Lionel Messi is generally regarded as one of the greatest, if not the best, football players of all time.
Even at 33, the Argentine forward basically carries the Argentina and Barcelona squads, which aren’t exactly lacking in talent.
So, when Barcelona fans recently voted for their best ever player, you’d think the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will win, right?
It seems that this is not the case. When the question was put to fans on fan poll site Ranker, Messi came in second place, despite the fact that the poll has no end date, so the forward could still make a push for first.
Throwback to when Messi single handedly threw Arsenal out of the champions League pic.twitter.com/YSLjTeNWbZ
— 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕔𝕖𝕝 🇳🇱 (@MFKraan) March 28, 2021
Hristo Stoichkov, a mid-90s ace and part of Johann Cruyff’s ‘dream squad,’ has beaten the midfielder to the title. Stoichkov already has over 14,000 votes, compared to Messi’s 5,260.
The Bulgarian is generally regarded as one of the best players of his generation, having led the Blaugrana to four consecutive La Liga titles and the European Cup in 1992. In 1994, he won the Ballon d’Or while playing for Barcelona.
Stoichkov was a fantastic player, but was he better than Messi? We’re not convinced.
What else is there to say about Leo Messi? 🙇♂️#LaLigaAmerica pic.twitter.com/XRnAdtmqmv
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) March 26, 2021
The poll received nearly 14,000 votes, with other well-known Barcelona figures rounding out the top ten. Johann Cruyff, Xavi, Ronaldinho, and Romario are only a few of the players who have wowed Catalan fans over the years.
Outside of the top ten, notable names include current manager Ronal Koeman and current goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who somehow made it into the top 20.
Top 20 Barcelona players of all time, according to Ranker:
1. Hristo Stoichkov
2. Lionel Messi
3. Johann Cruyff
5. Andres Iniesta
7. Carles Puyol
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
What do you reckon? Should Messi be top? Or is there even another player who could have that honour?
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