Today’s game against Barcelona is the latest chapter in an epic rivalry between the sides in the modern era, but plenty of players have represented the Blues and Barca over the years.
We first took on Barcelona during our run to the Fairs Cup semi-finals in 1965/66 season under Tommy Docherty, when the Spanish club ended our march towards the trophy at the last-four stage. Although 34 years passed before our next meeting in competitive action, and since then we have been regular opponents in the Champions League, with the head-to-head record in that competition dead even.
During that time there have been no fewer than 13 players to pull on the shirts of both clubs, the majority of whom have represented the Blues with distinction and lifted plenty of silverware along the way. There is one exception to that rule – and we don’t think you’ll have much difficulty picking him out.
Considering the rivalry between Chelsea and Barcelona, it’s pretty rare a goal while representing the latter would be celebrated in west London. Well, the Brazilian right-back twice earned big cheers from the Blues faithful – firstly, for putting the ball through his own net in our epic last-16 tie with Barca in 2005 and then netting the winner against Arsenal a year later in the final. A Goal of the Season award winning strike against Spurs then endeared him to Chelsea fans even further.
The Dutch centre-half was a two-time La Liga winner at the Nou Camp; he made just two Premier League starts in four years as a Blue. Both matches ended in defeat...
The classy midfielder was part of Jose Mourinho’s Champions League winning side at Porto and he repeated the trick a couple of years later at Barcelona, featuring in some of the most thrilling matches we’ve played against the Catalan side. His two years at Chelsea might not be remembered too fondly by the fans, but there were highlight-reel goals against Portsmouth and Wigan in his first two appearances and he played an understated role in our 2010 Double win.
Another two-time Champions League winner, this time with Barca and Inter, Eto'o scored goals for both at Stamford Bridge which helped eliminate the Blues on their way to lifting the trophy. As such, he was a surprise signing for Chelsea in 2013, and big-game goals against Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal sandwiched his best display in a Chelsea shirt – a hat-trick against Manchester United, becoming the first Blue to do that since Seamus O’Connell in the 1950s.
The boyhood Barca man went on to start his professional career with Arsenal before enjoying a trophy-laden stay at the Nou Camp. However, his most influential campaign arguably came at Chelsea, when he donned his magic hat in the 2014/15 season to lay on goal after goal after goal on our way to winning the Premier League title – the first of his career, despite spending seven years in Arsenal’s first team. He added another two years later, providing more crucial assists despite not always being a regular starter.
His fellow right-back Belletti may have forged a reputation for his goalscoring, but the same couldn’t be said about Chapi. He joined Chelsea as a European champion from his time at hometown team Barcelona and his only goal for the Blues was a vital strike to help us qualify from our Champions League group in 1999. Luckily, the 5ft 7in full-back was a combative fellow whose defensive capabilities more than made up for it.
Not much was known about a man who can now lay claim to being Iceland’s greatest footballer when he made the move to Stamford Bridge from Bolton in the summer of 2000. We quickly discovered an intelligent forward whose link-up play perfectly complemented the powerful Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and he went on to help us win back-to-back Premier League titles under Mourinho. Although he later won the Champions League at Barca, he is best remembered for his six years in west London.
Like Gudjohnsen, Sparky is well known as the unsung half of a successful strike partnership, leading the team he supported as a boy to FA Cup glory in 1997 as the battering ram alongside Gianfranco Zola’s artistry. He played a big part in two further trophy triumphs the following year, scoring many a vital goal along the way. Most of you will remember he also played for Man United, but did you know he was once Gary Lineker’s strike partner at the Nou Camp?
With his goal in May’s Europa League final, Pedro became the fifth player to net in the final of both of UEFA’s major club competitions. He achieved his Champions League goal while at Barcelona – and it came against Manchester United, which obviously went down well with Chelsea fans. In his four years at the Bridge he has popped up with his fair share of crucial – and spectacular – strikes and he’ll be hoping to add a few more in the coming season to help add to a trophy collection which is the envy of most.
Before Fabregas, the World Cup-winning midfielder laid out the Arsenal-Barcelona-Chelsea career path. The bulk of his career silverware came at Highbury, though, as he struggled in his season at the Nou Camp and initially at Stamford Bridge. However, his partnership with Frank Lampard in the 2002/03 season was a big part of our qualification for the Champions League and no one else on this list could boast a luxuriant ponytail quite like his!
With his preference for striking the ball with the outside of his boot, Quaresma certainly stood out from the crowd – which is more than can be said for his season at Barca and brief loan spell with Chelsea, when he failed to make a telling contribution.
Believe it or not, the defensive midfielder has a Champions League winners’ medal to his name from his time at Chelsea, as an unnamed substitute in the final alongside the likes of Ross Turnbull and Daniel Sturridge. A serious knee injury the following season was a huge setback for a player we signed from Barcelona after just one La Liga appearance and he is now a key member of the Southampton midfield.
The Dutchman featured for Barcelona in the first Champions League tie between the clubs, and a year later he had signed for the Blues. Having netted on his debut against Newcastle, the left-winger struggled to show the sort of form that had so impressed viewers of Euro 2000. He did end that first campaign with an FA Cup runners-up medal, though, and began his second season with renewed vigour, scoring a peach of a goal against Manchester United.