Barcelona and the search for the successor to the legendary Henrik Larsson

Barcelona's Henrik Larsson celebrates scoring the third goal (Photo by Adam Davy - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)
Barcelona's Henrik Larsson celebrates scoring the third goal (Photo by Adam Davy - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images) /

Barcelona are looking for the player who can give the side an edge

Barcelona are among the best clubs in Europe, and there are few doors that remain unopened to the club after so many years at the top. But that unknown game-changer is a player that has been missing from the Barça squad since the departure of club legend Henrik Larsson.

The Swedish centre-forward left Celtic after 7 years with the club, at the age of 33. Larsson had scored 242 goals in 313 appearances for the Scottish club, but his career at the top was said to be done and dusted with his acceptance of a second-string role under Frank Rijkaard.

But Larsson proved his critics wrong. In two seasons at Barcelona, he gave the modern definiton of ‘supersub’, a tag famously attributed to Javier Hernández during his stint at Manchester United. The Swede scored when the team needed goals, after coming off the bench.

He scored 19 goals in 59 appearances for the club. But he made less than 30 starts during his time at the Camp Nou. But Larsson really became a club legend after coming on as a substitute for Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final against Arsenal.

More from Everything Barca

Barça were trailing 1-0, with Sol Campbell having scored the opener for Arsenal with a header. The side could not make use of the fact that the Gunners had one man less. But Henrik Larsson changed it all, and etched his name into the history books.

In the 76th minute, the veteran marksman flicked on a pass from Andrés Iniesta brilliantly to put Samuel Eto’o through on goal. The Cameroon international did not disappoint, and provided a clinical finish. But Larsson was not done yet.

Just a few minutes later, he worked his magic yet again. After receiving a heavily hit pass from fellow substitute Juliano Belletti, he controlled the ball before releasing the Brazilian right-back for a one-two with a defence-splitting ball. The force of the shot beat Manuel Almunia.

Barcelona are looking for the next Henrik Larsson. The player, who is not among the most recognised names in Europe despite having played there his entire career, but can deliver the good when needed most. In other words, Barça want to the find the next ‘unlikely hero’.

Next. Denis Suárez’s transfer to Arsenal is imminent. dark

Experienced players who are good on the ball and intelligent off it. Many players fit this profile. But the question is: who will Barça anoint as the successor to Henrik Larsson? Will it be Cristhian Stuani? Or will be Falcao or Olivier Giroud?