FC Barcelona is a club that prides itself on nurturing talents and giving players ample time to succeed. However, they have made a fair share of mistakes in terms of selling talented players. Barcelona’s greatest ever player, Lionel Messi, is on the verge of an exit, according to many reports. Releasing Messi could add to the growing list of blunders made by FC Barcelona in the transfer market. In this article, we will look at five players Barcelona should not have released.
#5 Diego Maradona
Barcelona acquired Maradona after the 1982 World Cup for a then world-record fee of £5 million. With Maradona, Barcelona won the Copa Del Rey and Spanish Super Cup in their first season. However, he played only 20 La Liga games as hepatitis and other issues limited his playing time.
After a controversial Copa Del Rey final in 1984, the Barcelona board decided to sell their greatest ever asset. Maradona’s attitude was regarded as the major issue by fans and the hierarchy. Napoli bought Maradona and they would enjoy their best period with the Argentine magician in their ranks.
One of the most lethal goal scorers of all time, Romario came to Barca in the summer of 1993 from PSV Eindhoven. He won the pichichi in his first season after 30 goals and helping Barcelona to the fourth consecutive league title. In January 1994, he scored an incredible hat-trick at the Camp Nou against rivals Real Madrid.
However, a year later he left the club after a spat with the head coach Johan Cruyff. After a troublesome period at Valencia, Romario became rejuvenated at Vasco da Gama and retired as a Brazil legend. Barca could have benefitted more from his goal-scoring instincts if he had stayed.
#3 Michael Laudrup
Laudrup and Ronaldo Nazario are probably the only two footballers to be loved by both Real Madrid and Barcelona fans. Laudrup’s case is even more interesting as he directly joined Real Madrid from Barcelona despite huge success at Camp Nou. With Laudrup dictating the play, Barcelona thrashed Real Madrid 5-0 in January 1994.
Barcelona should not have released him as Laudrup joined Real Madrid after the 1994 World Cup and beat Barcelona 5-0 in January 1995. He also helped Real Madrid break Barca’s streak of four consecutive league titles.
#2 Luis Suarez
When Suarez left Barcelona for title rivals Atletico Madrid, not many expected him to be Simeone’s trump card. He was injury-prone and his pace had disappeared considerably. But what Barcelona forgot was a great players’ instincts never die and Suarez popped up in crucial moments for Atletico to prove his effectiveness.
Suarez had scored 198 goals for Barcelona but he was literally thrown out of the club. He admitted that Barcelona’s disrespect gave him extra motivation to work harder and win the league with Atletico. Suarez scored 21 goals in the League and now it is clear that Barcelona should not have released him.
#1 Luis Figo
The most controversial football transfer of all time, Figo joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2000, much to the dismay of Barcelona fans. This happened despite Figo assuring Barcelona fans that he would never even contemplate a move to Spanish capital.
In the end, Perez’s secret pact with Figo was revealed as the Portuguese had promised to jump ships if Perez came to power. Perez won the 2000 Real Madrid elections and as promised bought Luis Figo from Barcelona. Figo would win the Champions League and two league titles with Real Madrid before moving to Inter Milan.