Alves, Mascherano, Messi, Alexis, Afellay, Adriano and Dos Santos against Raja / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

The Club’s firm commitment to its youth system and policy of signing players that understand the team’s style of play is changing a team dynamic that made itself most evident in the 1998/99, 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons, when Barça had as many as 15 foreign footballers on its roster. The number of foreign Azulgrana footballers has declined over the years, to a total of eight this season. The number of foreigners on the team hasn't been so low since the 1995/96 season, when the team only had five.

In the 1995/96 season, Barça had Popescu, Prosinecki, Hagi, Kodro and Figo. This year, FC Barcelona have Alves, Alexis, Messi, Mascherano, Afellay, Adriano, Abidal and Dos Santos; the 8 footballers in the 25-man roster that do not have Spanish nationality.

Conviction in the Barça philosophy

Valdés, Piqué, Cesc, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Thiago, Sergio, Alba, Cuenca, Fontàs, Bartra, Montoya and Muniesa have all come up through the Barça youth system, in addition to the Argentinean Messi and the Mexican Dos Santos, which means that 68% of the first team is made up of home grown players. All of them, including Villa, Alves, Alexis, Pinto, Mascherano, Afellay, Adriano and Abidal, are proof of the Club’s commitment to its philosophy. A philosophy that has taken Barça to its highest heights in Club history.

When the Bosman ruling was codified into law in 1995, which allows for the free circulation of players within the European Union, the number of foreign players, both European and non-European, in top-tier teams increased dramatically. Barça was no exception and in the 1998/99, 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons, the team had 15 foreign footballers, which far surpasses the number of current non-Spaniards and Catalans on the team today.

Number of foreigners on the team over the years

Season 2012/13: 8
Season 2011/12: 9
Season 2010/11: 9
Season 2009/10: 11
Season 2008/09: 13
Season 2007/08: 15
Season 2006/07: 15
Season 2005/06: 14
Season 2004/05: 13
Season 2003/04: 13
Season 2002/03: 13
Season 2001/02: 14
Season 2000/01: 10
Season 1999/00: 13
Season 1998/99: 15
Season 1997/98: 13
Season 1996/97: 10
Season 1995/96: 5

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