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Barcelona stars past their best?

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Barcelona are considered to be the world's top side: winning La Liga year in and year out, reaching Champions League finals almost every year, and clinching the Spanish Cup - but are they slowing down?

When we think of Barcelona we always think of that little magician, Lionel Messi - the world's greatest player who still many years to go. However, there are other players among him that are not only some of the best in the world, but ageing quickly.

1. Andres Iniesta

Often nominated for a Ballon d'or alongside his team-mate Messi and other European giant Cristiano Ronaldo, Iniesta is considered one of the world's best midfielders. His pinpoint accuracy to lob the ball half way across the pitch to set up an astonishing goal is beyond belief. His fantastic dribbling skill to weave around players and finish with beautiful finesse is remarkable.

He may be known for these wonderful, jaw-dropping talents, but they seem to be slowing down and are seen less regularly. He may only be 29 years of age, however to most spectators this is the age players seem to come to a halt and fail to get any better. Are these Iniesta's final years of glory, and will Barcelona have to look for a younger replacement for him?

2. Xavi Hernandez 

Much like his partnering Spaniard Iniesta, this Barcelona veteran seems to be running towards his last days at the Europe giants.

Often considered to have one of the most lethal passes in he game of this century, defenders can find it almost impossible to deal with his accurate drills as he can send the ball flying through the defence, even sometimes across the floor, to land at the feet of the striker, and have his name written down as the assist to the goal.

At an age of 33, Xavi seems to be in worry of his first team position for Barcelona, with younger more prospective players such as Fabregas and Busquets eyeing his first-team role.

Some fans would hate to see him come to the end of his time, however some feel it is time for new legs to replace his, is his time up and has he done all he could for his squad?

3. Carles Puyol

One of Barcelona's oldest players, Puyol is the one-club legend that fans adore to watch and replay memories of his glorious times for his club.

A strong Spaniard who is greedy for the ball and whisks it out of attackers' feet with sheer power and force, this man terrifies opponents alongside his partner Pique. These two have developed one of the most feared partnership at the back worldwide.

At 35 years old, this makes him a true veteran of the club; however, it leaves his days numbered, with Pique to leave in his place, and other quality centre-backs ready to take his place, Barcelona are already looking at replacements such as David Luiz and recently had their eye on Thomas Vermaelen. Puyol could soon bid farewell to the only club he has ever played for. 

These three players have only ever served Barcelona, being brought up through the youth squad and Barcelona Bs and Cs, to land first team positions in the A squad. These three ageing men have all served a huge part in Barcelona's success, but their time may be up and they may have done all they could to show the world their monstrous talent and incredible spirit for the game.

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Topics:
La Liga
Football
Barcelona

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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