FC Barcelona are truly one of the greatest clubs in the history of the game. Currently widely regarded as the best team on the planet, Barcelona's history is long and illustrious. They have won 23 La Liga titles, 27 Copa del Reys, five Champions Leagues and four European Cup Winners' Cups. Barcelona players have won more Ballon d'Or awards (10) than any other club and more FIFA World Player of the Year Awards (7).
Clearly then, the club has had some of the finest players in the history of the game. Lionel Messi, Johan Cruyff, Ronaldinho, Xavi, Iniesta, Laszlo Kubala and Diego Maradona are just some of the sports greats who have played for the Catalan giants. Barcelona have never been relegated, and only once finished lower that 10th, some indication of the quality of player at the club throughout their history.
This is the third list of this ilk that I have done, having previously covered the worst players in Manchester United and Real Madrid history. Once more, at such a grand club, some of their worst players are still talented individuals. Some were genuinely poor players, whilst others just had a disastrous time in Catalonia. Here are the top 15 worst Barcelona players of all-time:
15 Maxi Lopez
Highly regarded as a youngster, Maxi Lopez came through the much-coveted River Plate academy and represented Argentina regularly at both under-17 and under-20 levels, playing games and scoring goals. He joined Barcelona for around $8 million in 2005, aged 21, but unlike compatriots Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, Lopez could not leave a positive mark at Barcelona. He played 19 games over two seasons, scoring two goals before joining FC Moscow. Aged 31, Lopez has now found some form with Torino in Italy.
14 Winston Bogarde
A much-maligned player for a great deal of his career, particularly his time at Chelsea, Winston Bogarde was far from a fan-favorite at Barcelona too. The defender experienced great success at Ajax, but after a failed period at AC Milan, most felt he was only brought to the Camp Nou due to their high contingent of Dutch players under Luis van Gaal. Bogarde failed to impress, he played only once in his first season and 21 times in his second, before his infamous move to Chelsea in 2000.
13 Patrik Andersson
Capped 96 times by the Swedish national team, Patrik Andersson was clearly a man of some ability. He had won the Bundesliga and Champions League with Bayern Munich, even being named in the 2001 UEFA Team of the Year. However, Andersson was already 30 when he joined Barcelona, and pace was never his finest attribute. He did not suit the high-line Barcelona adopted, and suffered a number of injuries, compounding a miserable time in La Liga. In three years, he played only 19 games, scoring once before returning to his native Sweden for his final season.
12 Dmytro Chygrynskiy
Having won two league titles in five seasons at Shakhtar Donetsk and even a European title in 2008/09, Dmytro Chygrynskiy caught the attention of some European powerhouses, not least Barcelona, who have often sought after a powerful and tall defender also possessing technical skills. They believe the Ukrainian was that man, but in the 12 games he played, they were convinced otherwise. He had a shambolic debut season, and Shakhtar bought him back after 12 months for $12 million less than they had received for him. Aged 29, Chygrynskiy is still at Shakhtar today.
11 Alfonso Perez
If a striker's primary job is to score goals then it is fairly easy to assess Alfonso Perez's time at Barcelona; terrible. He managed just a pair of goals in 21 games, despite being a supposed out-and-out forward. A graduate of the Real Madrid academy, perhaps Perez was destined for failure with their great rivals. He joined Barca after scoring regularly for Real Betis, but could not repeat that form in Catalonia, and returned to Betis in 2002, where he managed 10 goals in 45 games before retiring in 2005. He won 38 caps and scored 11 goals for Spain.
10 Santiago Ezquerro
In a similar vein to Alfonso Perez, Santiago Ezquerro was another forward who simply could not find the back of the net when he pulled on the Barcelona shirt. He joined the club in 2005, aged 28, as an experienced La Liga striker who had just ended a seven year stint at Athletic Bilbao. While never a prolific goal scorer, with the considerable midfield talents of Barcelona, Ezquerro was expected to manage rather more than the three goals in three years that he managed, playing 24 games in that time. He left for his childhood team Osasuna, where he played 10 games and scored once before retiring.
9 Oscar Lopez
Barcelona supporters can have something of a knack of defending their own players, perhaps down to their pride in Catalonia or possibly due to the undoubted success of La Masia. However, their have been some academy graduates who made the step-up to the first team and simply looked way out of their depth, and Oscar Lopez was one of them.
Injuries did not help the defender, who played primarily as a left back, but in his eight league outings in three years, few were convinced. Dropping to the second tier and moving to Holland didn't revive his career, and Lopez retired in 2012, aged 32, having made very few first team appearances over his entire career.
8 Gerard Lopez
Perhaps there is something in the name, but Gerard Lopez, like Oscar Lopez, was a major flop at Barcelona. Another graduate of the famed La Masia academy, Barcelona actually let Gerard go in 1997, having failed to make an appearance for the first team, but after three impressive years at Valencia, they re-signed him for a deal worth almost $30 million. A very costly and very ineffective move, Gerard played 91 games in five years, being used largely as a back-up and utility player. He now works as a coach for Barcelona B and the Catalonia national team.
7 Jeffren Suarez
Luis Suarez is currently having an excellent time at the Camp Nou as an integral part of the most talented and effective attacking trio in the world right now, however his namesake who left Barcelona the year Luis arrived experienced rather less success. The Venezuelan moved to Spain aged 15, and had success with Barcelona B. In the first team though, things never clicked.
Jeffren played 22 games in three years, scoring three goals, and looking throughly out of place in a very gifted Barcelona squad. He left for Sporting in Portugal in 2014, and has since joined Eupen in the Belgian Second Division, aged 27.
6 Philippe Christanval
On the face of it, Philippe Christanval had a pretty impressive career. He played top flight football in France, Spain and England as well as going to a World Cup with France. The reality was he played less than 50 games in England and Spain, less than 100 in France and never got on the pitch at the World Cup he went to. Christanval began his career impressively at Monaco, earning a move to Barcelona. But he flopped at the Camp Nou, and never quite recovered. 31 pretty shambolic appearances saw him shipped out to Marseille before retiring with Fulham in 2008, aged only 30.
5 Fabio Rochemback
Seven-time Brazilian international Fabio Rochemback is another player who arrived at Barcelona as a much-revered prospect and left an expensive flop. He arrived in Catalonia from Internacional. Rochemback would score just four goals in competitive matches for Barcelona, three in La Liga and once in Champions League. In the summer of 2003, Barcelona sent Rochemback on loan to Sporting Clube, where he attracted some attention. He would sign with Middlesborough in 2005 where he would flounder as well.
4 Richard Dutruel
The second goalkeeper to make this list, Richard Dutruel had a rather unremarkable career. Having come through the academy at PSG, he made only 10 appearances for the first team. From their he headed to Celta Vigo, where he played most of his football. Dutruel looked solid at Celta, even winning a solitary cap for the French national team, but at Barcelona, it was a different story. Most supporters dreaded seeing his name on the team sheet; he was no. 2 to a young Pepe Reina in his first year and no. 3 in his second. He left after 15 games in two years, joining Alaves.
3 Samuel Okunowo
One of a select group of Nigerians to play for Barcelona, Samuel Okunowo hardly flew the flag for his country with any great pride during his time in Catalonia. He joined as 19-year-old who had already won his first cap a year earlier, but never looked capable of playing for Barcelona. Three years produced only 14 outings, as he was loaned out twice. His entire career ended as a flop, playing in the likes of Greece and Romania before returning to Nigeria. He won only eight caps for his country, his final cap coming at the age of 22.
2 Roberto Bonano
Barcelona, as this list displays, have had their fare share of poor goalkeepers. The worst of them all though was Roberto Bonano. The Argentine joined Barcelona from River Plate, but unlike most who take that journey, he was not a budding youngster, but rather an experienced pro. Already in his 30s and with 13 caps to his name he headed to Catalonia. Signed as a first choice, Bonano was dreadful. A catalog of errors forced Barca to give a chance to a young Victor Valdes, who went on to solidify his position as Barcelona's first choice goalkeeper for 12 years, so some good came of Bonano at least.
1 Sergio Santamaria
Barcelona have had a long-line of truly exceptional attacking midfielders. Some of the greatest players in the history of the game have played the position for the club. Sergio Santamaria, sadly, was not one of those players. Another product of the fine La Masia academy, even with the most rose-tinted of spectacles, no Barcelona fan could try and claim Santamaria looked 'up to it', so to speak, when playing for the first team.
He emerged alongside the likes of Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta and Xavi, but while the others had great success, Santamaria managed only six games. He looked dreadful, and various loan moves couldn't change that. The midfielder eventually left the club in 2005, for the Segunda Division, before a steady decline which took him to the fourth tier before his retirement at the age of 31.
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