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Comparing Lionel Messi with the Best Barcelona Players of All Time

Roberto Alvarez-GallosoChief Writer IMarch 25, 2013

Comparing Lionel Messi with the Best Barcelona Players of All Time

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    Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona are currently in the news around the world. There are comparisons between Messi and athletes such as Diego Maradona.

    What about other players who graced the history of FC Barcelona in the past? A decision was made to rank and compare La Blaugrana players of the past with Messi.

    The purpose of this slideshow is to try to decide who is the best FC Barcelona player of all time.

Hristo Stoichkov

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    Hristo Stoichkov is one of the greatest figures in La Blaugrana. According to the "Legends" section of the FC Barcelona website, Stoichkov is the only Barca player to win three trophies during his career with the club.

    Stoichkov won the Ballon d’Or, the Golden Boot and the European Cup. He was also immensely loyal to the club. Stoichkov later formed part of Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire.

    He led the Chicago Fire to victory in the 2000 MLS Cup Final. Stoichkov scored 37 goals within 83 appearances during his international career.

Pep Guardiola

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    Pep Guardiola is an institution at FC Barcelona as a player and manager. During his time as a player, Guardiola accumulated six La Liga victories. His achievements include one European Cup, one Copa del Rey and one Cup Winners' Cup.

    His period as manager saw the rise of Messi and Cesc Fabregas among other players. Guardiola was named coach of the year by FIFA, La Liga LFP and IFFHS to name just a few.

    Guardiola was instrumental in the stunning Barca victory over Bayer Leverkusen during the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League match. He retired as FC Barcelona manager in 2012 and accepted the position of manager with Bayern Munich this year.

Johan Cruyff

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    Johan Cruyff is a three-time winner of the Golden Ball during his time with FC Barcelona. Cruyff was instrumental in Barca’s 1973/74 La Liga victory.

    It was the first Barca La Liga triumph in more than a decade. In 1974, Cruyff was instrumental in leaving Real Madrid scoreless in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

    Cruyff was another player who eventually managed FC Barcelona. During his period as manager, Barca won La Liga four times.

    He helped La Blaugrana win the European Cup at Wembley in 1992. This was the first time FC Barcelona won this prestigious trophy.

    In 1999, Cruyff was awarded the Best Player of the Century as a tribute to his career. The Government of Catalonia recognized his contributions by awarding Cruyff the Saint Jordi Cross in 2006.

Andoni Zubizarreta

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    Andoni Zubizarreta was one of Spain and Barcelona’s greatest goalkeepers. Zubizarreta was crucially decisive in the Wembley match that handed FC Barcelona their first European Cup victory (according to the FC Barcelona website).

    Zubizarreta participated in two European Championships and four World Cups. He has the record of playing 588 matches for Spain in FC Barcelona, Valencia and Athletic Club Bilbao.

    Zubizarreta has 126 international caps. He extended his career in FC Barcelona with his appointment as the club’s professional football technical director in 2010.

Lionel Messi

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    Lionel Messi is a legend among legends in Barcelona, Argentina and World Football. Messi is the only player to win the Ballon d’Or four consecutive times.

    Messi managed to score five goals for Barca in a UEFA Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen. This is the first time any player scored such an incredible number of goals in one match.

    Messi closed the year 2012 with 91 goals in a calendar year. He broke Gerd Muller’s record of 85 in 1972 for Bayern Munich and Germany.

     

    Conclusion

    It is impossible to rank and compare Messi and the greatest in La Blaugrana's history. Every player has their history and great achievements.

    These achievements make FC Barcelona the team it is today. La Blaugrana will have players in the future with their achievements.

    As usual, the achievements of future players will be compared with those of the past. The results will be the same.

     

    I would like to thank the B/R readers for their time in this slideshow. My best wishes to all of you in the week to come.

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