Frederiksberg, 1964) arrived at Barça in 1989 from Juventus, where he had failed to impress. Everything changed when he came to the Camp Nou. He seemed able to effortlessly and seamlessly produce skilful play after skilful play.
He was a master of the one on one and had amazing vision, providing sensational assists without so much having to lift an eyebrow. In his time, he was considered the finest passer of the ball in the world. The Barça fans were well aware of this, and for years there was a famous banner reading Enjoy Laudrup hanging in the Camp Nou terraces. He also scored some stunning goals, totalling 93 in 288 games for Barça. Along with that, he left the club having won a host of major titles.
After a season of confrontations with the coaching staff, he signed for Real Madrid in summer 1994. But despite that astonishing move, the magic of “Enjoy” will never be forgotten at the club.
Bakero, the tireless midfielder from the Dream Team, was born in Goizueta (Navarra) in 1963. He will always be remembered for his crucial goal in Kaiserslautern in the 1991/92 European Cup
He signed for Barça in 1988 from Real Sociedad, and was an attacking midfielder who gave everything for the team as he linked up with the forwards. His amazing ability to lose his marker and terrific heading also meant he contributed a number of important goals.
He immediately settled into the scheme of things under Johan Cruyff, showing excellent leadership skills and thanks to his versatility he soon became one of the most important members of the Dream Team, to the extent that many people described him as the heart and soul of the system.
There is no doubt that the most decisive goal of his career was the one on November 6, 1991 away to Kaiserslautern, in the second leg of the European Cup round of sixteen. With thirty seconds to go, Barça were losing 3-0 and on their way out of the competition. Koeman crossed and Bakero sent the ball flying into the back of the German net. Thanks to that goal, Barcelona continued on a journey that would eventually take them to the Wembley final and the club’s first ever European Cup title.
Zubizarreta (Vitoria, 1961) was one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history not only of FC Barcelona, but of Spanish football in general
He had an amazing career, winning 126 international caps and playing at 4 World Cups and 2 European Championships, and he holds the record for the most games played in the Spanish first division in his time at Athletic Bilbao, Barça and Valencia (588).
He had many qualities, including his level-headedness and superb positioning between the sticks. In 1986 he joined FC Barcelona as a replacement for the legendary Urruti. He was the mainstay of the famous 'Dream Team' and was, along with Koeman, the hero of the Wembley final with a series of miraculous, decisive interventions. Known as 'Zubi', he was also captain of the club for several seasons, and was noted both on and off the pitch for his serenity and psychological balance, which he was constantly able to transmit to the other players in order to get through the most difficult of match situations.
Considered the best player in the world in the 1980s, and one of the greatest of all time, Maradona was born in 1960 in Lanús, Argentina
From a very early age, he was an obvious talent, with his golden left foot, his changes of pace, his speed and his dribbling skills.
'Pelusa', as he was known, arrived at FC Barcelona in 1982 from Boca Juniors. Unfortunately, Catalonia never got to see the best of the player, first due to hepatitis and then due to a serious injury. These circumstances meant that although the player went on to achieve so many great things in his life, the Camp Nou only got a few passing glimpses of his true potential. But there were some moments to cherish, such as his chipped goal against Red Star in the 82/83 Cup Winners Cup or the one he scored at the Santiago Bernabéu in the League Cup the same season, which even had some of the Madrid fans applauding.
His relationship with the Board deteriorated to the point of no return, and after Barça lost the Copa de Rey final to Athletic Bilbao in 1983/84, he moved on to Napoli in Italy.
The unforgettable Urruti (San Sebastián, 1952 – Barcelona, 2001) is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the Club and was a key figure in the successful outcome of the 1984/85 league season
He signed from Espanyol in 1981. He stood out for his agility, spectacular performances, safety, reflexes, leadership qualities and bravery.
An immensely charismatic player, he achieved the high point of his popularity when he saved a penalty away to Valladolid with the score standing at 1-2. The result left Barça as league champions with four matches still to go. The famous words said at that moment by radio commentator Joaquim Maria Puyal, “Urruti t’estimo!” (Urruti, I love you!) symbolises the adoration felt by the Barça fans. A year later, in the sad European Cup final in Seville, Urruti stopped two penalties against Steaua, but in vain.
The arrival of Andoni Zubizarreta in the 1986/87 season condemned Urruti to the subs bench, from where he continued to lead and help maintain team morale for the next two seasons. He won the Zamora Trophy for the goalkeeper conceding fewest goals in the 1983/84 season, with just 26 goals in 32 matches.
Midfielder of exceptional quality, Schuster (Augsburgo, Germany, 1959) was the driving force of Barça throughout nearly all of the eighties
He had outstanding football skills, but he also stood out for his physical strength, his exceptional dribbling and the power of his goal shooting. However his difficult character caused him many problems.
In 1981 he was seriously injured because of a severe tackle by Athletic de Bilbao defense Andoni Goikoetxea. However his recovery was complete and he formed a superb foreign partnership with Armando Maradona despite not achieving all the honours they had hoped for. It was in the winning League 1984/1985 however, after the Argentinian had already left Camp Nou that the best of Schuster could be seen.
He led the team, was in charge and shot penalties and fouls with great skill. He also encouraged his team members when things were not going well enough.
Unfortunately, in later years, relationships with the board of management started to deteriorate and he was on the sidelines during the season 1986-1987. Despite everything all the Barcelona fans remember him as a player of exceptional quality.
Quini (Oviedo, 1949) was the epitomy of goalscoring excellence. Known as ‘el Brujo', ‘Quinocho' and ‘Quinigol', he was one of the best known striker's in Euroipean football at the time
In is first spell with Sporting Gijón he showed how quick and poweful he was up front and his imeccable finishing with both his feet and his head impressed. It was no conicidence that he was Pichichi on three different occasions with the Asturian team.
Barça finally managed to prise him away from Sporting in 1980 after several years of trying. At 31, he was still very effective and had lost none of his sharpness in front of goal. During his first campaign at Camp Nou he was kidnapped, but later released unharmed. Three months later he came up against the Sporting team, where he eventually played for 12 years, in the Copa del Rey final and showed true professionalism to score twice and help the Blaugrana to victory.
In 1980/81 and 1981/82 he finished as the Spanish top flight's top goalscorer with Barcelona and scored the club's 3,000th league goal on January 24, 1982 against Castellón. In 1984 he returned to Sporting and left behind some very happy memories with his amazing goalscoring feats and was praised for his human qualities as much as his football ability.
Popularly known as “Talín”, José Ramón Alexanko (Barakaldo, 1956) was a star signing for Barça in 1980 when he moved from Athletic Club
Popularly known as “Talín”, José Ramón Alexanko (Barakaldo, 1956) was a star signing for Barça in 1980 when he moved from Athletic Club, and he soon established himself at the heart of the Barça defence. His team-mates began to look to him for leadership and he quickly became team captain. He was the typical central defender who transmitted calm to the rest of the team with his intelligent and elegant style of play. He didn’t hesitate to go forward when the occasion demanded and he scored a good number of decisive goals.
Alexanko is among the players who have made the most appearances for the Club and he maintained his fitness and skill levels well into his thirties. So much so that at the age of 36 he remained one of coach Joan Cruyff’s first team regulars and won the European Cup in 1992, having the honour of lifting the trophy in the old Wembley stadium.
‘Lobo’ Carrasco was considered one of the best wingers in Europe in the 1980s and is one of the most popular Barça players in recent times
‘Lobo’ Carrasco (Alcoy, Alicante, 1959) was considered one of the best wingers in Europe in the 1980s and is one of the most popular Barça players in recent times. He was a tricky and speedy winger, a great dribbler with a thin frame that many compared to Johan Cruyff. He was a spectacular performer, though he was at times seen as too individualistic. When he was only 20, he showed his quality in the 1979 Cup Winners Cup Final in Basle, when he started up front alongside Carles Rexach and Hans Krankl. He was a vital part of the Barça set up for 11 seasons and he played 491 times for the team to put him amongst the players who have made most appearances for the Club.
Krankl (Vienna, Austria, 1953) wrote his name in the Barça history books by proving to be one of the best strikers and also one of the most adored players by the fans to have appeared for the club
After joining from Rapid Vienna, where he won the Golden Boot in 1977/78, he spent two seasons at Camp Nou, but that was enough time for him to leave his mark. In the 78/79 campaign he netted 29 goals in 30 matches to claim the Pichichi honour and went on to hit 64 goals in 88 games overall.
Krankl was an archetypal centre forward who was always in the right place and took advantage of nearly every chance that came his way. His famous left foot could produce an incredible shot. In his first year with Barça he produced some memorable displays and scored a variety of goals.
In May 1979 he was offered the support of the fans after he was involved in a traffic accident that saw his wife badly injured, but fortunately she survived and recovered. A few days later he helped the club to win the European Cup Winners' Cup in Basel. Krankl thanked everyone and admitted that he identified with Catalunya as if he was a Catalan.
‘Johan II’ (Heemstede, Holland, 1951) arrived in Barcelona in 1974 from Ajax with fellow team mate Johan Cruyff
Despite having to be a substitute for Peruvian forward Hugo ‘Cholo’ Sotil, who was very popular with the fans, Neeskens soon won over the crowd with his midfield performances.
Neekens was a classic player who had an impressive physique combined with absolute commitment. Famous for his impetuous headers and his penalty kicks; regarded as authentic canons. His devotion was appreciated by the crowd, which made their thoughts clear on many occasions by shouting “Neeskens, Neeskens”, which was heard even after he had left the club.
After being away for many years, Neekens returned to the club as number 2 to coach Frank Rijkaard.
‘Tarzan’ Migueli (Ceuta 1951) is the player who has worn the blaugrana colours for the most amount of times in the history of the club (664). He has also been one of the best ever central defenders of the club
Recommended by Domènec Balmanya, Miguel Bernardo Bianquetti, known as Migueli, arrived at the club in the season of 1973-74 despite only being able to play one game due to him carrying out his military service. The following season, however, he began to establish himself in the team. The Barça ‘3’ became a regular in the team for all the coaches with the exception of Udo Lattek, who incomprehensively left him on the bench in the season of 1981-82.
Migueli was a player with great pride; he played one final of the Recopa in 1979 with a broken collar bone. A brave, technical, relentless player with a great jump and head, which helped him both defend and attack. A true FC Barcelona legend.
Cruyff (Amsterdam, Holland, 1947) is one of the best players in the world of all time and in his time, he was considered number one
His immense quality saw him win worldwide recognition and he won the Golden ball award three times (1971, 1973 and 1974).
The Dutchman signed for FC Barcelona in August 1973 following lengthy negotiations with his former club Ajax. In his first season, Cruyff exploded onto the scene; using his technical brilliance and intelligence to help Barça win the league in 1973-74 – the first time in 14 years.
In the eyes of the fans, they will always remember many images of the goal he scored against Athletico Madrid in Camp Nou and the famous 0-5 victory over Madrid in the Bernabeu in 1974, which will go down in history. Unfortunately his level dropped in the following seasons and Barça only won the King’s cup in 1977-78. Cruyff left the club in 1978.
In 1988, he returned to the club as coach and put into motion the best era in the history of the club: winning 4 league titles among other and winning the European cup for the first time at Wembley in 1992 with the ‘Dream Team’. Cruyff then left the club in 1996.
In 1999 he was chosen as best player of the century in Europe and in September 2006 he was awarded the cross of Saint Jordi from the Government of Catalonia.
One of the most emblematic players Barça had in the seventies, Asensi (Alicante, 1949) was a hard-working midfielder, the genuine lungs of a great team. He also had a terrific shot, both with his left foot and his head
He was signed from Elche, and could not have done any better at FC Barcelona, where he always be remembered for his astounding commitment. His finest hour came in the league campaign of 1973-74, when he played in every game as Barça took the championship, and the year he appeared in the Cup Winners Cup Final in Basle, scoring a goal and collecting the trophy in his capacity as captain.
His Barça career ended in 1980/81 when he signed for Mexican side Puebla. On May 24, 1981 he wore the beloved shirt for the last time in a testimonial between Barça and his new club. After retiring as an active football, he went into management, including a spell as a youth coach at FC Barcelona.
Antoni Torres (Balaguer, 1943-Barcelona 2003) was a stopper (even though sometimes he played right wing) he was the one who “marked the line” i.e. offensive and tough while also being disciplined and regular
He was the most efficient defender atteh club for eleven seasons. He formed a duo with another player with similar characteristics which was very famous in the second half of the sixties and the beginning of the seventies.
He was an official player in the unforgettable League 1973-74 in which the official line-up of Barça was known as “los once hombres justos” (The right eleven men)After hanging up his boots he became a trainer for the club and in 1979 was next to Rifé when FC Barcelona won their first “Recopa” in Basel against Fortuna de Düsseldorf.
Born in Barcelona in 1947, Charly (also known as the Pedralbes' boy) is an institution in Can Barça where he has spent practically all of his sports life
Son of the Barcelona breeding ground he played right wing with an exquisite technique, and stood out for his great dribbling, his excellent game vision, his masterly penalty throws and his free kicks.
rexach_movHowever, he has on occasions been criticised by his fans for his apparently excessive sang froid. With 656 hard fought matches and 197 goals behind him, he is the second Barcelona player in this section and although he was not a centre forward, he is the eighth greatest goal scorer in the history of the blue and clarets.
Retired in 1981, he has had a compact stage of training; team tecnniques, Firstly in the football base and then as second to Luis Aragonés (1987-88) and Johan Cruyff (1988-96. the glorious years of the ‘Dream Team’) and finally as the first trainer in the 2001-02 season, which was a difficult era for FC Barcelona.
In his eleven years at the club he came to become one of its most iconic figures of the period
Gallego (Puerto Real, Cadiz, 1944) was only 20 when he joined Barça from Sevilla. In his eleven years at the club he came to become one of its most iconic figures of the period, widely regarded for his powerful physique and immense strength. This made him the typically tough centre back of the era, and few players were willing to sweat for the colours as much as he. His marking was ferociously tight and he was almost unbeatable in the air, a facet the club was often able to exploit by sending him up-field for set pieces, where he’d frequently head home spectacular goals with a nonchalance that almost made it look easy. By the late sixties he had come to be considered the finest centre back in Spain, some even said in the whole of Europe. In total in played 425 games for Barça, making him one of the all-time club leaders in terms of appearances
'Quimet' Rifé (Barcelona 1942) has been one of the players in the history of Barcelona who has most worn the Barcelona shirt; A total of 535 played matches make up his impressive CV
Rifé started out playing as a winger. However in 1969 as a result of being knocked out of the “Recopa” against Cologne, he changed to the position of midfielder and finally established himself as a back without forgetting his vocation to attack . He scored 47 goals represented by his swift racing the length of the pitch.
One of the anecdotes about Rifé is that he was responsible for the famous false penalty to Velazquez which caused the Guruceta scandal.
On the 1st September 1976 the club played a tributary match for him Torres and Sadurni and those who had formed part of one of the best defenses in the history of Barça.
Following his retirement as a player, he became one of the team trainers and at the end of the season 1978-79 he took charge of the team along with Torres. This duo helped the team to attain The Recopa of Basilea. Unfortunately, the poor results of the 1979-80 season caused their dismissal At a later date between 2000 and 2003 he was the technical director of the football base of FC Barcelona.
Is one of Barça’s most famous players. He joined the first team in 1962 after playing in the Club’s youth teams and spending two more years on loan at Osasuna
Known as 'la liebre de Linyola' - “the Linyola hare” because of his speed, Josep Maria Fusté (Linyola, Lerida, 1941) is one of Barça’s most famous players. He joined the first team in 1962 after playing in the Club’s youth teams and spending two more years on loan at Osasuna, Fusté became a motor of the Barça team of the sixties, with his wonderful ball skills. The Catalan was a great supporter of improvisational and spectacular football and had a great shot with both feet, a good passer with a strong physique which made him an explosive player on the pitch. He was a midfielder, linking up with the forwards and he was so important to the team that when he played well – Barça played well. After he retired he became the head of the ex-players organisation, la Agrupación de Veteranos, until 1989 and he is currently a consultant to the Club board.
Eladio had a temperamental character and that led him to an infamous incident in a Cup game against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in 1970
Born in Sabadell in 1940, Eladio was a strong, hard tackling defender who was famous for his no-nonsense, no prisoners taken style. It was often though t that opposing forwards would rather get rid of the ball than take on Eladio and the defensive trio of the mid-sixties made up of Benítez, Gallego and Eladio won great respect from other team’s attackers. His strength also allowed him to get up and down the right flank to lead the team’s counter attacks.
Eladio had a temperamental character and that led him to an infamous incident in a Cup game against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in 1970, when the referee famously blew a penalty for a foul committed fully three metres outside the box. Eladio was subsequently sent off for his mock applause and telling the ref: “you are a Madrid fan! You have no shame!”
Julio César Benítez (Montevideo, Uruguay, 1940 - Barcelona, 1968) was one of the classiest defenders Barça ever had
Julio César Benítez (Montevideo, Uruguay, 1940 - Barcelona, 1968) was one of the classiest defenders Barça ever had. He played in various positions for the Club, starting as an inside forward, then moving to midfield and ending up as a full back. Even when he was playing at the back, his instinct was always to attack and his extraordinary technical skill made him a master with the ball at his feet. Benitez was also a specialist free kick taker. Whilst he was an honest and true man off the pitch, his passionate and temperamental character on it caused him a number of problems with referees down the years.
He died after an attack of gastroenteritis on April 6th 1968, when he was still only 27. The death of such a popular and well-loved player caused consternation amongst the Barça fans and more than 150,000 visited the chapel of rest set up in the Presidential Area of the Camp Nou between 10 in the morning of April 7th to 3 in the afternoon the next day. It was one of the most impressive demonstrations of mourning ever seen in the city, which culminated in his burial at the Les Corts cemetery, next to the Camp Nou.
Was better known to the fans as ‘Chus’, although his teammates used to call him ‘Gunpowder’ because of his temperament
Jesús María Pereda (Medina de Pomar, Burgos, 1938 – Barcelona, 2011) was better known to the fans as ‘Chus’, although his teammates used to call him ‘Gunpowder’ because of his temperament on the pitch. He was one of the all-time Barça greats, and along with the similarly skilful Josep Maria Fusté, he formed one half an extraordinary midfield partnership in the sixties, while also displaying plenty of ability in front of goal, scoring 110 times in his 316 appearances in the famous jersey.
He signed for Barça in 1961 and stayed for eight seasons, winning one Fairs Cups and two Spanish Cups, a surprisingly meagre collection for a player of such quality, but those were hard times at a club that seemed to be going from one crisis to the next. As he used to say, he was born too early.
He had fifteen international caps for Spain, where he was especially noted for his contribution to the 1964 European Championship. It was he who scored the opener and then supplied the cross for Marcelino to score the winner in the 2-1 win over the Soviet Union in the final.
Sadurni (L'Arboç, Baix Penedès, 1941), considered the successor to the great goalkeeper Ramallets, always had a lot of competent players with him, firstly Pesudo and also Reina
But most importantly he was always held in high esteem by the fans for his human quality and skill of his game. He stood out for his calm, confident manner and good positioning. He tended to shy away from unnecessary show in favour of efficiency.
He attained three Ricardo Zamora trophies for being the goalkeeper with the fewest goals conceded in the Spanish league in the seasons 1968/69, 1973/74, and 1974/75.
He was also the hero of “the bottle final” in 1968, a Spanish Cup won by Barça in Santiago Bernabéu in an extremely hostile atmosphere.
In 1976 seeing that the trainer Weisweiler wasn´t interested in him, he decided to retire despite still being in excellent physical condition. On the 1st September of that same year, the club played a tributary, farewell match for him shared with Torres and Rifé. Barça played against Stade Reims and won 2-0.
Known as ‘Golden Head’ due to his amazing abilities in the air, Kocsis (Budapest, Hungary, 1929 – Barcelona, 1979) escaped from Hungary in 1956 following the Soviet intervention in his country, when he was already an established star of his time
Barça signed him two years later, along with his compatriot Zoltan Czibor, when they were playing for Swiss club Young Fellows. The Hungarian striker was a tried and tested goalscorer at all levels.
Apart from his terrific head, he also had a rifling shot with either foot and was an adept dribbler. He was also an intelligent player with an excellent ability to read the play. And he was a noted gentleman, and was admired wherever he went for his noble attitude to the sport.
He steered Barça to many wins, but suffered major disappointment when losing the European Cup Final in 1961 in Berne, the same place where seven years earlier his Hungarian national side had lost the 1956 World Cup Final to Germany.
Evaristo de Macedo (Río de Janeiro, Brazil, 1933) was one of the best foreign signings Barça ever made, and was an outstanding goalscorer
He was brought to Barcelona by then technical secretary Josep Samitier, who felt he has discovered somebody exceptional. And he was not wrong, for the Brazilian managed to score no fewer than 0.8 goals a game.
A natural athlete, he was the typically silky skilled Brazilian with a deadly instinct in front of goal and a terrific shot with either foot, a powerful head and the kind of speed and courage that made him an ever-present in the Barça first team for five years, teaming up to perfection with Eulogio Martínez.
His most historic moment was the goal he scored with the sole of his foot on November 23, 1960, to knock Real Madrid out of the European Cup for the very first time. Paradoxically, in 1962 he left FC Barcelona after refusing to be nationalised as a Spaniard and joined Real Madrid.
Olivella (Barcelona 1936) has been one of the biggest captains in the history of the club and one of the players who has played the most amount games for the club (500)
He was a defender on a grand scale; secure, simple and with excellent positioning.
He arrived as a young player in 1956, and in the following season he formed part of Doménec Balmanya’s team which also included Vergés, Gensana and Coll. It didn’t take him long to firmly establish himself as a first team regular (42 games in his first season) at full back. Later on, apart from the season of 1963-64, he took up the role of centre back and achieved the same success.
He was captain of the Spanish national team which won the European cup in 1964. Years later, between 1989 and 1993, he was on the board of directors with Josep Lluis Nuñez.
Eulogio Martínez (Asunción, Paraguay, 1935 – Calella, 1984) was one of the highest Barcelona goalscorers ever, with 168 goals in 225 appearances
The man they called the ‘Tin Opener’ proved to be an exceptional goalscorer in his six seasons at the club, playing delightful football and always giving it everything he possibly could. In his time at the club, he was one of the most popular members of the squad, and was the team’s top goalscorer for three years in a row (1956-57, 1957-58 and 1959-60).
He also won the honour of being the first player to ever score at the Camp Nou, specifically in the inaugural match played against a Warsaw select team on September 24, 1957.
He is also famous for his amazing display in the Spanish Cup round of sixteen match in 1956-57 in which Barça thumped Atlético Madrid 8-1 and the Paraguayan born player scored no fewer than seven goals.
The club’s new signing Evaristo, the Brazilian who was set to compete with Eulogio for the centre forward position, said after the match that: “With a striker like that, I have no idea why you have signed me, perhaps you need somebody to sweep the dressing room”. But the two strikers ended up understanding each other to perfection, and formed one of the most lethal attacking partnerships ever to play for the club.
Considered one of the great masters of Spanish football, Luis Suárez (la Coruña, 1935) was one of the stars of the Barça side of the late fifties, but sadly his greatest and most successful period came when he was no longer a Barça player
The ‘Golden Galician’ was signed from Deportivo de la Coruña as an inside left. He had everything you could want of a footballer: amazing skill, an amazing talent for moving the ball about with his feet, great vision and a tremendous shot. But he was mainly noted for his elegant style, it was often said he was such a graceful player that he could have played in a dinner jacket.
SUxREZ_2.jpgBarça and then manager Helenio Herrera (1958-60) had a lot to do with the way this Galician midfielder burst onto the scene, while he was always in the media eye and the Barça supporters were divided between those that favoured him (suaristas) and those that preferred Kubala (kubalistas), although the actual players were extremely good friends.
In 1961, just after he had won the Golden Ball, the club fell upon hard financial times and had no option but to cash in on their star player and sell him to Inter Milan for 25 million pesetas. It was un unfortunate time for this to happen, five days before the tragedy of the European Cup Final in Basle, where Barça lost to Benfica. No longer part of FC Barcelona, Suarez went on to enjoy huge success in Italy, where he won two European Cups and a host of other major titles.
Was one of Barça’s greatest ever South American imports. He came from Millonarios of Bogotá, where he had formed an incredible partnership with Alfredo Di Stéfano
Ramón Villaverde (Montevideo, Uruguay, 1930 - Barcelona, 1986) was one of Barça’s greatest ever South American imports. He came from Millonarios of Bogotá, where he had formed an incredible partnership with Alfredo Di Stéfano. He played either in central midfield or on the wing, but even when playing out wide he’d frequently drift inward, where he’d make the most of his extraordinary talent for reading the game. Like so many Latin American players of his day, Villaverde had a powerful shot and amazing control, including a remarkable ability to get past opponents without apparently even touching the ball. He and striker Luis Suárez had an exceptional understanding, while his fans and colleagues alike particularly appreciated his simple, down-to-earth nature. And he was also admirably disciplined about his potential, which he famously displayed in 1963/64 when he agreed to spend the last year of his contract on loan at Racing Santander, saying "I’m not too old for football yet, but I am too old to play for Barça".
Gràcia (Gava, 1932 – Barcelona, 2005) came from a barcelonista background, where his style of play was highlighted by the sacrifices he made on pitch
In his position of left back he showed typical signs of security and regularity. All his traits made him a must in the eyes of all the coaches that led the team during his time at FC Barcelona; playing almost 50 games a season.
He was a valuable part of the defensive line up, although he never did the spectacular on pitch, his presence in the team was vital. He was a true player of the club.
Sigfrid Gràcia was loved and well respected by everyone. He has been one of the most talked about players in the history of the club whereby he is given credit for giving 100% in every game in order to walk away with a clear conscience.
A mythical figure of Barcelonismo (Budapest, Hungary, 1927 – Barcelona 2002), Kubala signed for FC Barcelona in June 1950, when he arrived with a team of refugee players from an Easter country called Hungary
He had to go through a lot of bureaucracy before making his debut in April 1951. However, it was not long before he became idolised by the Barcelona faithful.
With Kubala came a golden age at the club. Kubala displayed his skills in the middle of the pitch, where his style of play also highlighted his: Phenomenal physique, technical ability, extraordinary vision of play and by the fact he was a free kick maestro and a leader on pitch.
With him, the team won absolutely everything there was to win in the 1951-52 season. In the years following, he was unable to repeat his form fully, however, this was due to the injuries he received from opposing defences (and the leniency from he referees). In any case, by the end of the decade he was able to flourish again under the coaching of Helenio Herrera. He retired in 1961, but returned a few months later and continued to 1963. In 1980 he took control of the team as coach, however, success was not achieved.
1993 saw an emotional homage paid to Kubala in the stadium in Montjuïc. He died in Barcelona on the 17th May 2002. In 2003 he was given the gold medal of merit in recognition of the work he carried out.
Is one of the best central defenders to play for the Club. He came up through the youth teams and broke into the first team in 1950 and from then on was a fixture in the side
Gustavo Biosca (Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, 1928) is one of the best central defenders to play for the Club. He came up through the youth teams and broke into the first team in 1950 and from then on was a fixture in the side. During his seven years in the team, he was an authentic emblem of the defence, combining his great strength and wonderful skills with the ball at his feet -something which was hardly typical of defenders in that era. His positioning and reading of the game from his commanding position at the heart of the back line gave him the openings for his trademark long distance, inch perfect passing. Unfortunately, he suffered a terrible injury in 1957 which kept him out for a long time and although he played with the reserve team- Condal – in an attempt to recover his fitness, he was forced to retire in 1959. Between 1993 and 2000 he was a Club director, with responsibility for the board’s relationship with the players.
Known as “the great captain”, Segarra (Barcelona, 1927 - Taradell, 2008) was one of the moast charismatic players in the history of FC Barcelona
The legendary defender was part of the Barça of the Five Cups in the 1950s and is the player who has made the fifth most appearances in the Barça colours, behind only Migueli, Rexach, Amor and Rifé.
Segarra was a true gentleman on the pitch, and his noble and very proper attitude won him the admiration of respect of the entire footballing world. He was a versatile player, although his natural positions were at half back or left back. He was brave and dedicated and would never stop yelling encouragement to his team mates. He had the perfect physical shape, tremendous skills, and was a solid marker. Although he played at the back, he also had a fine shot and scored several decisive goals.
He was unable to show the continent what he could do at the disappointing European Cup Final in Berne, 1961, because of an unfortunate eye injury.
After retiring, the ‘great captain’ stayed on at Barça as a youth team coach and in the 1979-80 season he was assistant first team coach to Helenio Herrera.
Antonio Ramallets (Barcelona, 1924 - Barcelona, 2013) was one of the best goalkeepers in the history of Barça and the whole of Spanish football signed up from Europa
He was initially the substitute for Velasco until 1949 when the team´s goalkeeper became seriously injured and he was given the opportunity to play.
When Ramallet became Barça´s official goalkeeper it coincided with an era of maximum glory for the team and he acheived many awards in the “Cinco Copas”(Five Cups) era as well as in the era of the trainer Helenio Herrera.
Swift, agile, and above all very smart. In short these were the best qualities of Antoni Ramallets who knew how to be spectacular and simple at the same time. He established himself definitively as a goalkeeper in the 1950 World Cup celebrated in Brazil. It was at this time that he was christened with the nickname “gato de Maracaná” (The cat of Maracana).
However his worst memory was certainly the unfortunate final of the European Cup in Berna in 1961. Barça played against Benfica and lost 3-2 after a match full of missed chances for the blue and clarets and in which Ramallet scored an own goal. This more than likely influenced his decision to retire.
On the 6th March 1962 Ramallet received an emotional homage from the Nou Camp fans in a match between Barça and Hamburg(5-1). In this match he was awarded the “Medalla de Mérito Deportivo” (a medal for sports excellence).
Basora (Colònia Valls, Barcelona, 1926) is considered one of the best wingers in the history of Spanish football
He was a member of the famous forward line which Joan Manuel Serrat was to immortalise (Basora, Kubala, César, Moreno and Manchón). A right winger great technical abilities, great pace and ability to lose his marker. His abilities allowed him to operate in the smallest of spaces and his goal tally was unusually high for a winger.
He was known as the ‘Monster of Columbes’ due to his performance in a friendly game against France where he bagged a hat-trick. He was regarded as being one of the best players of the 1950 World cup in Brazil. He retired in 1958.
Marià Gonzalvo (Mollet del Vallès, 1922 - Barcelona, 2007), known as Gonzalo III (his other two brothers also played for FC Barcelona), is one of the best players to ever have worn the blaugrana colours
From the middle of the pitch he was able to demonstrate his superior qualities and vision. He possessed a good head and could also notch up a few goals to help the team along. His commitment to Barcelona during his lengthy spell was a tribute to his love of the city; having turned down enormous offers from Torino. He left the club in 1957 at the age of 34.
Josep Seguer spent his entire career at FC Barcelona. He started playing for the amateur side in 1940, dividing his time between football and the family barber’s shop
Born in Parets del Vallès (Barcelona) in 1923, Josep Seguer spent his entire career at FC Barcelona. He started playing for the amateur side in 1940, dividing his time between football and the family barber’s shop. After going on loan to Granollers in 1942/43, he returned to represent the first team, where he would stay for fourteen years. It was as a central midfielder that he won his titles in the forties, but he was notably versatile and had no qualms about dropping to play at full back if required. Those were the days of manager Ferdinand Daucik and star striker Kubala, and with his extraordinary skill and imposing physique Seguer was one of the most prominent members of legendary team of the Five Cups. He hung up his boots in 1959 and became a coach. He was assistant to Salvador Artigas on the first team bench, and took over his superior’s duties after his departure early in the 1969-70 season. In 1970, he became head coach of the FCB reserve team, Barça Atlètic.
One of Barça’s greatest ever players. A natural centre forward and an extraordinary goalscorer, famous for his powerful headers, César (León 1920 –Barcelona 1995) is the third highest goalscorer in all matches for the Club, behind Alcántara and Samitier and won the pichichi award as the highest scorer in the Spanish League in the 1947-48 season with 27 goals in 24 game, as well as being runner up on three occasions and the team’s top scorer for seven straight seasons from 1944 to 1951. Cesar was a key part in the legendary forward line at the Club at the start of the 1950s, made up of Basora, César, Kubala, Moreno and Manchón
Know as “El Pelucas” “ Wigman” because of his early balding, Cesar had a series of footballing qualities which made him a great: combining great skill and a knack of scoring that never left him. His powerful headers and a strong shot with both feet came together with fine dribbling skills and a marvellous never say die attitude in a player who was also a good reader of the game.
The older Barça fans still remember great goals when he would suddenly appear in the box to latch onto a ball and fire home, after appearing to be languishing deep. Although he was a real star of his time, Cesar was known as a modest man and one press report commented: “Cesar is the most modest of players, but a maestro - the most complete player and a real one off”.
He rejoined Barça as coach in 1963, but his arrival coincided with a grey period for the Club and he left after just one year. Until Leo Messi overtook him, for sixty years he was the Club’s leading scorer in official games with 232 goals.
Known as the ‘fury of the area’, Mariano Martín (Dueñas, Palencia, 1919 – Barcelona, 1998) was one of the best strikers ever to grace FC Barcelona, incredibly scoring more than one goal a match
Martín was a natural talent in front of goal, with speed, skill, courage, a great head and a knack for being in the right place at the right time to take advantage of rebounds or defensive mishaps. He was the team’s highest scorer in the 1940/41 and 1943/44 seasons, and was the first ever Barça player to top the league goalscoring charts in 1941/42 with 32 goals.
His impetuous personality as he prowled around opposing areas in search of chances led to a serious knee injury in February 1944. Although he did recover, he was never the same player again, and ended up leaving FC Barcelona prematurely and spending the ensuing years representing Gimnástic Tarragona.
Was a two-footed winger with outstanding skills, tremendous speed on the break and a thunderbolt of a shot
Josep Valle (Oliete, Teruel, 1917 - Barcelona, 2005) was a two-footed winger with outstanding skills, tremendous speed on the break and a thunderbolt of a shot. He came to Barça in 1940 from local club UE Sants, and was soon one of the stars of the team. According to the sportswriters of the time, Valle’s football was "extremely scientific, with a perfect touch." His pinpoint crosses were a guaranteed goalscoring opportunity for strikers César and Mariano Martín. When he gave up playing, he went into management and after that put his heart and soul into the Former FC Barcelona Players Group, where he was popularly known as the ‘Guardian Angel of the Veterans’ because of his frequent visits to former players that were going through financial or health related hardship. For a man of 81, the work he put into the celebration of the club’s centenary in 1999 was quite remarkable, for he took responsibility for the duty of seeking out all of the veterans with which the club had lost contact over the years and get them all back for a reunion gathering on April 29, 1999. The reunion was a huge success. Of 329 former players, 321 were located, and 250 were able to attend.
Was a member of the mythical Five Cup Winners of the 1951/52 season and one of Barça’s best ever full backs
Francesc Calvet (Sant Joan Despí, Barcelona, 1921 - Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, 2001) was a member of the mythical Five Cup Winners of the 1951/52 season and one of Barça’s best ever full backs. He made his debut for the first team after the Civil War, during a very difficult time for the Club, which the strength of the players helped to resolve. Calvet was one of the quiet unassuming players that every great team needs. He was a versatile player, who began playing as an inside forward and was also a midfielder before settling in at full back. His fighting character and spirit of sacrifice, as well as his hard tackling were his strong points, whilst his quiet and unassuming character off the field made him a very popular member of the Club. He never forgot his roots in the countryside and when he retired from the game, he went back to working the land.
The gentleman of football, Escolà (Barcelona 1914 – Barcelona 1998), was a forward who would finish up many plays started from behind
He had exquisite technical abilities and an exceptional shot which helped him become the fifth highest goal scorer in the club’s history with 223 goals. He was admired and respected by many due to his clean and fair play; tempers never flared when he was around.
He came to Barcelona in 1934 and formed part of the forward set up which also included Ventolrà, Raich, Escolà, Fernandez and Munlloch. He fled to France during the civil war and returned in 1940 and achieved success in the blaugrana colours. However, his career was cut short due to sustaining many injuries to his hip and knee.
Years later, he returned to the club to coach the lower division teams where he enjoyed a successful time.
Considered one of the best wingers in Barça history Barça, Ventolrà (Barcelona, 1906 – Mexico City, 1977) was one of the biggest stars in the team in the thirties
He was a uniquely charismatic player, and became hugely popular among Barça fans due to the handkerchief he always wore on his head. An explosive player, he was amazingly fast and an expert dribbler. He was also good in the air and scored regularly.
He won two international caps for Spain, and his Barça career ended in unusual circumstances when he was on tour with the club in Mexico at the height of the Spanish Civil War (June-August 1937) and decided to stay in the country and sign for Atlanta. But his main reason for staying was sentimental, for in Mexico City he had met the niece of the President of the Republic, Lázaro Cárdenas, and they got engaged. He had a son, José, who went on to become an outstanding defender, and played for Mexico at the 1970 World Cup held in his country.
Is considered one of the leading goal scorers in the Club’s history, with an enviable record of 215 goals in 207 games
Ángel Arocha (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1907 – the Ebro front, 1938) is considered one of the leading goal scorers in the Club’s history, with an enviable record of 215 goals in 207 games. He signed for Barça in April 1927 from Tenerife charged with the difficult job of substituting the legendary Paulino Alcántara, who was about to retire. A regular first choice striker for the team, he left an indelible mark on his teammates and the fans with his character and his commitment to Barça. He was the President of the celebrated Club peña Piera-Sastre-Arocha, with his teammates Piera and Sastre, which was later re-named the ‘Casal Barcelonista’. Arocha lost his life in the Civil War after joining the Francoist army, when he was killed on the Ebro Front in 1938 – a tragedy that was mourned by both sides.
Platko (Budapest, Hungary, 1898 – Santiago, Chile, 1983) was signed in 1923 as the replacement for another legendary Barça stopper, Ricardo Zamora
And he did so brilliantly, thanks to his wonderful talents between the posts, with his famous runs out of the box in tricky situations, and the amazing sense of security he inspired in his colleagues. He was one of the most important players in the Barça of the Golden Era.
In 1928 Cadiz poet Rafael Alberti immortalised him in an emotional poem about his heroics in the final of the Spanish Championship, in which he took a nasty knock in the head but stayed on regardless. Alberti wrote such lyrical words as “flaming tiger on the grass of another land”, “heroic blue and red” and “blond bear of blood”.
He later went on to become director of football for the club for two different seasons 1934/35 and 1955/56.
Known by the nickname of “The Witch”, Piera (Barcelona 1903-1960) was born in the Barcelona district Santos and was one of the best right wing players in the history of Spanish football
A Player with special skills he stood out for his multiple facets like his technique, his elegant style, his speed, his headers and his precise centres which as was said at the time guaranteed a goal.
piera_movHe was one of the basic pilars of the great Barça of the twenties. He made his debut on the first of January 1921 after playing a match in the morning with the young team and convincing Joan Gamper of the skills of his game. That same afternoon he played with the first team as a substitute for the injured Alcántara against Arenas de Getxo and scored two of the goals bringing victory to Barcelona 3 -1. From that day, Piera played in all the matches with Barça until his retirement.
Considered the most emblematic player in the history of FC Barcelona and the best European forward of his times, Josep Samitier (Barcelona 1902-Barcelona 1972) led the terrific Barça in the golden age of the twenties
His acrobatics and amazing jumps captivated the Barcelona fans who very quickly made him into their idol calling him “lobster man” and “magician”. The first “boom” of football crowds, came about thanks to him. A football team was created around him due to his exceptional technique and great football skills. Eventually the football field became too small to cater for the crowds and “Las Corts” was built in 1922.
With Samitier Barça acheived twelve Catalan Championships, five Spanish Championships and the first Spanish league that began in 1928-29. Despite starting out as a midfielder he is remembered as an excellent centre forward. The figures are significant: he scored 326 goals wearing the blue and claret shirt which made him the second greatest scorer in the history of the club after Paulino Alcántara.
Samitier also was a trainer between 1944 and 1947, winning the 44-45 Spanish League and the Eva Duarte Cup in 1945. As Club Manager (position which he cccupied until his death) he was responsible for the signing up of Kubala in 1950. On the 16th September 1993, his name was given to one of the streets near “Camp Nou”.
Was an outstandingly powerful midfielder. Strong, corpulent and resistant, he was an excellent marker and almost unbeatable in the air.
Agustí Sancho (Castellón, 1896 - Barcelona, 1960) was an outstandingly powerful midfielder. Strong, corpulent and resistant, he was an excellent marker and almost unbeatable in the air. The reports of his era never ceased to hail his many virtues, saying that at times both his colleagues and opponents alike could do more than stop and admire. He was the ideal complement for the likes of Samitier, Sagi-Barba, Alcántara, Piera and company, making him one of the fundamental elements of the Golden Age of Barça in the 1920s. He gave everything he had on the pitch, to the extent that he’d even yell at his opponents if he didn’t think they were pulling their weight. "If you don’t want to fight, then I’ll do it alone!” he famously yelled on one occasion. He was part of the first ever Spanish national side that won silver at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920. When Sants was founded in his childhood district, he decided to join the green-and-whites, where he was also handed an administrative position, but he’d return to Barça a year later and also become an international again.
Emili Sagi (Bolívar, Argentina, 1900 - Barcelona, 1951) was born in Argentina to Catalan parents is considered one of the finest players of the pre-Civil War
Emili Sagi (Bolívar, Argentina, 1900 - Barcelona, 1951) was born in Argentina to Catalan parents. Considered one of the finest players of the pre-Civil War era and the best left winger in Barça history, Sagi was quick and powerful and blessed with supremely sublime skills. He and Paulino Alcántara formed an extraordinary left-hand side of the team in the Golden Age, where they played alongside the likes of Platko, Sancho, Piera and Samitier. Nobody could cross the ball like he could and he was also Barça’s first ever corner kick and penalty specialist. But he was also widely respected for being a true gentleman, and it was said that he was simply incapable of committing a foul. He was the son of the famous baritone singer Emilio Sagi Barba, which is why he was known in the football world as ‘Sagi-Barba’, after his father’s fame. Thoroughly dedicated to the Barça cause, after he married in 1919 he decided to call it a day, but repented two years later and returned to his beloved club.
Popularly known as 'la Vella' (the Old One), because of his long career with the Barça, Ramon Torralba (Ardisa, Zaragoza, 1895 – Méjico, 1986) is a legendary figure in the history of FC Barcelona due to his loyalty to the Club during fourteen seasons
A holding midfield player, he stood out for his strength and limitless capacity for sacrifice. He formed a formidable and celebrated partnership with Sancho and Samitier. Indeed, many people believe that this threesome constituted the best ever Barça midfield.
He was a regular in the starting line-ups from the 1914/15 season until the 1925/26 season and kept himself in excellent physical condition throughout. In the 1924/25 season, at the age of thirty, he still managed to play 42 matches.
He was the first player in the history of Barça to be granted a testimonial match. This took place on 4 February 1917 at the stadium in Industria Street when he was still an acive player. The second, and farewell, testimonial took place on the 1st July 1928 at the Les Corts stadium.
Paulino Alcántara (Iloilo, Philippines, 1896 – Barcelona, 1964) is one of the highest goal scorer in the club’s history with 369 goals in 357 games
His characteristic deceptive appearance made him popular with the fans to the point of being the first star of the club in the golden ages of the twenties, alongside Samitier, Zamora, Sagi, Piera and many more.
His ability to hit the most powerful of shots crossed frontiers on the 30th April 1922 when, in a game between Spain and France, he hit a shot so hard that it ripped right through the net. For many years after, children from Barcelona would recall that moment and would wish to do the same as the man from the Philippines.
He hung up his boots on the 5th July 1927 in order to become a doctor. However, this was not his goodbye to football. He was on the board of directors between 1931 and 1934 and Alcántara was one of the first footballers to write memoirs of his playing days.
Carles Comamala (Madrid, 1887 – Barcelona, 1976) was a personal friend of Gamper’s and the real successor to the Swiss player in the Barça attack when the club founder retired in 1903. Comamala was an extraordinarily prolific goalscorer
With a father from the Canaries and a Basque mother, but born in Madrid and brought up in Catalonia, he was not only a great striker, but also a unique character, who stayed in the sport until a ripe old age and then went on to become a club director from 1909 to 1911, and founded new clubs in Irish, Galeno and Universitario, as well as enjoying rugby and swimming and journalism. He was also the president of the Catalan Gymnastics Federation and a renowned sports doctor.
And if all that was not enough, he was also the designer of the FC Barcelona club crest when he won a public competition held in 1910.
Founder of FC Barcelona on the 29th of November 1899 and five times president of the club between 1908 and 1925
The man from Switzerland was a true example of what a sportsman should be; Joan Gamper (Winterthur, Switzerland, 1877 - Barcelona, 1930) had success in swimming, rugby, cycling, athletics and above all, football. He arrived in Barcelona in 1898 and practised the sport in the streets of Sant Gervasi and by 1899, football had been born in Barcelona.
He founded the club and was captain of the team, however, he did not take on the presidential role until 9 years later. His level was superior to that of most others at the time and left many people marvelling at his skills. He was a forward player and scored a tally of goal unthinkable in modern times.