8 former Barcelona players we can’t believe are still playing in 2022
Barcelona have gone through a lot of players over the last 20 years – 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 2022.
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 eight former Barcelona men we can’t believe are still going now.
A very good footballer at his peak? Yes. Was that peak at Barcelona? Definitely not.
In fact, Song admitted that he moved to the Catalan club 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.”
Song only lasted two years at Barca and has since played for West Ham (on loan), Rubin Kazan and Sion. Now, aged 35, he is turning out for Djiboutian champions Arta Solar 7 and playing in the CAF Champions League.
Goalkeeper Ruben made two La Liga appearances for Barcelona all the way back in 2004 as a 19-year-old, coming on for current manager Xavi after Victor Valdes got sent off against Valencia and playing in the next match against Levante.
He wouldn’t play another game for Barca’s first team and was eventually released in 2008 and dropped down the divisions, but worked his way back up and ended up playing in La Liga for Deportivo La Coruna and Rayo Vallecano, among others.
Now, aged 38, he’s at AEK Larnaca in the Cypriot top tier.
You know who he is. You probably know he’s still playing. But it really is incredible.
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.
Instead, he’s still going four years later, still caressing passes through invisible gaps and still earning a lot of cash, apparently.
HIGHEST-PAID SOCCER PLAYERS 2022:
— Sportico (@Sportico) September 16, 2022
Honestly, we’re not even sure why Barcelona signed Caceres in the first place. Maybe they were just taken in by his luscious hair.
Anyway, he did play for them – 23 times 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 and the next man on this list…
Vazquez has had an interesting career. After leaving Barcelona in 2011, he had a few solid years at Club Brugge but then flitted around, playing in Mexico, Canada, Qatar and, very briefly, back in Belgium.
He seems to have found a home in LA, though, playing over 50 times in the past two seasons.
Before his peripatetic existence, Vazquez was one of the fabled 1987 generation of La Masia graduates along with Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi. He was even better at free-kicks than the little Argentine magician at one point…
Like with Iniesta, it’s common knowledge that Alves is still chugging along. He even pitched back up at Barca in 2021 for crying out loud, playing pretty much free of charge.
It is miraculous though. This is a man who made his professional debut in 2001. He’s 39 and has won 47 trophies and somehow still has the motivation to turn out for Pumas UNAM in Liga MX.
Will he manage to sneak into the Brazil squad and cap a brilliant career with a World Cup trophy in Qatar? It would be a hell of a way to go out.
Born in Venezuela and brought up in Barcelona, Jeffren broke the Barca first-team squad just as the Guardiola golden era was getting underway and ended up making over 30 appearances for the senior side.
He wasn’t quite good enough to hold down a place in the team, however, and moved on, playing in Portugal, Spain again, Belgium, Switzerland, Cyprus, Croatia and the UAE before moving to Thailand to sign for Lamphun Warrior in 2021. He’s 34 now and remains in Thailand, playing in the same team as Liverpool legend Aly Cissokho.
Still, Jeffren will always have that Clasico goal that made it Barca five, Real Madrid nil.
🔙 # OTD 2010
🔥10 years since the exhibition 🆚 R. Madrid at the Camp Nou! 😍 pic.twitter.com/8MF77o0Eaw
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 29, 2020
You may well have forgotten 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 more-than-solid career elsewhere, turning out for Benfica, Granada and Sevilla.
After a couple of seasons back at Celta de Vigo, for whom he played before joining City, Nolito is now plying his trade in the Segunda Division with Ibiza. Sounds like a good gig if you can get it.