Football

Barcelona's team has undergone changes since Pep Guardiola departed.

The six changes to Barcelona's XI since Pep Guardiola left

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

Pep Guardiola returns to the Camp Nou tonight to take on the incredible side he helped to create.

It’s four years since the Catalan left Barcelona to seek a new challenge. Bayern Munich was his destination, and he now finds himself as Manchester City’s boss.

Nobody knows Barcelona better than Guardiola but if you thought that gave the 45-year-old an advantage, think again.

Article continues below

The Blaugrana have had three managers since Guardiola - the late Tito Vilanova, Gerardo Martino and current coach Luis Enrique.

One constant has been Lionel Messi, of course. Guardiola’s number one task at the Camp Nou will be stopping the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Article continues below

Though Barca wear the same colours, play in a similar style and continue to win trophies, the personnel has undergone plenty of changes.

GiveMeSport has a look at Barcelona’s XI in Guardiola’s final season, in 2011-12, compared with the current team.

2011-12

Victor Valdes; Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Eric Abidal; Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta; Pedro, Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez.

Current XI

Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar.

So that’s six changes to the starting line-up - seven if you include Messi's switch from a false 9 to the right. Barcelona have transitioned into a team that engulfs opponents from the get go instead of exhausting them through playing possession football.

Here’s a profile of the six new faces.

Ter Stegen | GK | Signed: 2014

Ter Stegen supplanted Claudio Bravo as Barcelona’s number one goalkeeper in the summer.

He was Pep Guardiola’s original target at Manchester City but the Spanish club weren’t willing to sell one of the brightest ‘keepers in Europe.

FC Barcelona v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League

Sergi Roberto | RB | La Masia graduate

Guardiola gifted Roberto his first-team debut in 2010 but he had to wait until last year to truly assert himself in the senior side.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-BETIS

Jordi Alba | LB | Signed: 2012

Alba has become one of the better left backs in Europe, his marauding style an asset in a team that requires attacking influence from all its players.

FC Barcelona Training Session and Press Conference

Ivan Rakitic | CM | Signed: 2014

Rakitic has ensured Xavi’s departure from the midfield hasn’t gone unfilled. A fine technician, the Croatian can be relied upon to chip in with plenty of goals.

Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona - Spanish Super Cup Final 1st Leg

Luis Suarez | ST | Signed: 2014

Suarez will rank as one of Barca’s greatest ever signings. With 93 goals in 107 appearances, is there any argument over the best striker in the world?

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-DEPORTIVO

Neymar | LW | Signed: 2013

Neymar fits into Barcelona’s system like a glove, with skill and dribbling the perfect compliment to Suarez and Messi. There’s no wonder he’s held up as a potential Ballon d’Or winner, and the heir to Messi’s throne.

FC Barcelona v RC Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga

Which City team is better, the one of 2012 or the current team? Let us know in the comments section below!

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
Gerard Pique
Luis Suarez
Football
Andres Iniesta
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
UEFA Champions League
Neymar

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

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.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again