Planetfootball has ranked the eight Barcelona captains since 1997 from worst to best.
8. Sergi Barjuan
Barjuan, coach of Barcelona B, was captain of the 2001/2002 season but made only 25 appearances in all competitions. The player had been at Camp Nou for almost a decade when he was handed the captain’s armband but his leadership failed to save Barca from fourth place in La Liga. Louis van Gaal sold Barjuan to Atletico in the summer of 2002 and appointed Luis Enrique as replacement captain.
7. Sergio Busquets
A great player, Busquets has only been Barcelona’s captain since the summer of 2021 and it has not been a memorable season. If Busquets can lead Barca to their first championship in four years this season, he could be promoted in the list.
6. Luis Enrique
Barcelona in the early 2000s was not a great Spanish name. Real Madrid are the flashiest team in the league, Rafa Benitez works wonders at Valencia, and northern Spain is represented by Celta Vigo, Deportivo La Coruna and Real Sociedad in Europe.
And Barca started the 2002/2003 season amazingly, hovering above the relegation zone before Van Gaal was sacked in January. Against this backdrop, Enrique led Barca’s recovery in 2003 and took the helm the following season. Enrique retired in the summer of 2004 and is fondly remembered at the Camp Nou.
5. Pep Guardiola
Barcelona’s most successful coach is also one of their best captains. A solid midfielder for the club throughout the 1990s, Guardiola was quickly appointed by Van Gaal as the club’s new captain in 1997, replacing Gica Popescu.
He remained captain for the next four seasons, lifting the La Liga title in 1999 and making a significant impact from the midfield. But Barca went without a trophy in Guardiola’s last two seasons as captain and he was sold to Brescia in the summer of 2001.
4. Lionel Messi
He is the most iconic figure in the history of Barcelona. But, as the club’s first and only foreign captain, Messi has had some disastrous Champions League defeats.
Messi still led the team to the 2019 La Liga title and won the Copa del Rey in his final season in Spain. The captain Messi is not quite at the same level as the player Messi. However, he is an excellent captain of Argentina.
3. Andres Iniesta
Iniesta is arguably one of the greatest midfielders of all time, but much of his success at club level came before he was named captain in 2015. During his final season, Barca. won La Liga with a huge gap of 14 points. The midfielder arrived in Vissel Kobe in 2018 after 674 appearances for Barcelona.
The legendary midfielder only managed Barca for a single season, and it was a season to remember. Led by an unrivaled trio of MSN forwards, Barcelona swept all opponents in the 2014/2015 campaign and won their second treble in history. Although he did not wear the captain’s armband before, he has always acted as a leader on the field, unsurprisingly he has had a promising start on the coaching bench.
1. Carles Puyol
Not only was Puyol Barcelona’s longest-serving captain – holding the armband from 2002 to 2014 – but he also led the club during their most successful period.
Thanh Vu | 12:40 January 3, 2023