Where are Pep Guardiola's iconic 2010-11 Barcelona team now?

Sergio Busquets is the last legend of Pep Guardiola’s iconic Barcelona team set to depart… but where are they all now? A former wonderkid now plays in Thailand, David Villa works behind the scenes in India and Andres Iniesta is still playing at 39!

  • Sergio Busquets is calling time on his 15 years spent playing at the Camp Nou
  • He is one of only a handful of his iconic former team-mates still playing the game
  • Messi pays tribute on Instagram to long-time ex-team-mate Sergio Busquets 

It is no understatement to call Sergio Busquet’s summer exit from Barcelona the end of an era. 

The Spanish midfielder and Blaugrana captain has spent 15 years at the Camp Nou, and his move away from Catalonia marks the final exodus of the stars who featured in Pep Guardiola’s reputation-defining third season in charge of the storied club. 

The 2010-11 campaign not only saw Barcelona secure their second Champions League title under the Catalan manager, but built upon their domestic success in the previous season by winning LaLiga. 

The side that beat Manchester United in their home European final at Wembley was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as ‘the best team I ever faced’. Over a decade later, and as if to further enshrine its mystique, Guardiola has yet to win another Champions League title, despite leading Bayern Munich and Manchester City to untold domestic glory. 

But as Busquets prepares for a guard of honour at the Camp Nou, Mail Sport investigates where the other members of Guardiola’s squad are now, 12 years on from that glorious season.  

Sergio Busquets (right) is set to leave the Camp Nou after 15 years spent playing for Barcelona

The midfielder is the final member of Pep Guardiola’s Champions League-winning 2011 side to leave the Catalan club

The now-Manchester City manager has not yet followed up the European success of that night at Wembley with either City or previous club Bayen Munich

Victor Valdes

Valdes became one of the best goalkeepers in the world during his 12-year tenure at Barcelona, where he won 20 trophies before his departure in 2014. But his move to Manchester United was far less successful. 

Unwilling to play understudy to his compatriot David De Gea, Valdes is said to have fallen out with then-manager Louis van Gaal when he refused to play in a reserve side. Valdes later saw out spells at Standard Liege and Middlesbrough before his retirement in 2018. 

Since, Valdes has seen out a number of lacklustre coaching spells as he seeks to forge a managerial career. He briefly coached Barcelona’s under-19 team and the city’s third-division side UA Horta, and was later floated as a goalkeeping coach, but chose not to return to the Camp Nou in a managerial capacity. 

Victor Valdes was unable to replicate his success in Catalonia with his move to Man United

Dani Alves 

The most decorated player in history with 43 senior titles, Alves sandwiched his two stints at Barcelona with seasons spent at Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paolo. After leaving the Camp Nou in 2022, the defender signed for Mexican outfit UNAM. 

But the club terminated his contract in January after Alves was remanded in custody in Barcelona following allegations of sexual assault committed in December 2022.

Alves had his request for bail rejected a second time on May 9 due to the ‘high risk’ that the Brazilian player might leave the country, and he remains in Brians 2 prison in Barcelona. 

Gerard Pique 

The grandson of former club vice-president Amador Bernabeu has Barcelona running through his veins, starting for his boyhood club in 2008 after a brief sojourn at Manchester United. 

The 36-year-old would continue to feature as a regular starter for the next 13 years, before his retirement in November 2022. 

Pique later shared he had intended to retire ahead of this season, but stayed on until the World Cup due to an injury crisis in defence. He now focuses on his increasingly successful Kings League seven-a-side league – who hosted their March ‘Final Four’ event at the Camp Nou – as he seeks to expand the competition beyond Spain. 

(Bottom to top) Gerard Pique, Dani Alves and Carles Puyol saw unlimited success at Barca

The 36-year-old retired earlier this season, whilst being coached by his former team-mate Xavi

Carles Puyol

Almost all Puyol ever knew was Barcelona: he joined La Masia in 1995 and left the Camp Nou 19 years later. Under his belt was a wildly successful captaincy that spanned ten years and nearly 500 appearances in blue and garnet. 

The connection to the club ran so deep that after retirement Puyol went behind the scenes, becoming the assistant to Andoni Zubizarreta, the then-sporting director. But the appointment was brief, and Puyol stepped down after Zubizarreta’s sacking in 2015. 

After turning down the top sporting director job in 2019, the defender has been an unofficial ambassador for the club, but made headlines for all the wrong reasons in late 2022 after making a ‘bad joke’ on Twitter alongside national team-mate Iker Casillas that appeared to mock the LGBTQ+ community. 


The 43-year-old spent almost the entirety of his playing career at Barcelona after joining La Masia at the age of 11, but eventually left three years after Guardiola’s final season in charge when he joined Qatari side Al Sadd in 2015. 

Retiring from playing in 2019, Xavi stayed on to manage the club for two more years before responding to the siren song of Barcelona. 

The club legend became its first team manager in 2021, and this year Xavi is set to win his first LaLiga title at the helm of the Blaugrana. Next on the agenda? Convincing his former team-mate Messi to return.  

Xavi is poised to win his first LaLiga title at the helm of Barcelona at the end of this season

Xavi has been outspoken about his desire to coach his friend and ex-team-mate Lionel Messi

David Villa

The scorer of the third goal in Barca’s Champions League final, the Spaniard had just two years left in Catalonia before leaving to spend a season at Atletico Madrid in 2013. His time at the Camp Nou was largely cut short by the lengthy recovery time the player had to endure after breaking his leg ahead of the 2011-12 campaign. 

In 2014, Villa was the first player signed to newly-created MLS side New York City, where he played until joining Vissel Kobe for a reunion with team-mate Andres Iniesta in 2018. 

After retiring in 2020, Villa has reinvented himself as a sporting executive, investing in soon-to-be-launched USL side Queensboro FC and acquiring CF Benidorm under his DV7 Group. 

The group owns a string of international football academies as well as operating as a player agency, and Villa is also head of Global Football Operations at Indian Super League side Odisha FC. 

Andres Iniesta

One of the greatest midfielders to ever lace up a pair of boots, the World Cup winner looked set to be the definition of a one-club man – after joining La Masia in 2001 and rising through the ranks to don the captain’s armband and make a barely-believable 674 appearances for the side – until an unexpected move presented itself. 

In what should have been the twilight of his career, Iniesta moved to Japan with a new lease of life to play for Vissel Kobe, and the decorated player has continued to show off commanding performances, even as he reached his 39th birthday this year.

As his time in the J1 League comes to an end this year, Iniesta is set to play his last match in a Vissel shirt against his former club when Barcelona travel to Japan for a post-season friendly in early June. 

Andres Iniesta is the captain of Vissel Kobe but at the end of the season, the 39-year-old will look for a starting spot elsewhere

Iniesta was later joined in Japan by his Barcelona team-mate David Villa (pictured in 2020)


Only two months ago, Bojan announced his retirement from playing at the club closest to his heart: Barcelona. 

The La Masia product wore the team’s colours for 12 years in total, first pulling the storied jersey on at the age of nine. Promotion to the first team came in 2007, when Bojan was 17, but finding himself increasingly overlooked in favour of Pedro and David Villa, the player made the move to Roma at the end of the 2010-11 campaign. 

Bojan later returned to Barca for a single season in 2012 before being quickly loaned to Ajax. In 2014, he plumped for a move away from the Camp Nou, and joined Stoke. Before retiring at the relatively-youthful age of 32, the player joined his former team-mate Iniesta at Vissel Kobe.  


The Venezuelan-born winger was 16 when he was scouted by Barcelona playing for CD Tenerife’s youth side. 

Jeffren spent a year playing for Guardiola in Barcelona B before joining the promoted manager in 2009. But the following year, Jeffren had fallen out of favour, and the player plumped for a move to Sporting Lisbon at the end of the season. 

Since leaving LaLiga side Valladolid in 2015, Jeffren has circled the globe featuring in increasingly far-flung leagues. Over the last eight years, the player has started in Switzerland, Cyprus, Croatia, and the United Arab Emirates, and is now turning out for Lamphun Warriors FC, a Thai League 2 side he joined in 2021. 

Jose Manuel Pinto

Valdes’ No 2, Pinto was played a key role in the dressing room at the Camp Nou during his well-decorated tenure at Barcelona. He retired at the club after six years, in 2014, and chose to seek a new life after from football for his next chapter. 

Long interested in music, Pinto had founded a music label in 2000, producing under the name Wahin, but his career stepped up after retirement. 

The musician and sound engineer – who has a masters degree in Music Production – won a Latin Grammy in collaboration with flamenco artist Nina Pastori, and has contributed songs to the soundtracks of Hollywood films including Fast and Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious. Pinto also has a fitness company – P13 FIT – which produces zumba-like training regimes. 

Under the name ‘Wahin’, Jose Manuel Pinto (left) has won a Latin Grammy as a producer

Javier Mascherano

The Liverpool centre-back joined the Blaugrana ahead of that season, and stayed for eight years before being lured away to Chinese side Hebei China Fortune, where he spent a year before moving back to his native Argentina. 

Following a season at Estudiantes, where he was coached by former team-mate Gabriel Milito, Mascherano moved into coaching, and currently manages the under-20 Argentina national side. 

Javier Mascherano is now part of the youth set-up for the Argentinian national team

Seydou Keita

An unsung hero in the side, the Mali international was a vital piece of the puzzle from his very first season at the club, which saw Barcelona win the treble under new manager Guardiola. 

At the age of 32, however, Keita found a way out of his contract two years early to make a lucrative move into the Chinese Super League, joining Dalian Aerbin on a rumoured £12.1m-a-year deal. 

By 2014, Keita was back in LaLiga featuring for Valencia for the latter-half of the 2013-14 campaign. After a season-and-a-half at Roma, Keita played his final season in Saudi Arabia at El Jaish. 


The La Masia graduate was at the beginning of what would become a storied career, having grabbed headlines the previous season for becoming the first player to score in every club competition in a single season, and his 27th-minute goal in the Champions League final sparked Barcelona’s eventual victory. 

Within two years of moving to Chelsea in 2015, Pedro won the Premier League with the west London side, where he stayed until 2020. 

The Spaniard played fast and loose with local rivalries in joining Lazio from Roma in 2021, and he continues to play in the capital to this day under former Blues boss Maurizio Sarri.  

Pedro, Messi, and David Villa (right to left) scored at Wembley in the Champions League final

The 35-year-old Spaniard has continued to see success at Chelsea, Roma, and Lazio 

Gabriel Milito 

This season marked Milito’s last at the Camp Nou, as he called time on a star-crossed four years in Catalonia. Two of those years saw Milito recovering from particularly nasty anterior cruciate ligament damage, with the defender only making 76 appearances during his time at the club. 

After retiring in 2012, Milito started managing in his home country of Argentina. The former centre-back coached the Estudiantes reserves, Independiente, O’Higgins, and the senior Estudiantes side before taking over at Argentinos Juniors in 2021. 

Milito hit the headlines in June 2022 after trying to punch his opposite number in the dugout during his team’s 2-1 victory against Central Cordoba, a move which saw him taken to the local police station after the final whistle. 


The Brazilian was football’s most decorated player after trophy-ladened stints at Ajax, Inter Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain before he was overtaken by his team-mate Alves in 2017. A year after achieving Champions League glory, the defender made the move to PSG, where he wound down his playing career in 2015. 

Since then, Maxwell has played a crucial role behind the scenes for the Parisian giants as their assistant sporting director, and was no doubt instrumental in helping bring his former team-mate Lionel Messi to the Parc des Princes. 

Shortly after Chelsea’s 2022 sale to Todd Boehly’s Clearlake Capital, Maxwell’s name made the short-list to take over from Marina Granovskaia, but after a spell holding the reins himself, Boehly appointed Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley instead.

 Eric Abidal 

The Lyon left-back, who had played a vital role in securing the team’s three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, forced a move to Barcelona in 2009 but his role in the club’s 2010-2011 was stymied by the March diagnosis of a tumour growing on the defender’s liver. 

He underwent surgery shortly after, and his recovery saw him play the full 90 minutes of the Champions League final, granted the captain’s armback by Puyol in a token of the heroic achievement. 

His health issues continued, however, and he underwent a liver transplant in 2012 – later mired in controversy after former Barca president Sandro Rossell was briefly investigated when it was alleged he had illegally purchased the organ for his player. Abidal would only play a handful of matches before his 2013 exit. 

Abidal became the club’s sporting director for two years between 2018 and 2020, during which time he is alleged to have had an affair with Barcelona Feminin player Kheira Hamraoui, later uncovered by investigators looking into the mysterious attack suffered by Hamraoui in 2021. 

Eric Abidal (centre right) was the first to lift the trophy at Wembley after recovering from illness to play the full 90 minutes in the final

The Frenchman later served as sporting director at the club between 2018 and 2020

Ibrahim Afellay

2007’s Johan Cryff Trophy honoree joined the club halfway through the season and made his debut in January 2011. After a star turn in the away leg in Barcelona’s semi-final against Real Madrid however, his form faltered and injury kept him out for much of the following season. 

After two shaky loan spells, Afellay took the improbably well-trodden path and moved to Stoke, where he played for four years before ending his career at his boyhood club PSV in 2020. 

Since his retirement, Afellay has taken up a number of punditry gigs in his native Holland. In September 2021, his Oranje team-mate Ryan Babel mocked the career change in a diss track, with former Liverpool player rapping: ‘Bro, I don’t know you from Barca, maybe more from PSV. Oh, now you’re an analyst? Hmm, so so.

‘Heard in the corridors you’re broke, bro. You call things and don’t think about them anymore bro code. But I understand if your career comes to a dead end.’

Afellay said at the time that he was ‘honestly surprised’ to have been targeted by the player, who he had only known through international duty.  


Brought in that season, the Brazilian spent most of the season playing understudy to Eric Abidal, and was only able to step up when the Frenchman was forced onto the sidelines due to illness. 

His second season at the club was similarly light on playing time, and only from the 2012-13 season onwards did he establish his footing at the Camp Nou. 

Adriano spent the next four years at the club before leaving for Turkish Super Lig club Besiktas in 2016. Stints at Brazilian outfit Athletico Paranaense and Belgian side Eupen followed before the defender called time on his playing career in September 2021 after leaving the club as a free agent. 

Lionel Messi

Few need reminding of the latest exploits of one of the greatest players to don the Blaugrana. After his tearful exit from the Camp Nou in 2021, the World Cup winner has been plying his trade in the French capital after a largely-unsuccessful move to Paris Saint-Germain. 

Most recently frozen out of training after an unapproved trip to Saudi Arabia to fulfil his ambassadorial duties, there’s very little chance that the No 10’s contract will be extended. 

An eye-poppingly lucrative spell in the Saudi Pro League beckons. But could Messi fulfil the wildest dreams of both fans and the club’s hierarchy alike and give the green light to a miracle move back to Catalonia? 

That fairytale ending feels further and further away – in part due to the club’s dire financial straits – but Barcelona would likely move mountains to secure the services of their diminutive superstar. 

Lionel Messi’s career is synonymous with successes at Barca, with fans hopeful he will return

The player’s contract at Paris Saint-Germain is set to expire with neither party keen to extend

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