While most people view Barcelona as a club that mostly uses home grown talent (which is true, to an extent), the current crop of purchased players, beginning with Eric Abidal in 2007, the only pre-Guardiola player outside player still with the squad, cost €211.5 million to assemble, including David Villa (the most expensive signing in the history of the club), Cesc Fabregas and Dani Alves.
FYI – Players purchased over the years but no longer with the Barcelona squad are no longer included, as aren’t players who came over on a free transfer or moved up through the academy, which is more than half the squad, including many starters like Vlades, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Pedro.
Eric Abidal, 2007
The 33 year old French left back turned central defender arrived in Barcelona from Lyon in 2007, purchased for €9 million with a clause saying that Lyon will be paid an extra €500,000 for any Champions League title Barcelona would win in the following four seasons, earning an extra million of that clause. Abidal has battled with Liver cancer and later on a liver transplant in the last couple of years, but has returned to playing form and is still able to play football, although he has yet to be used this season by the team.
Dani Alves, 2008
The best right back in the world (most of the time) was one of the first signings of the Pep Guardiola era, coming to Barcelona after six fantastic seasons with Sevilla, which included winning two consecutive UEFA cups. Alves cost €32.5 million, the most expensive full back in history. He has since become a vital part of the recent success of the club, winning three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies, playing 212 times for the club, scoring 15 goals and adding 68 assists.
Gerard Pique, 2008
Pique is born and raised in the city of Barcelona, but he preferred to sing with Manchester United before coming up from the Barcelona youth system into the senior team. He cost €5 million to bring back, teaming up with Carles Puyol to create the best centre back duo in the world for club and country. A significant part of all the titles during the Guardiola era, playing in 188 matches for the club, scoring 13 goals.
David Villa, 2010
The most expensive purchase in the history of the club, David Villa arrived at the Camp Nou as a European and World Champion and some fantastic seasons with Valencia. He cost the club €40 million to bring from the Mestalla, and his first season was a big success, scoring 23 goals in all competitions, including the Champions League final against Manchester United. He missed most of last season due to an injury he sustained in the Club World Cup. He has played 78 times for the club, scoring 33 goals and adding 11 assists.
Javier Mascherano, 2010
A player that didn’t seem to really fit in at first, Mascherano cost Barcelona €22 million to bring over from Liverpool. Eventually, a change of tactics and injury problems pushed Mascherano into the lineup as a centre back, a role which he has filled quite successfully over the last couple of seasons. He has played 101 times for the club, still waiting to score his first goal.
After Dani Alves in 2008, Barcelona decided they need another part of Sevilla’s key players to their UEFA Cup run in previous years at the club. Adriano, a left back who can play as a winger or on the right side of the defense (when needed), cost €9.5 million to bring over, playing 74 times and scoring 5 goals in two and a bit seasons at the Camp Nou.
Cesc Fabregas, 2011
Cesc Fabregas, like Pique, grew up through the Barcelona youth system, born in Arenys de Mar, which is just north of the city. He felt that he might find it hard to breakthrough early from the Barca academy into the first team, choosing to sign with Arsenal in 2003.
After 8 seasons with the gunners, making his league debut in the season after Arsenal won their last title, the biggest transfer saga in Europe, lasting a total of three consecutive summers, was over. The media warfare and pressure on the player and the gunners to sell led to a €34 million deal, which hasn’t exactly proved itself worthwhile up until now.
Alexis Sanchez, 2011
The Chilean forward, who plays as a half winger, half striker for Barcelona, came to the attention of the big European clubs after the 2010 World Cup and a couple of very impressive seasons with Udinese. Injuries have limited his Barca success and he’s still waiting for his first goal this season. Alexis scored 15 goals in 41 matches on his debut season with the club.
Jordi Alba, 2012
Another player from the youth system who didn’t make it in initially, only to be find worthy years later, for a high cost. After his excellent 2011-2012 campaign with Valencia, followed by a brilliant Euro 2012 with Spain, Barcelona signed the half full back, half winger (half-back?) for €14 million, so far mostly using him as a substitute on his first season with the senior club at the Camp Nou.
Alex Song, 2012
Another Arsenal player, Song was one of the surprise transfers of the summer, with the interest in him surprising many, coming out of left field as American would have put it. The 25 year old defensive midfielder was brought to allow Sergio Busquets time at centre back if needed and allow more freedom to the more attacking midfielders (Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc) while bringing his offensive qualities which have seen a substantial upgrade over the last couple of seasons under Wenger. He cost €19 million.
Jose Manuel Pinto – The 36 year old goalkeeper has been Victor Valdes’ replacement entering his fifth season now, arriving to Barcelona from Celta in 2008 for a free of €0.5 million, playing in 48 matches, more than half of them in Copa Del Rey matches.