From Chygrynskiy to Gudjohnsen: Barca's 8 most shocking signings of XXI century
Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail takes a closer look at some of their biggest shock signings made by the Blaugrana chiefs during the last 19 years.
Henrik Larsson - free transfer
"In the summer of 2004 Barcelona swooped for 32-year-old Swede Larsson. He had broken goals records galore at Celtic Park and was never as prolific at Barcelona but his intelligence made his free-transfer acquisition one of Barca's best ever.
"He missed much of his first season through injury but helped them beat Arsenal in Paris to win the Champions League in his second campaign. He left for more minutes saying 'This team is just too good' but he is still held up as the gold standard for when the club want to make a clever move in the market for an ageing but still a top-class player."
Edgar Davids - £1.3m from Juventus
"Davids was signed in the January of 2004, aged 30. Most players need a period of adaptation but the man nicknamed the 'Pitbull' was up and running in his first game. Barcelona were languishing in seventh when he signed but they lost just twice in their final 18 games and ended up just missing out on the title.
"Had he arrived a few weeks earlier most believe they would have won the league. He checked out at the end of the season to continue his journey to Barnet via Inter, Spurs, Ajax and Palace."
Paulinho - £35.3m from Guangzhou Evergrande
"Paulinho was playing in China when he got the call from Barcelona. Fans were at first incredulous at the suggestion they might sign a player who slinked away from Spurs to earn big money in the Far East.
"The price tag also jarred but the 29-year-old proved to be ultra-professional off the pitch and hugely effective on it. Adding to the peculiarity of the transfer he went back to where he came from a year later."
Jeremy Mathieu - £17.7m from Valencia
"Fans wondered quite why Mathieu had been signed. Again eyebrows were raised over the price and the Frenchman's penchant for a cigarette on his day off.
"He was a useful reserve and scored against Real Madrid at the Nou Camp in 2015 but one of Barcelona's coaching staff told Catalan press after one of the various tactical lapses: 'It appeared he'd gone off for a smoke during the team-talk and not heard his instructions.'"
Dmytro Chygrynskiy - £22m from Shakhtar Donetsk
"Pep Guardiola requested the signing of Ukranian centre-back Chygrynskiy in 2009. The £22m was at the time a huge investment for a defender and it did not go well.
"As revealed in the film about Guardiola's time at Barcelona, Take the Ball, Pass the Ball, Chygrynskiy had trouble following Guardiola's instructions. He started one game against Osasuna with strict instructions to pass to Xavi who was going to target a zone of the pitch Guardiola had seen during his pre-match preparations that Osasuna did not defend well.
"The big Ukranian chose instead to ping long diagonal passes to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and was hooked at half-time and barely seen again."
Jose Manuel Pinto - £500,000 from Celta Vigo (after short loan spell)
"Pinto was 32 when Barcelona signed him in 2008 and he became an invaluable part of the squad. He never came close to emerging from Victor Valdes' shadow but he played a big part in two Spanish Cups and was one of Lionel Messi's best pals at the club."
Eidur Gudjohnsen - £10.6m from Chelsea
"Gudjohnsen joined Barcelona in 2006 replacing Larsson. It wasn't quite as surprising as some of these other signings but for it still seemed an odd choice.
"Gudjohnsen more than repaid his transfer fee, performing well in midfield and attack despite doubts from fans that he was too slow for Barca's slick football."
Alex Song - £15m from Arsenal
"Another in the long line of players Barcelona have signed from Arsenal, Aex Song arrived in 2012. Any player brought in to compete with Sergio Busquets is on a hiding to nothing and the claims that Song might be able to play elsewhere proved unfounded."