Barcelona could pretty much have any player in the world, they’d even be able to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from bitter rivals Real Madrid if they paid him enough.
This ability to go into the transfer market and know that you can sign any player you so dream off has seen the Catalan giants adopt an approach of: “well let’s just stockpile them all and see what ones sink or swim.”.
Rumour has it, that you’re never more than six-feet away from a former Barcelona player. Not that you’d realise. So you’re forgiven for forgetting this lot played in the iconic kit of Barca.
Mendieta was considered one of the best midfielders in Europe when he helped Valencia reach back-to-back Champions League finals, and went on to enjoy a stint at Barcelona. He clearly decided he was sick of playing midweek fixtures, went to Middlesbrough for an early retirement and somehow won them the League Cup. If they haven't built a statue out of gravy for him at the Riverside, he should feel personally offended. Image Source: Goal
Probably best known to you and your mates through FIFA, when you take him off the bench and into the reserves, so you can fit yet another Juventus attacker into your squad. Had a spell at Barcelona back in '08, but wasn't technically gifted enough for Guardiola so he Joe Harted him and loaned him out. Image Source: Zimbio
Davids actually took some time out of playing for Italy's biggest clubs for a half a season to join some minnows called Barcelona, where he's credited with revitalising Rijkaard's underachieving team. Image Source: partidoapartidocom
Juan Roman Riquelme
Before Messi was the next Maradona, Riquelme was. Despite that, his time at Barcelona was short and forgettable, as Louis van Gaal had no idea how to get the best out of him and he fell victim to not being as good as Rivaldo. Image Source: Futbol Sapiens
The player on this list most likely to make you think, what the hell?! A big money signing for Barcelona back in 2001, but his career went rapidly downhill and he ended up at Hull in 2008. To be fair, when you remember that goal against Arsenal, you can see what Barca hoped they were paying for. Image Source: Flipboard
More famous for having a teardrop tattoo than being a good player, Quaresema has disappointed fans and teammates across the continent for years now. Just like you forgot he played for Inter Milan and Chelsea, you also forgot he played for Barcelona back in 2003, where he did nothing of note before being sold to Porto in a swap with Deco. Image Source: Goal
LvG signed the attack-minded Frenchman in '97 and tried to turn him into a defensive-midfielder, which for some reason didn't work out for either party. If Dugarry still has any nightmares over his time at Barcelona, I'm sure cuddling his World Cup and Euro gold medals will help him get back to sleep. Image Source: 101 Great Goals
One of Benfica's best ever players, it's a wonder that none of Europe's elite came calling for the little Portuguese man. Perhaps they remembered his disastrous couple of years at Barcelona, but nobody else does. Image Source: turnstyle
Before Zlatan, Litmanen was Scandinavia's most famous export. Another van Gaal signing, Jari never managed to hit the same heights for Barcelona as he did for Ajax, despite Louis' genius idea of signing half of his teammates to help him out. Is there a reason so many of these forgotten spells are linked to Louis?! Image Source: These Football Times
Ah, Winston Bogarde. A tall and strong central defender in his prime, as his career progressed he masterfully transitioned into a money-grabbing benchwarmer. He started the positional change at Barcelona, but he was at his peak playing in this position when at Chelsea, which understandably overshadows his time at the Camp Nou. Image Source: Squawka
There’s a clear moral to this story. If you’re a great player and Louis van Gaal tries to sign you, don’t do it. Especially if he’s trying to sign you for Barcelona.
Out of the current crop under Luis Enrique, you imagine we will be adding the likes of Arda Turan, Paco Alcacer and Samuel Umtiti to these lists in a few years time.