Cataluña and Barcelona in particular have always been a breeding ground for many famous footballers in the world and so we at SuiteLife have picked the 10 most famous Catalan footballers of all time to narrow it down for you. You’ve probably heard of the well-known names like Xavi Hernández, Carles Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Victor Valdes etc. but how about the legends from the early-middle of twentieth century?
The legendary Goalkeeper was born in 1901 in Barcelona. He is probably the only player who played for both FC Barcelona, Real Madrid C.F., Spanish football team and Catalonia national football team. During his career as player he has won 3 Copas del Rey, 5 Catalan football championships, 2 La Liga. As football manager, he helped Atlético Aviación (former of Atlético Madrid) win 2 La Liga championships. For individual titles, he was awarded the best Goalkeeper of the 1934 FIFA World Cup and the honour of best Goalkeeper in La Liga, the Ricardo Zamora Trophy was named after him.
Trophies as player:
Trophies as manager:
Antoni Ramallets Simón was born in Barcelona. He is honoured by FC Barcelona as one of the best goalkeepers in the history of Barça and the whole of Spanish football signed up from Europa. During the era of maximum glory for the team, later called as “Cinco Copas”(Five Cups) era, he has achieved many awards with the team. Antoni Ramallets, together with another Barca goal keeper Victor Valdes are currently the two goalkeepers that have obtain the most Zamora trophies (5 each)
Trophies as player with Barcelona:
Manager for Zaragoza
Born in Colonia Valls, Barcelona, the Catalan winger/striker joined FC Barcelona when he was 20 and spent most of his football career with the club. With great technical abilities, great pace and ability to lose his marker he became a member of Barcelona’s famous forward line at that time (Basora, Kubala, César, Moreno and Manchón).
Born in Barcelona in 1947, Carles Rexach joined Barcelona junior team when he was 12 and also spent his whole career in FC Barcelona. Although Rexach was a great midfielder with one Pichichi Trophy (awarded to top goalscorer in each La Liga season) in 1970–71, the once popular Catalan footballer had his best years on the Barcelona bench as assistant coach to Luis Aragonés and Johan Cruyff before he was appointed manager in 2001. After his playing career, he worked for the team as a scout; Carles is the one who discovered and brought one of the greatest footballers in the world – Lionel Messi- to the club.
Trophies as player:
Roberto Martínez Montoliú was born in the town of Balaguer, Lleida, Catalonia. The defensive midfielder started his football career at Real Zaragoza and shortly changed his career path to England. Here he’s archieved many titles with Wigan Athletic and Swansea City, both as player and on the coaching bench.
Trophies as player:
Trophies as a manager:
The incumbent manager of Bayern Munich is inarguably one of the most successful Catalan footballers, in both his playing and managing career. He was born in Santpedor, Barcelona and joined La Masia (youth academy of Barcelona) at age of 13. He is the player with most titles won as player and manager: 16 as a player and 14 as a manager. He is also the manager with best percentage of titles: 14 titles from the 19 possible between 2008 – 2012. As FC Barcelona manager, he’s brought the Tiki-taka style to its greatest success, allowed the club to win 2008–09 and 2010–11 UEFA Champions League.
Trophies with Fc Barcelona:
Trophies with Fc Bayern Munich:
Born in Terrassa, Barcelona and join La Masia since the age of 11, Xavi has spent all his football life at FC Barcelona. The current number 6 together with Iniesta, they have made a fantastic duo in the centre. Xavi stands out for his tactical vision, ability to win the ball back and control the game pace. That explains why Xavi is irreplaceable during the club’s successful seasons. Proved via numbers, he holds the records for players with most appearances (822 games)/ most appearances in Liga (474 games)/ most appearances in international competitions (168 games). He is also the player with most titles in Barcelona (22 title, only one less than the national record of Real Madrid’s Paco Gento).
Trophies with Barcelona & Spain national team:
Víctor Valdés i Arribas was born in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. The current number 1 Goalkeeper of Barcelona joined the team in 1992 and has been one of the best goalkeepers in Barcelona’s history. The second goalkeeper in this Catalan football players list currently holds the title of unbeaten for the most consecutive minutes in official competitions: (896 minutes in season 10/11)
Trophies with Barcelona and Spain national team:
Carles Puyol i Saforcada was born in Lleida, Catalonia. He has served FC Barcelona since 1995 and that is his only football club till he retired in 2014. Interestingly, Puyol started his career as goalkeeper, then striker which explains his ability to score goal in Fc Barcelona. Only when he joined Barcelona his position changed again to defender. Although Puyol is not very tall (178 cm), his physical strength makes him very strong in the air and he is capable of man-marking opposing forwards who are taller than him. Puyol is a great leader and model for the rest of the squad due to his discipline, pride and total identification to the Club.
Trophies with FC Barcelona and Spain national team:
10. Sergio Busquets (1988)
Sergio Busquets Burgos was born in Sabadell, Barcelona. He joined Barça youth system in 2005, then he was promoted to play in the first team. Sergio is a complete midfielder with field intelligence and well positioning. He creates a solid shield in front of Barca’s defense line and brings stability to the team, thus helping Barcelona achieving many successes. His father Carles Busquets also played (as Goal keeper) for Barcelona and they became the third father-and-son combo that have won Europe’s top club competition playing for the same team.
Trophies with Barcelona:
With National team:
That’s our top 10 Catalan football players list. Do you have any other favorite ones? Feel free to share in the comment section below. I would like to hear it! And hey if you still looking for sport bars in Barcelona, check out our list!
Enjoy the 2014 World Cup!