7 former Barcelona players we can’t believe are still playing in 2023
Barcelona have gone through a lot of players over the past two decades – some of them great, others less so. And there are a few who pulled on a Blaugrana kit that you might be surprised are still playing in 2023.
Some of the players on this list are Barcelona legends whose careers have gone on and on while others made just a handful of appearances for Barca before leaving for nomadic football journeys.
Here are seven former Barcelona men – not including Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez – that we can’t believe are still going now.
When Iniesta jetted off to Japan to join Vissel Kobe in 2018, we assumed he’d play for a year or so before hanging up his boots and using that gigantic football brain to go into coaching.
We were wrong; the legendary midfielder has spent the last five years in Japan and must be an expert at pouring tiny cups of tea and serving rice by now.
At the age of 39, Iniesta joined Emirates Club in the UAE and scored his first goal in injury time of a 4-4 draw in August. Now that’s exciting.
The first goal of Andres Iniesta in the UAE for 🇦🇪Club Emiratespic.twitter.com/YCH6BTc36e
— BabaGol (@BabaGol_) August 26, 2023
You may remember Bravo flapping about between the sticks at Manchester City, as Guardiola briefly questioned the wisdom of swiping left on Joe Hart.
But the Chile international performed well for two years at Barcelona, being named in the La Liga Team of the Season in 2014-15 and conceding just 19 goals in 37 matches that season.
Now 39, Bravo plays for Real Betis and made an impressive 21 appearances last term.
You’d be forgiven for forgetting that one-season Manchester City wonder Nolito ever played for Barca. But he did, five times in 2010-11, after a couple of seasons with Barca B.
He went on to have a good career elsewhere, turning out for Benfica, Granada and Sevilla.
After a couple of seasons back at Celta Vigo, for whom he played before joining City, Nolito recently lived the dream of a generation of Brits by plying his trade for Ibiza in the Spanish third tier.
He’s currently unattached, but not retired.
You may be aware that Pedro is still turning out for Lazio, the Roman club coached by Maurizio Sarri that will play in this season’s Champions League. Even scored seven goals in 46 appearances in 2022-23.
But, come on. Pedro? The 2010 World Cup winner? Cornerstone of Guardiola’s attack at Barcelona? Played for Chelsea under Jose Mourinho? That Pedro?
Nope, must be a glitch in the matrix. Not having it.
After joining from Valencia in 2014, Mathieu played 41 times in the treble-winning season under Luis Enrique.
Following two more seasons in Spain, the utility player moved to Sporting Lisbon before winding down his career at Regional 2 club Luynes Sports. At the age of 39, Mathieu is going strong and we can only salute him for that.
Song has previously admitted that he moved to Barcelona for the money. In 2020, he said: “When Barcelona offered me a contract, and I saw how much I would earn, I didn’t think twice. I felt my wife and children should have comfortable lives once my career is over.
“I met Barca’s sporting director, and he told me I would not get to play many games. But I didn’t give a f*** – I knew that now I would become a millionaire.”
We can’t argue with that.
Song only lasted two years at the Camp Nou and has since played for West Ham (on loan), Rubin Kazan and Sion. Now he’s turning out for Djiboutian champions Arta Solar 7 and played in last season’s CAF Champions League.
Caceres played 23 times for Barcelona in Pep Guardiola’s first season as boss before going on to have a really odd career, going from Juventus to a selection of other clubs and almost always back to Juventus again.
After a short spell back in Spain with Levante, Caceres moved to MLS in 2022, where he’s playing for LA Galaxy alongside Javier Hernandez, Douglas Costa, Maya Yoshida and Billy Sharp among others.
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