Top 10 All-Time Barcelona Strikers: Does David Villa Make the List?
When FC Barcelona aquired the services of David Villa, the football world assumed that the Blaugrana attack would become an even more feared entity.
Replacing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the more mobile and agile David Villa seemed to be an improvement. El Guaje is the better fit, there's no doubt about it. His off-the ball contribution to Barca's game is superb but strangely enough, his goals have dried up.
Of course Pep Guardiola must be held accountable for his weird experiments that, with every passing week, seem to have more in common with fringe science than football tactics.
Installing David Villa as a left-winger is just wrong, the man was born to be a centre-forward not the Spanish re-incarnation of Thierry Henry (the FC Barcelona version).
Now let's take a look at some of the finest strikers who have ever played for FC Barcelona.
These thoroughbred strikers had one task, and one task only, to score goal en masse. Imagine if one of them had to play out of position like David Villa, they would have lost their killer-instict.
Please Pep stop emulating Dr. Bishop from the hugely popular TV-Show "Fringe", there's no reason to experiment.
Ask yourself "if Romario had played as a left-winger, would he have been as efficient?"
Paulino Alcantara (1912 – 1927)
Barca's all-time highest goal-scorer
The further I go back in FC Barcelona history, the more trouble I have justifying my selection. Because I can’t seriously claim to have knowledge of anything preceding the 80’s. Sure, the history books are mostly accurate, but who am I to write “Paulino Alcantara is the greatest Barca striker of all-time”.
I didn’t watch him play, and even if I did manage to get a hold of some old footage; I cannot evaluate his performance because the game was different back then.
Therefore I will list the next couple of strikers and their official stats. It is not a matter of convenience or lack of research, it’s just I feel uncomfortable claiming to know about something I do not.
According to official statistics the Pilipino scored 357 goals in 357 matches (a perfect strike–rate of 1 goal per game).
Isn’t it great that an Asian has scored the most goals in FC Barcelona history?
Speaking of foreigners, most of the players Barca claim to be their legends could not become Socios under the current Sandro Rossell-led administration.
The club was founded by a Swiss entrepreneur and an Asian is Barca’s all-time goal-scoring leader. I wonder what kind of paranoia is keeping Rossell up at night.
Under the new statures even La Masia youngsters (who join the academy at a later point) are excluded from becoming Socios.
Good job Sandro. You are officially a moron!
Josep Escolà (1934 – 1949)
The Gentleman of football
I assume those were the times to be a striker, in his 15-year spell with FC Barcelona “the gentleman of football “ scored 223 in 253 games.
In comparison Samuel Eto’o who I rate as the greatest Barca striker of all-time, the past, present, and five generations in the future; scored 130 goals in 200 official appearances.
Mariano Martín (1940 – 1948)
The fury of the era
“The fury of the area” has the distinction of being of the very few -maybe the only one- players who scored more than 1 goal a game. He played 167 games and scored 188 goals.
César Rodríguez Álvarez (1942 – 1955)
During the era of Black-and-White pictures, a really vague definition but a really long time, this Barca legend plied his trade for the Blaugrana from 1942 – 1955.
He played 433 games and scored a massive 294 goals in the process.
Enrique “Quini” Castro (1980 – 1984)
The striker, and fellow Sporting Gijon alumi, who laid the blueprint for Barca’s current no. 7, David Villa.
I can’t honestly say I know a lot about “Quini” without making a complete fool of myself. During his spell in Catalunya I was still a little toddler who gave his parents a lot of sleepless nights.
But I have found out that he twice finished as La Liga’s Pichichi, in 1980/1981 and 1981/1982. Overall he scored 101 goals in 178 official matches. His goal-scoring exploits helped the Blaugrana winning a multitude of trophies (Cup Winners Cup, League Cup, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup).
One can only hope that David Villa finally breaks his duck and starts matching the feats of his idol.
Romario (1993 – 1995)
Thinking about the next vacation, aren't you?
A member of the Cruyff’s “Dream Team” that dominated the early 90’s, the Brazilian scored 53 goals in just 83 games.
“..genius of the goal area” – Johan Cryuff
A lot of trouble too. Like so many Brazilians, Romario was/is exceptionally gifted but took as exceptionally long holidays as well. His off-field behavior rather than his performances on the pitch led to his premature departure.
Still, the 1994 World Cup winner left his mark in Catalunya.
Ronaldo (1996 – 1997)
He only wore the Blaugrana colors for one season, some might argue that’s not enough to justify his place among the greatest Barca strikers of all-time, I beg to differ.
While the Blaugrana have a well documented history of playing attacking or total football, they don’t have a long list of exceptionally strikers. If anything FC Barcelona has a tradition of outstanding wingers.
In Ronaldo FC Barcelona had the archetype of the modern striker. He was fast, technically strong, tricky and didn’t shy away from one-on-ones or one-one-twos, threes (you get the idea). He didn’t need someone to create chances for him, he made something out of nothing. His nickname “the Phenomenon” was more than justified.
In his, one and only, season for Barca he scored a ridiculous 47 goals in 51 appearances, a feat Lionel Messi just matched (goal-wise) some 13 years later.
Patrick Kluivert (1998 – 2004)
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
During his six-year stay, the Dutchman proved to be a formidable striker scoring 120 goals in 255 appearances for the club. Unfortunately for him he played for FC Barcelona during their five-year trophy drought, making the 1999 La Liga championship his only trophy-win.
He was released after the 2003/2004 season in order to make room for Samuel Eto’o.
While he is born at the exact same day as Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Kluivert retired early in 2008. One has to wonder what he could’ve accomplished if he just had more discipline.
Samuel Eto’o (2004 – 2009)
The Indomitable Lion”
According to the official FC Barcelona website, the Cameroonian has etched his name into Barca’s history books as the “indomitable lion”. It’s quite interesting how the club treated the striker who scored in two Champions League finals.
When you consider the fact that the Blaugrana “only” won the coveted trophy on three separate occasions throughout their distinguished history, I am still baffled and confused how they could off-load him (as a makeweight, which is preposterous because Laporta & Co. paid an extra 49.000.000€) to Inter Milan in order to acquire Zlatan Ibrahmovic (who is nowhere to be found after a single season).
Pep Guardiola, may or may not go down as the greatest manager in Barca history but selling Eto’o will be one of his cardinal sins.
Others may have scored more than him, but his record of 130 goals in 200 official matches is an outstanding return nonetheless. Personally, I rate him as the greatest striker to ever wear the Blaugrana colors.
David Villa (2010-?)
You won't score goals staring in holes in the sky!
David Ramos/Getty Images
It’s too early to assess whether “El Guaje” will become a Barca legend, let alone one of the top ten strikers in their history. But Villa has all the tools to do just that. If he maintains his record of averaging over 20 goals a season, he should have no problem scoring over 100 goals (over the course of his four-year contract with the option for a fifth).
Of course, the amounts of goals alone don’t decide whether he is bound to become one of the greatest strikers in Barca history, but I assume that as soon as he finds his rhythm he will score a lot and a couple of important ones.
He makes the list based on what he still can accomplish in a Barcelona jersey.