FC Barcelona dominated these last 10 years. Joy, magic and much football that this team gave us. It is time to take a look at the past for all those games, records and memories that made us proud of this club. Relive the top 10 of the best moments of Barça in the decade.
We are on 2009, December 19. All culés are full of happiness, as their team has just achieved a historic milestone by being the first team to win ‘The Sextuple’. There was no better way to close that decade, but the best was yet to come. We didn’t know the potential of that side, and were not even close to imagining what they would be capable of. The Sextuple was just a taste of what the next decade was going to mean. Greatness.
After a brilliant year, the Blaugranas were preparing to continue dominating Europe. Season after season, the level of demands remained the same: to be a winning team. Champions. We lived a decade full of passion, consistency and a lot of attitude to continue conquering titles every single year. If the previous decade was great, what followed it was even more promising for Barça. They didn’t disappoint and always remained at the top of the world.
These last 10 years left us unique and memorable moments. We experienced football through FC Barcelona, and appreciated an art that could only be seen in a single museum: the Camp Nou. There were sad memories, but there were even happier moments that are worth remembering. We left a mark on history. To remember is to live again. That’s why here is the top 10 of the best moments in the decade from Barça. Matches, goals, trophies and many more are included in this ranking.
#10: Ansu Fati
We start this top 10 with Ansu Fati. The young Spaniard, with only 16 years, was able to debut in the first team before even making his first appearance for Barça B. He has broken several records despite his young age, such as being the youngest player in Barcelona to score a goal in La Liga, or the youngest player to ever score a goal in the Champions League.
Gradually Ansu Fati has stopped being that child with high hopes and dreams and has become a jewel that the club has to take advantage of in the next decade. He is already 17 years old, and in a couple of years he may be a fundamental piece in the team. His quality has already proven it. It has been a great discovery by Ernesto Valverde, who has given Ansu the opportunities that he needs. Ansu Fati’s history with Barça was undoubtedly one of the best moments of this decade.
#9: 26 months undefeated at the Camp Nou in La Liga
The sacred Catalan temple hadn’t tasted a defeat for 26 months in La Liga. An impressive streak. Let’s go back to that tense home game against Real Betis. With the 3–4 victory from the visitors at the Camp Nou, an extraordinary streak of Barcelona came to an end.
The last Barça league defeat in their stadium dated back to September 10 2016, when Alavés (1–2) took all 3 points on the third Matchday of the league campaign. Until that defeat against Betis, Barcelona had played 42 La Liga fixtures at Camp Nou, obtaining 34 wins and 8 draws.
In this period, Barcelona turned the Camp Nou into a fortress also in the Champions League, with 12 wins and 1 draw, while in the Copa del Rey the record was of 6 wins and a single draw.
#8: Messi’s penalty assist to Suárez
Week after week, Lionel Messi never ceases to amaze us with his high level of football. A genius on the court. When we thought we had seen it all, the Argentinian surprised us once again with an unimaginable action.
In Barcelona’s 6–1 triumph over Celta at the Camp Nou for the Spanish League on February 14 2016, Messi was not only the figure, but also offered an unexpected masterpiece. With the 3–1 on the scoreboard, the number 10 set out to kick a penalty. But, instead of kicking the ball towards goal, and to everyone’s surprise, he laid it off to Luis Suárez, who scored the fourth goal for Barça.
It is worth noting that the goal was perfectly valid because Suárez, at the time of the pass was behind the line of the penalty area. Although it is rare execution, it has its precedents. The legendary Johan Cruyff was one of the first to do so in 1982 for Ajax. Who else than one of football’s greatest minds.
#7: Legends depart
Despite being a sad memory, they were very emotional moments for the entire culé community. Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Mascherano, Dani Alves and Víctor Valdés. All these legends, unfortunately, had to retire or leave the club this decade. For what these names mean for the club, they deserve a mention in this top 10.
How to forget Puyol’s last year at FC Barcelona in the 2013/14 season, with Gerardo Martino as a coach. After 15 years at the club, Puyi ended his football career at home. Maybe, if he hadn’t had so many injuries, he would have been a few more seasons with us. The same happened to Víctor Valdes, who had to depart after an injury that practically ended his career, but we can’t forget that the Spanish goalkeeper was key to many of the achievements in the club’s history.
Other players like Dani Alves or Javier Mascherano also said goodbye to the Catalan institution. Two fundamental players for the performance of the team, especially in the Guardiola era. On the one hand, Alves was a guarantee in defence and attack. His great speed, positional sense, imagination, dribbling and passing technique complemented really well with Messi’s genius in the right flank. On the other hand, we have Masche who was an uncommon centre-back. He didn’t have the height of Gerard Piqué, yet it didn’t matter as his attitude and incredible strength covered his apparent physical defects.
Finally, we have Xavi and Iniesta. The best midfield duo in history. They marked an era in Barcelona alongside Lionel Messi and many more. In the last season of Xavi, in 2015, we were able to win the Treble, with Xavi having the honour of raising all those trophies. There could be no better farewell for him. His eternal partner, Andrés Iniesta, despite he could not lift the Champions League, was able to raise important trophies and had a very emotional farewell at the Camp Nou.
All these players left a piece of happiness in all the hearts of the fans. Their contributions will always be remembered by every lover of this sport.
#6: Messi’s 2–3 winner at the Bernabéu
The 2016/17 term left us a great memory with the last-gasp goal of Lionel Messi at the Santiago Bernabéu, which gave us the victory in the famous Clásico.
After James’ equaliser, the game was bound to end in a 2–2 draw, but Barça didn’t give up. After a heroic run by Sergi Roberto came the long-awaited strike of Messi to beat Keylor Navas in the near post and win the game. A vital victory that placed Barcelona in a good position in a very tight La Liga race. In the end, the Spanish championship was won by Real Madrid, but the joy of that night was for the Azulgranas.
Messi knew what his goal had meant. That is why he celebrated it by showing his shirt to the entire stadium at the capital of Spain. He left a clear message: here I am. He let the Santiago Bernabéu know who Messi is. Once again, Messi has demonstrated that he is not from this planet.
#5: Messi’s 91-goal record in a calendar year
2012 was a very tough year for Barcelona. Pep Guardiola left and they didn’t win as many titles as expected. But 2012 was also the year in which Lionel Messi broke a record that no one ever thought could be broken. Leo became the player with most goals in a single calendar year, beating Gerd Müller’s record of 85 goals.
Messi reached this figure by scoring 79 goals with Barcelona and 12 with the Argentinian national team. To date, no one has been able to approach the little genius’ record. We’ll have to spend several more decades to see something similar…
#4: El Clásico’s 5–0
The night of Monday November 29 2010 was the climax of Guardiolism. Real Madrid, at the dawn of the Mourinho era, arrived at the Camp Nou as league leaders. In a prodigious display of the positional play, precision and mental speed, Barcelona thrashed their rivals in a match that touched perfection. Within 20 minutes, the culés had already celebrated two goals. Madrid never had a response to such an exhibition.
With goals from Xavi, Pedro, Jeffrén and two from David Villa, Barça won El Clásico as the decade got off to a brilliant start. Since that night, Barcelona have dominated the majority of encounters with the merengues. That year we were superiors to Real Madrid in almost all aspects. We defeated them by 5–0, eliminated them in the Champions League semi-finals and beat them for La Liga. Only the Copa del Rey was missing, which was won by our eternal rival in a very close game: 1–0.
#3: The Wembley night
After lifting their third Champions League two years earlier against the same opponent, the Spanish giants knew that they had everything in their favour to win again the most important trophy in Europe. Once more, Barcelona faced Manchester United in a game very well raised by Pep Guardiola.
Manchester United needed the ball and, at the same time, pressed very high. The only problem was that there’s one team that does that better than everybody else: FC Barcelona. At first, the tactics of the Red Devils were working, but little by little they got tired and that’s when the Catalans took advantage of it. With goals from Villa, Pedro and Messi, Barcelona comfortably played one of their best matches in history. Every fan of this club will always remember that Wembley night, every action, every goal.
That Barcelona team was the best in the world, and, for many, the best ever. Its three main stars (Messi, Xavi and Iniesta) made the Ballon d’Or podium, a milestone never achieved before by three players raised at the same academy: La Masía. The canteranos of Josep Guardiola formed the core of the Spanish national team too, which won the Euros (2008 and 2012) and the World Cup (2010).
Perhaps it was the most placid Champions League final for FC Barcelona. In fact, Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that they had been given a ‘football beating’. The image of Éric Abidal raising the trophy after overcoming liver cancer symbolised the greatness of that side on and off the pitch.
#2: La Remontada
In a few years time, we will tell this story and nobody will believe us. We were alive to appreciate La Remontada. Advancing into the Champions League’s quarterfinals seemed impossible after losing by 4–0 at the Parc des Princes. But FC Barcelona is where the impossible becomes a reality.
On March 8 2017, the Camp Nou witnessed an unprecedented event. The game started with an early goal by Luis Suárez and an own goal from Kurzawa in the first half, which still left us far from achieving that improbable dream. In the 50th minute, the referee awarded a penalty to the Blaugranas, and Messi scored the 3–0. Little by little, the comeback was becoming more real, but then Cavani appeared. Edinson ended all the hopes of the Catalans with the 3–1, meaning Barça had to score 3 more goals. Everyone thought that Barcelona were already eliminated in the round of 16.
However, faith came back for the last 3 minutes, when Neymar wrote his name in history with a brace: a free-kick and a penalty. The dream was still alive, despite still needing a goal. It was in the very last minute of added time (95′) that the hero of that night appeared. Sergi Roberto.
Sergi showed that dreams come true. He gave the ticket to the quarterfinals to his beloved club. Those watched that game will forever know how emotional it was. The Camp Nou lived the best comeback in the history of this sport. They were later knocked out in the quarterfinals by Juventus. However, that didn’t make that comeback against PSG any less epic.
#1: Luis Enrique’s Treble
We have reached number 1 of this ranking. The Treble won with Luis Enrique. Winning the league, the national Cup and the Champions League in the same year has never been easy. In fact, very few teams have had the privilege of achieving a Treble. Luis Enrique did it in his first season as the coach of FC Barcelona.
After a time of changes, including the arrival of Bartomeu, the shaky post-Guardiola era and the many injuries, Luis Enrique came to heal all the wounds. The new coach started with strong decisions. He signed very important players, such as Luis Suárez, Rakitic and Ter Stegen. He was also the creator of the ‘MSN’, one of the deadliest attack tridents of all time. Lucho set up a very goalscoring and showed that, when there are many goals, most games are won. The Asturian boss dominated not only in Spain, but in Europe as well
In the Champions League knock-out stage, Barça had to eliminate Manchester City, PSG, Bayern and Juventus in the final. In other words, all the champions of the top 5 leagues in Europe. This team did not underestimate anyone and always wanted to score more goals than their opponents. The final in Berlin was won against the best Juventus side of the decade, which included stars like Buffon, Pirlo, Tévez, Pogba and Arturo Vidal. Most of them were at their best, but nobody could stop Barcelona from another Treble. Not even the best in each league.
With the 3 trophies from Luis Enrique we close the top 10 of Barça’s best moments of the decade. A highly successful decade for the club, arguably the best in its history. Let us hope for more memorable moments from Barcelona in the next decade, and to enjoy everything that this team continuously gives us. Visca el Barça. Visca Catalunya.