BARCELONA have more of a reputation for using their academy than for splashing out on big names.
And, though, they’ve signed some of the world’s best stars — and that cash saw them create one of the most fearsome attack lines in football history — they have also brought in some turkeys.
For every Neymar and Luis Suarez, there’s a Paco Alcacer and Andre Gomes.
The recently completed the bizarre purchase of former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho, who at £36.5million, because their fourth-highest transfer.
In recent times, the Catalans have somewhat changed their tactics, as fewer academy graduates have succeeded — and more and more big names continue to arrive.
None of their signings from last summer have enjoyed productive starts to their Nou Camp careers, but they all still have time to turn it around.
Unlike those on this list.
Here are Barcelona’s top ten worst-ever signings.
Alexis Sanchez, 2011-14
Barca beat Manchester United to the Chilean’s signature in the summer of 2011 after an impressive spell at Udinese.
Sanchez’s ability was never in doubt, and he was touted by many as one of the best players in the world.
But he failed to shine alongside Lionel Messi and was bombed out in favour of Suarez.
Cesc Fabregas, 2011-14
It was supposed to a glorious homecoming for the La Masia graduate.
But Fabregas’ return to the Nou Camp was underwhelming at best.
He won just one league title in three years — and his Uefa Super Cup and Fifa World Club Cup honours were only made available to him thanks to the work of his predecessors.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 2009-10
At £40million plus Samuel Eto’o, the Swede could argue he was in fact the world’s most-expensive player.
However, Ibrahimovic’s dream move to Barcelona never worked out, and his personality saw him fall out of favour under Pep Guardiola.
In the Champions League semi-final, he was subbed off and defender Gerard Pique was sent forward as the Catalans went in search of a goal against Inter Milan.
Demetrio Albertini, 2004-05
A legendary footballer with AC Milan, who made a bizarre move to the Nou Camp from Atalanta at the age of 33.
Albertini was signed by former team-mate Frank Rijkaard and made just five appearances.
The midfielder was in a rapid decline following a succession of injuries, and he retired from the game at the end of the season.
Ibrahim Afellay, 2010-15
Dutchman was billed as the next big sensation after coming to the fore at PSV Eindhoven.
And Barcelona beat everyone to the punch when they signed Afellay.
But he made just 35 appearances in four seasons and was loaned out twice, before moving permanently to Stoke.
Ricardo Quaresma, 2003-04
He was Portugal’s ‘next big thing’ before Cristiano Ronaldo came along.
All of Europe’s big guns wanted Quaresma, but it was Barcelona who signed the then 19-year-old — alongside the more illustrious purchase of Ronaldinho.
But just one goal in 28 appearances saw him sold to Porto as part of the deal to buy Deco a year on.
Alex Song, 2012-16
Spent one full season at the Nou Camp before being loaned out to West Ham two seasons in a row.
Song’s time at the Nou Camp was pretty disastrous.
And his most famous act was arguably getting shoved back by Carles Puyol after approaching to lift the Spanish league trophy which had been reserved for the stricken, Eric Abidal.
Alexander Hleb, 2008-12
Was sensational at Arsenal, but moved to Barcelona in search of further glory — which he found.
Sort of. Hleb may have won the Treble, but he failed to score a single goal and was left out of the squad for the Champions League final.
Moved to Stuttgart, Birmingham and Wolfsburg on loan before joining Krylia Sovetov Samara permanently.
Dmytro Chygrynskiy, 2009-10
Moved to the Nou Camp for a massive £22m from Shakhtar Donetsk.
But Chygrynskiy made just 14 appearances in all competitions and didn’t feature once in the Champions League.
Thomas Vermaelen, 2014-present
One of the worst transfers in football history.
Vermaelen’s debut came on the final day of the La Liga season as he was plagued by injuries — but still claimed three medals as Barcelona again won the Treble.
In his second season, he made an impressive 20 appearances in all competitions, but was shipped out to Roma on loan.
Has played just twice so far for the Serie A side and Barca are now desperate to get rid of him.
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