10. Alexis Sanchez – 0.33
Ah, back when Sanchez was brilliant. Barca were rewarded for taking a punt on the young Udinese trickster in 2011 when he scored 15 goals in a debut season best remembered for Messi breaking world-records.
But ‘Alexis’ was running out of opportunities at Camp Nou by the time Arsenal came knocking, so it’s commendable that he makes the top ten as someone who largely played out wide.
9. David Villa – 0.40
Like Pedro, Villa was a member of arguably the greatest front three of the modern era and picked up where he left off after signing for Barcelona on the back of five goals at the 2010 World Cup.
Father time was slowly catching up on the world and European champion when he departed in 2013, but Barca fans won’t be forgetting his goal in the 2011 Champions League final in a hurry.
8. Thierry Henry – 0.40
Almost bagging a half-century for Barcelona despite being past your peak years and hardly playing during your final season is a testament to Henry as one of the 21st century’s greatest ever players.
We can only imagine where Henry would have finished on this list if he played at Camp Nou during his prime, but he still won a long-awaited Champions League title with 26 goals in that treble-winning year.
7. Javier Saviola – 0.42
Bet you weren’t expecting Saviola to finish this highly. But credit to the Argentine because his record of 21, 20 and 19 goals respectively during his first three seasons in Spain was simply impeccable.
It’s just a shame that he was never considered as part of Frank Rijkaard’s plans, leading to back-to-back loan departures, and he wasn’t the same player when he returned for 24 games in the 2006/07 campaign.
6. Patrick Kluivert – 0.47
Barca were lucky enough to enter 2000 with one of the most lethal strikers in the sport and credit to Kluivert for being the highest-placed striker to neither play under the Pep Guardiola era or beyond it.
Things were hardly sunshine and rainbows when Kluivert was plying his trade in Catalonia, so you’ve got to applaud the fact he went four seasons on the bounce scoring at least 20 goals.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 0.48
It’s a downright fallacy that Ibrahimovic was a complete flop at Barcelona and let the statistics prove it, but even we can’t deny that events behind-the-scenes with Guardiola were toxic for the club.
However, 22 goals in his one and only season means Zlatan should stop featuring on lists of Barca’s worst ever signings and fans need to appreciate that wherever he goes, goals are guaranteed by hook by crook.
4. Neymar – 0.56
Imagine producing these numbers from out wide, madness. What makes these statistics even more impressive is that Neymar actually struggled to adapt in his first season and ‘only’ scored 20 during his last.
But with 39 and 31 strikes during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaigns respectively, Neymar was contending for the Ballon d’Or and flirting with Messi-esque numbers both in terms of goals and assists.
3. Samuel Eto’o – 0.65
Arguably the greatest African player in history, Eto’o deserves far more airtime when Barcelona’s greats are discussed and chipped in with 30+ goals in two Champions League-winning campaigns.
It was typical of the Cameroonian’s brilliance that he ended his time at Barca with a 36-goal season as part one of becoming the first player in history to win back-to-back trebles for different clubs.
2. Luis Suarez – 0.70
Liverpool must be kicking themselves that they only received £64.98 million for their star man in 2015, even if he did have to wait out the first few months of the season with a ban for biting.
The Blaugrana have been thoroughly rewarded for their patience, though, with Suarez becoming the club’s third highest scorer in history and won the European Golden Shoe with a truly bonkers 59-goal season in 2015/17.
1. Lionel Messi – 0.87
Like, duh. Messi, in our eyes, is the greatest footballer in history and nothing proves that point better than the fact his goal total is better than Barcelona’s second, third and fourth record scorers combined.
Averaging 0.87 goals per game is by far the craziest figure we’ve come across in this series and nobody will ever have a better individual season than Messi’s 2011/12 with 73(!!!) strikes in just 60 games.
Messi dominates the field
Let’s not get it twisted, there were some bang average forwards on the list, but the top ten is wall-to-wall legends and it’s credit to Barcelona’s allure that they all pulled on the club jersey.
You know you’ve been blessed with incredible players leading your line when Griezmann and Larsson can’t make the top ten, while Henry and Villa are only eighth and ninth.
But truth be told, everybody on this list is about five tiers below the man in number one.
Messi broke on to the scene at a club which has employed some of the greatest players in history and took what was once thought possible in the beautiful game to a whole ‘nother level.
You’re simply the best, Leo.
- Ranking Man Utd strikers by their goal-per-game ratio
- Ranking Arsenal strikers by their goal-per-game ratio
- Ranking the Premier League 100 club by their goal-per-game ratio