The last seven players Barca have let go to CL rivals and how they fared

Quick Reads

It’s common knowledge that Barcelona are in financial crisis – and their domestic and European rivals have fully exploited the situation this summer.

The likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann were snapped up, while even Tottenham got in on the act and purchased Emerson Royal. But this summer isn’t the first time Barcelona have sold players to teams who’ve competed against them in the Champions League.

We’ve identified the last seven players before then who Barca sold to Champions League rivals and how they fared.


Arthur was shipped off to Juventus last summer in a deal that involved Miralem Pjanic going the other way and some ‘interesting’ financial maneuvering.

The Brazilian hasn’t exactly pulled up any trees in Turin, finding himself in and out of the team as Juventus slid from first to fourth in 2020-21.

Still, Pjanic was hardly much better so Barca may wish they’d been more persistent with Arthur.

Luis Suarez

Oh dear.

READ: Welcome to ‘the Suarez zone’ – a land of shadow and substance and big goals

Ivan Rakitic

Rakitic won it all with Barca and was a dedicated servant, playing 50 or more games in five of his six seasons in Catalunya, so his former club Sevilla were delighted to have him again for a mere €1.5million in the summer of 2020.

Back where he is loved, away from the criticism he received from sections of the Barcelona support, he slotted in nicely and became a solid first-team fixture as Sevilla finished fourth in La Liga last season. 


Rafinha turned up at PSG in 2020, following years where he failed to quite break into the Barca first team.

He has again struggled to nail down a consistent place in the team – which is little wonder with the attacking midfield talent at Mauricio Pochettino’s disposal.

Since the French giants have just signed Lionel Messi, it’s hard to see the Brazilian playing more minutes this time around.

Arturo Vidal

Possessor of the ‘greatest’ mohawk in world football, Vidal doomed Barca’s 2020 Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich before a ball had been kicked.

In a pre-match interview, the midfielder said that Bayern should be running scared because they weren’t ‘playing against some random Bundesliga team’. He didn’t play for the club again after that. 

The Chile international moved to Inter Milan, where he helped wrestle the Scudetto away from Juventus. Despite this, Vidal didn’t have the most impressive season individually – scoring twice in 30 appearances – and the cash-strapped club unsuccessfully tried to offload him this summer.


Paco Alcacer

Borussia Dortmund agreed on a loan deal for Alcacer in the summer of 2018 before opting to sign the striker on a permanent deal.

The Spain international netted 26 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions for the traditional German bridesmaids, but is now back in La Liga with Villarreal.

Phillipe Coutinho

It was definitely the right decision to offload Coutinho on a two-year loan deal to Bayern Munich but only those with hearts of stone failed to laugh when he netted twice during that 8-2 last year.

Coutinho is now back at Barca with Ronald Koeman facing little choice but to integrate him back into the squad.

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