Rivaldo, Carles Puyol, Thierry Henry and Éric Abidal.

In 2014 there were four ex-Barça players, legends in fact, who retired from football. The four were Rivaldo, Carles Puyol, Thierry Henry and Éric Abidal. All of them won over the crowds at Camp Nou, finally hanging up their boots at the end of long careers. Only Puyol retired while still with the team.

Rivaldo said goodbye last March at the age of 41. From 1997 to 2002, the Brazilian was one of the best ever to wear the blue and claret. The left-footed forward was graceful yet powerful, winning two league titles and a Spanish Cup. He won the Ballon d'Or in 1999. After leaving Barça — where he scored 136 goals — he globetrotted his way through Italy, Greece, Angola, Uzbekistan and Brazil, his career coming to a close while playing for Sao Paolo.


The curtains came down on the career of this legendary defender at the end of the 2013/14 season, when he was 36. Despite his many injuries, Puyol played for FC Barcelona for 15 seasons, and was captain for ten of them. Among his greatest virtues were his leadership, positioning, strength and speed, making him one of the greatest defenders on the planet for a large part of his career. His courage was one of the many faces of the greatest Barça team in history. He retired as the Club's second all-time leader in games played.

On December 16th Thierry Henry called it quits at the age of 37. While playing for Arsenal in the Premier League, Henry became known for elegant goalscoring while winning two Golden Boots in 2004 and 2005. In 2007 he came to FC Barcelona and, after a difficult first year, ended up helping the team to a historic treble as a part of a highly feared forward line that also included Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi. From 2010 to 2014, he played for the New York Red Bulls.

Just three days after Henry's announcement, 35-year old Éric Abidal retired as well, in one of the more moving episodes in Barça history. After coming to Barcelona in 2007 from Olympique Lyon, he stood out as a technically brilliant lateral defender with unmatched physical attributes. However, in 2011, at the peak of his career, he was diagnosed with liver cancer and became a symbol of survival. He left the Club in 2013 as one the most beloved and admired players to have ever been a part of it. Abidal last played for Monaco and Olympiacos.


Back to top