Soccer

Barcelona fans vote for top 20 greatest players – and don’t put Messi as No.1

Lionel Messi has won everything there is to win at Barcelona, but there's one award the Argentine ace is missing out on – the club's greatest ever player.

Despite having scored 663 goals in 768 matches for the Catalan club, Messi is currently only second in a poll of Barcelona's greatest ever players.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is runner-up on the list, putting him ahead of the likes of Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo and Pep Guardiola.

Messi is polling 5,000 votes in total, leaving him almost 10,000 behind the legendary Barcelona figure who holds the number one spot.

The number one position belongs to mid-90s star and member of Cruyff's Barcelona 'Dream Team', Hristo Stoichkov.

The Bulgarian star currently has over 14,000 votes, putting him streets ahead of Messi at the top of the standings.

Stoichkov, who was a forward, won four consecutive La Liga titles with Barca from 1991 to 1994, as well as the European Cup in 1992.

He scored 76 goals in 151 appearances under Cruyff and also won the Ballon d'Or in 1994.

"Before Stoichkov came, we had a team of very nice people," the late Cruyff once said. "But you can’t just have a team of very nice people.

"You need someone like Stoichkov who is aggressive in a positive way. He goes for the ball and when he gets the ball he shoots at goal.

"There are other players who might wait and see if there is a more beautiful way of doing it, or maybe pass it but he just went ahead and hit it in."

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  • The good news for Messi is that while he lags behind Stoichkov as it stands, the poll is still open, which means he can still leapfrog the Bulgarian into top spot.

    Top 20 Barcelona players of all time, according to Ranker:

    1. Hristo Stoichkov
    2. Lionel Messi
    3. Johann Cruyff
    4. Xavi
    5. Andres Iniesta
    6. Ronaldinho
    7. Carles Puyol
    8. Ronaldo
    9. Romario
    10. Rivaldo
    11. Ronald Koeman
    12. Samuel Eto'o
    13. Diego Maradona
    14. Thierry Henry
    15. Luis Suarez
    16. Daniel Alves
    17. Javier Mascherano
    18. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
    19. Pep Guardiola
    20. Sergio Busquets

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