The official website of FC Barcelona defines the period of 2008 to 2016 as the best years of their history. The club also won the league title in 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. The club from Catalonia has won six out of the nine league titles offered this decade and has utterly dominated the Spanish club football, also bagging five Copa Del Rey and one Champions League in the process.
Most of the credit for their sensational performance lies with the exceptional set for players who donned their skills for the club. Dozens of players wore the prestigious Blaugrana in this decade however only few enjoyed a cult status at the club. Xplore Sports analyzed the data to come out with the best 11 players who played for Barcelona this decade.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen : A role which arguably had the highest competition. Barcelona have produced three World Class goalkeepers this decade with Bravo, Ter Stegen and Valdes all capable enough to sport the cap of best goalkeeper of the decade. However, we chose Ter Stegen just becaue of the tremendous amount of improvement he has shown since moving from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2014.
Marc started all the champions’ league matches in his debut season and kept six clean sheets in 13 games of the title winning season. The youngster became a regular in 2016-17 season and has proved a steal for Barcelona in the time of inflated transfer rates. Ter-Stegen recently made his 200th appearance for the club and looks set to safeguard the goal for Barcelona in next decade as well.
Dani Alves: Dani Alves is arguably the best wing-back of the decade. The player was part of the defense built by Guardiola which built the foundations for Barcelona upon which they established their empire of successes. Dani Alves was more of an attacker than a defender and his accurate crosses always created havoc in the rivals’ defense. The player lived various memorable moments with the club before an abrupt departure in 2016. He made a whooping 100 assists for the club in addition to 21 goals.
Gerard Pique: Gerard Pique was struggling to get into the starting 11 of Manchester United in 2008 when he decided to move back to his boyhood club. The transfer proved a landmark in Barcelona’s history as Manchester United’s loss turned into Barcelona’s gain. The managerialship of Guardiola and mentorship from Puyol turned him into probably one of the finest defenders in Barca’s history. The player became a pillar in Barca’s defense and also mentored a lot of young players such as Lenglet and Umtiti. Arguably the player also escalated the stature of his mentor and legendary Barcelona captain, Puyol. The La Masia graduate has made more than 500 appearance of the Catalonia side and has also managed to bag 46 goals under his belt.
Carlos Puyol: The ex-Barca captain did not play a lot in this decade. However, his aura was never replaced in Camp Nou after his departure. Javier Mascherano did fill his boots to some extent but just for the leadership and the love for the red and yellow stripes, Puyol gets a place in the team of the decade. He also is the captain of the team.
Jordi Alba: Alba is probably the best counterpart of Alves on the left side of the defense. The player has shown great abilities in both attack and defense. Alba has 16 goals and 57 assists in over 300 games for the club.
Stay Tuned for the 2nd Part of this engaging series