Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Eric Abidal are among other prestigious occupants as new boy has big boots to fill
BARCELONA’S fall from grace was evident once more as a locker which was once owned by some of the game’s greats is now Paulinho’s.
The Brazilian became the Catalan giants’ fourth most-expensive signing when he made the bizarre move from Guangzhou Evergrande for £36.5million.
It followed the 5-1 aggregate annihilation by Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup to show just how low they’ve fallen.
And now the Tottenham flop will be storing his items in a space once reserved genuine football royalty.
Two-time Ballon d’Or-winner Ronaldo held the locker now used by Paulinho during his one, incredible season at the Nou Camp.
Later, Juan Roman Riquelme took over and more recently, it was where Neymar put his valuables.
In between the latter two, it was even used by Champions League-winning left-backs Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Eric Abidal.
So, Paulinho, who already has a lot to prove with many questioning why Barcelona signed him, has big boots to fill — those which used to be in his own locker.
The great Ronaldo enjoyed arguably the best season of his career in Catalonia, when he scored 34 goals in La Liga and the winner in the Cup Winners’ Cup final.
While also netting a Copa del Rey medal to boot under Sir Bobby Robson in 1997, before joining Inter Milan for a world-record £19m and winning his first Ballon d’Or.
Riquelme was never able to showcase his sublime skills at the Nou Camp, as the Argentina icon was shackled under Louis van Gaal.
But he was able to show his genius later on in his career and is certainly among the footballing greats.
Neymar spent four seasons with Barcelona and won the Treble, before establishing himself as one of the best players on the planet.
He joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record £198m deal.
Van Bronckhorst won the Champions League in 2006 and Abidal was captain for the 2011 success.
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ROMELU LUKAKU has come in to 2/1 to finish as the Premier League top scorer.
The Belgian scored twice against West Ham on Sunday to put an immediate market down in the Golden Boot race.
Harry Kane, who has NEVER scored a goal in August, is 2/1.
And there is value to be had in Alexandre Lacazette.
He is 8/1 even after scoring on his debut against Leicester last week.
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