FC Barcelona: Signing of Cesc Fabregas Puts Blaugrana in a League of Their Own

Matt RyanCorrespondent IIAugust 12, 2011

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Cesc Fabregas (L) and Robin Van Persie of Arsenal in action during a training session at London Colney on August 5, 2011 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Tom Dulat/Getty Images

After a 3-1 over Manchester United in the Champions League final in May many fans were calling Josep Guardiola's side the best club in European history.  FC Barcelona has now won Champions League three of the last six years and boasts the most talented roster in the world.

Leo Messi is well on his way to being named the Ballon d'Or for the third consecutive year and is already securing his place as one of the best of all-time at 24 years old.

The two runner-ups for that same award last year were Barcelona's midfield duo of Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

They were two of the seven Blaugrana players in the starting lineup for Spain's 2010 World Cup final triumph over the Netherlands last summer in South Africa.

Cesc Fabregas didn't play much for the Spanish national team in the last year's World Cup, but he did come off the bench during that game.

Just as he has with his talented national side, Fabregas will likely find himself in a similar situation for the time being when he finally makes his return to Camp Nou. This was the same player who left Spain at 16 in order to get more playing time abroad.

After three years of rumor and speculation, one of the longest running transfer sagas is finally coming to an end. Cesc Fabregas will go from being the captain of Arsenal to arguably the most high-profile substitute in the football world. The Gunners haven't had much success since being Champions League runner-up in 2006, to none other than the Blaugrana. 

FC Barcelona has had the best starting XI for quite some time in Europe, but their depth was not seen as world class by many fans. Some felt that Real Madrid had better reserves. Carlos Puyol only played 28 matches last season and had to be replaced by Javier Mascherano in the lineup for the Champions League final.

While the club could use another defender on the bench, their forward depth has dramatically improved for the 2011-12 season. They have great reserves in case Xavi or Iniesta were to suffer an injury or just need some rest during the season.

Although the ongoing transfer saga of Cesc Fabregas has received a lot of media attention, Cules are equally intrigued by Alexis Sanchez and Thiago Alcantara.

The Chilean-born Sanchez helped Udinese reach Champions League and is considered one of the best young players in the world.

Alcantara is the new rising star out of Barcelona's La Masia youth academy. He is so highly regarded that some Blaugrana fans think it was unnecessary to bring back Fabregas to Catalonia.

Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Thiago Alcantara, Javier Mascherano and Ibrahim Afellay are good enough to be on the rosters for their national teams and could start for a number big clubs in Europe. However, this quintet is merely the core of a highly regarded B team in Camp Nou.

FC Barcelona already have the best starting XI in the world, but their new depth makes them by far and away the most talented team in the world. Making the argument for them as the best ever is even easier now than it was three months ago.

Now if they could only add another defender. Gareth Bale could be on the way in 2012.