FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona Transfers: Top 10 Barça Signings of All-Time

Andres EhrliCorrespondent IIIJune 20, 2011

FC Barcelona Transfers: Top 10 Barça Signings of All-Time

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Gerard Pique looks on during a Barcelona training session prior to the UEFA Champions League final versus Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
    Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    Nowadays we've grown accustomed to Barcelona building their team up from their youth players, with the addition of one or two signings. But it wasn't always like that.

    The reality is that for most of their history, Barça signed their best players away from other clubs.

    Some of those signings have become historical figures at Camp Nou, while others have failed miserably.

    In this top 10 we will explore Barça's best signings ever, taking into account the amount of titles won, the transfer price they bought and sold them for, and the historical value they added when they became Barcelona players.

10 That Almost Made It

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 16:  One of the public entrances to the stands of the Camp Nou stadium on October 16, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
    Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    Dani Alves: Sevilla (2008)—€41 million

    Yaya Touré: AS Monaco (2007)—€9 million (sold for €30 million to Manchester City)

    Ludovic Giuly: AS Monaco (2004)—€8.5 million (sold for €4.5 million to AS Roma)

    Edmílson: O. Lyon (2004)—€8 million

    Rafa Márquez: AS Monaco (2003)—€5.25 million

    Romário: PSV (1993)—€12 million

    Ronald Koeman: PSV (1989)—€3 million

    Diego Armando Maradona: Boca Juniors (1982)—€8 million (sold for €13 million to Napoli)

    Luis Suárez: Deportivo la Coruña (1954)

    Laszlo Kubala: MTK Budapest (1950)

10. Rivaldo

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    Bought from: Deportivo La Coruña (1997)

    Transfer fee: €23.5 million

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won two Leagues (1998, 1999), one Cup (1998) and one UEFA Super Cup (1997).

    Individually, he was FIFA World Player and Ballon d'Or in 1999 and Champions League Top Scorer in 2000. 

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    Despite playing for a poor Barcelona side, and not winning that many titles, there is no doubt that Rivaldo was a top player in all of his years at Barça.

    Economically speaking, he was worth every penny, even if he left for Milan for free in 2002.

    Rivaldo will always remain in the hearts of the fans as one of the most talented and gifted players to have graced Camp Nou. Some of his goals will live forever as historic images in Barcelona.

    Here's proof if you don't believe me.

     

     


9. Ronaldo

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    Bought from: PSV (1996)

    Transfer fee: €15 million

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won one Cup (1997), one Spain Super Cup (1996) and one UEFA Super Cup (1997).

    With Barca, he was IIFHS's top scorer in 1997.

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    It had to be R9 at No. 9.

    Ronaldo scored 47 goals in 49 games for Barça, which might make it worthy of calling it the most impressive season for a single player ever.

    Despite his talent, the club opted to make a profit with the Brazilian wunderkind, selling him to Inter the following season for almost twice the price the Catalans paid for him—the then transfer record of €28 million.

    Even though Il Fenomeno spent only one season as a blaugrana, fans will always remember his time as a Culé. With him being such a good business deal as a quick buy-and-sell transfer, he makes this list easily.

8. Deco

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 9: Deco of Porto during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester United and FC Porto at Old Trafford on March 9, 2004 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Bought from: FC Porto (2004)

    Transfer fee: €15 million plus Ricardo Quaresma (valued at €6 million)

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won two Leagues (2005 and 2006), two Spanish Super Cups (2005 and 2006) and one Champions League (2006).

     

    Why He Was A Good Signing:

    Deco was one of the pieces of what is perhaps Barça's best transfer class: the 2004 class that included Giuly, van Bronckhorst, Belletti, Larsson, Edmilson and one other player that will appear later on this list.

    But Deco comes before them all because paired with Xavi he commanded one of the best midfield tandems ever.

    Economically he cost €21 million (adding Quaresma in), which is just a great price for a player that would essentially win them the coveted Champions League.

    As a bonus, Barcelona would get €10 million back when he was sold to Chelsea in 2008.

     

     

     

     



7. Luís Figo

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    Bought from: Sporting Lisboa (1995)

    Transfer fee: €2.5 million

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won two Leagues (1998 and 1999), two Cups (1997 and 1998), one Spanish Super Cup (1996) and one UEFA Super Cup (1997).

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    Ah, Barcelona's very own fallen Angel himself. A suiting No. 7, if you ask me.

    At €2.5 million he was an absolute steal, and before he decided to commit maximum treason he won it all at Barça (except for the Champions League), was an idol at the Camp Nou and was constantly in the running for the Ballon d'Or, even though he didn't win it.

    But when you consider he was sold for €60 million, that's when his real value for Barcelona really shines.

    Talk about selling out, right?

     


6. Michael Laudrup

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    Bought from: Juventus (1989)

    Transfer fee: €3 million

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won four Leagues (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994), one Cup (1990), two Spanish Super Cups (1991 and 1992), one Champions League (1992) and one UEFA Super Cup (1992).

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    Laudrup was a top performer for Barça and was a big part of Johan Cruyff's 1992 Champions League-winning Dream Team that began Barcelona's modern history. His talent and touch served in part to inspire the generation of players that we see every Sunday playing tiki-taka nowadays.

    Micheal was all of that until Romário arrived and put him on the bench. He was then sold for €9 million to Real Madrid. Laudrup proceeded to pay Los Merengues back by underperforming (by his very talented standards), winning only one league in his time there.

    So he won everything with Barça, was sold for thrice the price he was bought and then underperformed wth the Catalan's rivals?

    That seems like a very good transfer to me.

5. Gerard Piqué

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    MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 06: Gerard Pique of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford on October 06, 2007 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Bought from: Manchester United (2008)

    Transfer fee: €5 million

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won three Leagues (2009, 2010, 2011), one Cup (2009), two Spanish Super Cups (2009 and 2010), two Champions Leagues (2009 and 2011) and one UEFA Super Cup (2009).

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    Paying €5 million for a defender that is just as Culé as Puyol and that just might be the best in the world, is absolutely ludicrous. Sir Alex Ferguson probably forgot to pack him in a gift box too.

    Granted, no one expected him to be this good, or to win all those titles that quick. But the fact is that he has—and a big part of that is thanks to his rock-solid defending and magnificent play-making forming the back line.

    Piqué is perhaps the best pure-value signing in the history of Barcelona.

4. Hristo Stoichkov

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    16 JUL 1994:  HRISTO STOICHKOV SHOOTS ON GOAL FOR BULGARIA DURING THE SWEDEN VERSUS BULGARIA 1994 WORLD CUP FINALS THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF MATCH AT THE ROSE BOWL STADIUM IN PASADENA, CALIFORNIA. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/ALLSPORT
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Bought from: ZSKA Sofia (1990) and Parma (1996)—one year after being sold for €11 million

    Transfer fee: €3 million from ZSKA Sofia and €3.5 million from Parma

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won five Leagues (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998), one Cup (1997), three Spanish Super Cups (1992, 1994 and 1996), one Champions League (1992) and two UEFA Super Cups (1992 and 1997).

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    Another Dream Team star, Hristo Stoichkov was, and maybe still is, the most Culé foreigner to ever graze Catalnuya. On top of that, he was absolutely lethal on the wings for the Dream Team, and with Laudrup he won every tournament on earth with the blaugrana shirt—some of them many times over.

    Additionally, he was also very profitable economically. He was sold to Parma for €11 million, only to buy him back for €3.5 million the next season.

    He was a man interested in making Barça win. It didn't matter if it was titles or money.


3. Samuel Eto'o

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    BIRMINGHAM - AUGUST 9:  Samuel Eto'o of Real Mallorca brings the ball forward during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Birmingham City and Real Mallorca held on August 9, 2003 at St Andrews, in Birmingham, England. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. (Phot
    Ben Radford/Getty Images

    Bought from: RCD Mallorca (2004)

    Transfer fee: €27 million

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won three Leagues (2005, 2006, 2009), one Cup (2009), two Spanish Super Cups (2005 and 2006) and two Champions Leagues (2006 and 2009).

    Individually he was Pichichi in 2006.

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    "Brother" Samuel came to Barcelona with two things in common with the Catalan giants: winning titles and hating Real Madrid (for not giving him the chance to play there).

    That said, Eto'o was an instant hit for Barça fans and a big part of the team turning to their current winning ways, winning two Champions Leagues and scoring in two finals in the process.

    His sour point business-wise, and the reason he wasn't higher on this list, is that he was sold at a very cheap price in the Zlatan part-exchange deal. He went to Inter with €49 million wrapped around him to get the Swedish star (who would leave the next season for €24 million in perhaps the worst transfer saga in sports history).

    Is it just me or would re-signing Samuel to a bigger contract seem like the smart choice looking back?

2. Ronaldinho

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    Bought from: Paris Saint-Germain (2003)

    Transfer fee: €32.25 million

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won two Leagues (2005, 2006), two Spanish Supercups (2005, 2006) and one Champions League (2006).

    Individually, Ronadinho was FIFA World Player of the year in 2004 and 2005 and Ballon d'Or in 2005. 

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    Ronaldinho signed for Barcelona after the club failed to sign David Beckham (thank you, God) and almost single-handedly turned the team around to their now common winning ways.

    The 2004 transfer window helped the team significantly, but it was Dinho who revived a then quite bad Barça franchise.

    On top of that, when the Brazilian stopped playing football and got fat, he was sold to AC Milan for what would be a very nice €25 million—especially when you consider that Zlatan was sold for one million euros less.

    Sporting-wise and economically, it just doesn't get much better than Ronaldinho.


1. Johan Cruyff

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    Bought from: Ajax (1973)

    Transfer fee: €2 million

     

    Achievements with Barça:

    Won one League (1974), and one Cup (1978).

     

    Why He Was a Good Signing:

    That seems quite poor in the titles section, doesn't it? Especially when you compare it with the last two transfers.

    But this transfer transcends simple titles and economic values.

    Simply put: Barça was born the second the flying Dutchman set foot on Camp Nou. He made the club his own. Even though as a player he was only moderately successful, when he returned as a coach he won it all with the Dream Team.

    More than that, he established the whole philosophy that every Barcelona fan can still see at the club today.

    I'll take that over any other transfer on this list any day.

     

    Follow me on Twitter @ehrli


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