The calibre of legendary Barcelona players hots up as we reach the business end of deciding the greatest player to don the famous Catalonian blue and red.

Since their founding 116 years ago, they have transcended football with their style both on and off the pitch, thanks to a host of superstars.

Over the course of this week, Sportsmail is counting down the best to have worn the blue and red – and here are numbers 20 to 11.

20 – JAVIER MASCHERANO (2010-Present) 284 appearances, 0 goals

He’s too small to be a centre back. Oh he’s won the European Cup. He’s still too small to be a centre back.

Oh he’s won the European Cup again. ‘El Jefecito’ has been every inch the ‘little boss’ at the back for Barcelona.

Although in 2014 he also reminded everyone what his best position is with a fine World Cup in midfield for Argentina.

 Javier Mascherano has been every inch the 'little boss' at the back for Barcelona

9 – SERGIO BUSQUETS (2008-Present) 388 appearances, 12 goals

Rarely has a player been so perfect for a club than Busquets for Barcelona.

He has been the knot on the Barca bow for eight years now since being given his chance by Pep Guardiola who saw the intelligence, the poise, the positional sense and the precision passing as soon as he clapped eyes on him in the Barca B team in 2007.

Sergio Busquets has been a colossus in the middle of the park for Barcelona

18 – CESAR RODRIGUEZ (1942-1955) 351 appearances, 232 goals

‘If he played today with Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta he would get 50 goals a season’ said Cesar’s widow Emma Revillo.

He didn’t do badly back in the forties and fifties when he netted 232 goals for the club – a record that stood until Messi smashed it in 2012.

 Cesar Rodriguez netted 232 goals for the club – a record that stood until 2012

17 – LUIS SUAREZ (1955-61) 122 appearances, 61 goals

The first Luis Suarez joined in 1955 from Deportivo de la Coruna and was told, by club officials, to get on the punch bag to improve his strength.

‘I have come to be a footballer not a boxer,’ he told his retractors, and a very good footballer he became, winning the Ballon d’Or in 1960.

He beat Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano to the gong and scored as Barca knocked Real out of the European Cup for the first time ever that year.

16 – VICTOR VALDES (2002-14) 535 appearances, 0 goals

Paris changed everything for Valdes. Paris 2006 against Arsenal to be precise.

He went into the game believing it would be his last but he was outstanding, helping his team to a 2-1 victory and staying in the side for the next eight years, becoming the most decorated goalkeeper in the club’s history.

 Victor Valdes became the most decorated goalkeeper in Barca history during his eight years

15 – CARLES PUYOL (1999-2014) 593 appearances, 18 goals

It took a long time for the wild-haired lad from Lleida to convince Barcelona to give him a chance.

But when he finally got a foot in the door of La Masia in 1995 aged 17 he was there to stay.

Originally a winger who had converted to right back, he became one of Barcelona greatest central defenders, winning 21 trophies.

 Carles Puyol became one of the greatest centre backs in Barca history, winning 21 trophies

14 – NEYMAR (2013-Present) 141 appearances, 85 goals

He already has 85 goals to his name in just 141 matches and has won two league titles and the Champions League.

Give it another five years and in a Barca all-time top 50 he may well be in the top five.

Neymar already has 85 goals to his name in just 141 matches since joining in 2013

13 – LUIS SUAREZ (2014-Present) 99 appearances, 88 goals

Traditionalists might tut-tut that a player who has only been at the club for two full seasons comes in so high and above the likes of Ronaldo and Romario.

But Suarez has ripped up the records set by his Brazilian predecessors.

Most players shrink a little alongside Messi but the Uruguayan won the Treble in his first season and scored 59 goals in 53 games in his second.

 Luis Suarez won the Treble in his first season and scored 59 goals in 53 games in his second

12 – PEP GUARDIOLA (1990-2001) 366 appearances, 12 goals

The orginal Busquets who won six league titles before becoming their most successful manager.

He also won Barca’s first European Cup, then La Liga, and then Olympic Gold in his home city, all in the space of a month in 1992.

 Pep Guardiola won six league titles at Barca before becoming their most successful manager

11 – RONALD KOEMAN (1989-1995) 264 appearances, 88 goals

Of all the goals scored by these players none can really compare with Koeman’s free-kick in 1992.

Never having won a European Cup hung heavy around the club’s neck. His goal lifted that weight.

He joined three years earlier and scored a hat-trick on his debut from central defence in an 8-0 pre-season friendly win. A great defender… and so much more.



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