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Barcelona Team of the Decade: No Neymar as Messi and Suarez lead the line

6:00 PM EDT 10/15/19
Suarez/Neymar/Messi split
With 2020 approaching, Goal has decided to pick out the best players to have lined up for the Catalans over the past 10 years

  • Victor Valdes Barcelona

    GK: Victor Valdes

    While injury robbed Victor Valdes of a proper Barcelona farewell, he won't be easily forgotten at Camp Nou.

    Twice voted La Liga's best goalkeeper this decade (2010 and 2011), the Spain international was a key part of the Catalan side's success prior to his final game for the club in 2014. 

    His ability with the ball at his feet can't be discounted either, as he distributed the ball precisely and fearlessly for Pep Guardiola's free-flowing side.  

  • Dani Alves, Barcelona

    RB: Dani Alves

    Though his time with Barcelona came to an abrupt end in 2016, Dani Alves had been a key part of the Catalans' era of unprecedented success. 

    The Brazilian's speed, technical ability and physical strength made him a massive asset down the right flank, forming a fantastic relationship with Lionel Messi. 

    While he was named in the La Liga Team of the Year just once, Alves' ability and influence was often underrated and his recent form for Brazil is a reminder the 36-year-old remains a special talent.

  • Gerard Pique Barcelona 2019-20

    CB: Gerard Pique

    From a fringe player at Manchester United to a star at Barcelona, Gerard Pique certainly made the right call moving back to his boyhood club in 2008.

    A mountain in the Catalans' backline and a rallying figure for the club, the defender has been key to Barca's success over the past decade. 

    With a trophy haul including eight Liga titles, six Copa del Rey trophies and three Champions Leagues, his experience makes any backline a whole lot more secure.  

  • Carles Puyol

    CB: Carlos Puyol

    "I'm like the student who is not as clever, but revises for his exams and does okay in the end."

    That's how Puyol described himself in 2010 and it's safe to say he did more than okay in his final years with Barcelona

    From 2010 to 2012, the iconic defender in fact went an incredible 56 matches without losing a game with his beloved club. 

    Tireless and dedicated, Puyol had all the attributes of a world-class defender and didn't lose any of his spirit prior to hanging up his boots in 2014. 

  • Jordi Alba Barcelona Real Sociedad

    LB: Jordi Alba

    When Jordi Alba re-signed with Barcelona in March until 2024, the club inserted a €500 million (£442m/$550m) release clause into his contract. 

    That huge sum should provide some indication of just how much the Catalans value their 30-year-old left-back. 

    Arriving from Valencia in 2012, Jordi Alba's combination of stamina, speed and skill has made him a vital asset for Barca down the left flank. 

    Last season, he claimed an impressive 17 assists in all competitions to prove he's far more than just a great defender. 

  • Xavi Barcelona Real Madrid 2010

    CM: Xavi

    Once described by Pep Guardiola as the brains behind Barcelona, Xavi is the perfect combination of skills and smarts.

    With over 500 La Liga appearances to his name, the Spaniard made the competition his own and remained a key performer until 2015 before moving to Qatar

    In fact, in his last campaign in La Liga as a 34-year-old, Xavi still managed to contribute eight assists. Proof that class is indeed permanent. 

  • Sergio Busquets Barcelona 2019-20

    CM: Sergio Busquets

    Unlucky to miss out on our Liga Team of the Decade, Sergio Busquets was never going to miss out on a place in this side. 

    He's made the central midfield berth his own over the past decade and though often flying under the radar, his importance never goes unrecognised by those who either coach or play alongside him.

    "If you watch the whole game, you won't see Busquets—but watch Busquets, and you will see the whole game," former Spain boss Vicente del Bosque said in 2015 and it's still hard to disagree with him. 

  • Andres Iniesta Barcelona 2017-18

    CM: Andres Iniesta

    In November 2015, Andres Iniesta became just the third Barcelona player after Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho to be openly applauded at Santiago Bernabeu by Real Madrid fans. 

    The Spaniard scored and assisted in a brilliant performance that highlighted his supreme all-round ability. 

    Consistency is a key part of Iniesta's game and you could count the number of poor performances he's had in a Barca shirt on one hand. 

    "We've been playing together since we were 15 and I have never, ever seen him play badly," Fernando Torres said of the World Cup winner in 2012, and there is a fair chance he was telling the truth.

  • Lionel Messi Barcelona 2019-20

    FW: Lionel Messi

    Barcelona and Lionel Messi have merged as one over the past decade, with the two becoming synonymous with one another. 

    The Argentine star has regularly lit up Camp Nou, breaking countless records and securing piles of silverware in the process. 

    From stunning goals to mind-blowing dribbles, Messi's influence at Barcelona over the past decade is nearly impossible to measure and the club definitely won't be the same without him. 

  • Luis Suarez Barcelona 2019-20

    FW: Luis Suarez

    Since arriving from Liverpool in 2014, Luis Suarez has rarely stopped scoring for Barcelona, bagging at least 25 goals in all competitions every season.

    The Uruguayan's astonishing 59-goal haul in 2015-16 even saw him voted the club's Player of the Season ahead of good friend Lionel Messi.

    Aside from his clinical finishing, Suarez's ability to hold the ball up and pull attention away from the Argentine has been just as crucial to Barca's success.

    Indeed, the 32-year-old has also contributed 86 assists since joining the Catalans – a stat that illustrates precisely why he is considered the complete centre-forward.

  • David Villa - Barcelona

    FW: David Villa

    Though he only spent three seasons with Barcelona, between 2010 and 2013, David Villa still managed to leave his mark. 

    With 48 goals and 24 assists in all competitions, the lethal but unselfish Spaniard made a huge contribution to the Catalan cause.

    Of course, he is best remembered for his stunning strike in the 2011 Champions League final, which wrapped up a 3-1 win over Manchester United.

  • Neymar Barcelona 2017

    Honourable mentions

    Between the sticks, Marc-Andre ter Stegen has improved dramatically since arriving in 2014 and is currently in career-best form. 

    Javier Mascherano shifted to a defender at Camp Nou and was solid at the back for many years. 

    The under-appreciated Ivan Rakitic also deserves some love but was always going to struggle getting into this side's midfield.  

    In attack, Neymar has himself to blame for not sticking around longer at Barca and possibly cementing his place in the final third ahead of Villa. 

  • Barcelona Team of the Decade

    How they line up

    So, there you have it, our Barcelona Team of the Decade!

    But what do you make of our selections? Are there any glaring omissions, in your opinion?

    Post your thoughts – and your own line-ups – in the comments...