Despite having only squeezed past PSG in the Champions League quarter-finals, Barcelona are still recognised by many football fans worldwide as the perfect team – and the Catalan giants will undoubtedly be favourites to regain European success heading into the last four of this season’s competition.
But with El Classico rivals Real Madrid lying in wait alongside German heavyweights Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, the task facing Tito Villanova’s star studied side will be far from straightforward considering the wealth of talent also possessed by their potential opponents.
Here are five players from the rest of the Champions League’s remaining teams who could possibly make the grade at the Camp Nou alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and co.
It remains to be seen whether the powers that be at Barca will take a dip into the transfer market this summer for any of the players in question, but at the very least, they will be expected to cause the four times European champions problems should they line-up against them in the next round.
The tallysmanic Pole has netted six times already for Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this season and has unquestionably been a key driver towards the German side’s success in the competition thus far.
Quick, athletic and powerful to boot, Lewandowski will be keen to add further to his superb haul in the last four and could prove a real handful for the likes of Gerard Pique who usually manages to dominate the majority of strikers he plays against.
Lewandowski’s style doesn’t make him an obvious choice in the transfer market for Barcelona, however he would be a desirable super-sub to hit tired opposition legs and finish off the Catalans intricate attacking moves.
The football world has dreamt of a side featuring Messi and Ronaldo for quite some time and it would certainly make for fantastic viewing.
It seems unlikely that either star would move to their respective El Classico rivals but Ronaldo would surely make the Barcelona starting eleven if he did make the transition one day.
Ronaldo’s performances always influence Madrid as a whole and he will have to be on his game in the semis to push Los Merengues to this year’s showpiece at Wembley Stadium.
The Portuguese star usually makes his mark in games against Barca and he would love nothing more than to deal out more punishment on the biggest club stage of all.
A key component of a now very strong German national side, Thomas Muller has been a leading light for Bayern Munich over the past few seasons and is widely regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in world football.
Usually deployed in behind two strikers or a target man, Muller possesses an abundance of pace and skill alongside his excellent passing ability and vision.
The 23 year-old can also score as demonstrated by his current five goal tally in this season’s Champions League and will surely be involved heavily in Bayern’s semi-final clash.
Should that be against Barca, Sergio Busquets will need to be on his guard and may not be able to stabilise his team in front of the back four to typical effect.
Ramos is the ultimate depiction of a footballing warhorse and one of the best defenders in the game.
His regular presence in the all-conquering Spanish national team suggests that he would go straight into the Barcelona line-up and it would not be a major surprise should the Catalans seek his signature one day to form a partnership with Gerard Pique.
Ramos’ playing position obviously indicates little attacking threat to Barcelona on the main however he is a potent danger from set-pieces and will look to thwart Messi, Iniesta and Villa at every opportunity down the other end of the field.
The French winger has become something of an enigma and his performances really can range anything from the wonderful to the woefully bad.
On his day however, Ribery can cause serious damage to even the most organised of rear-guards and it would be no surprise to witness him thrive during the business end of the campaign.
A natural touch-line hugger, Ribery would not be a great fit in the Barcelona team of today but he will definitely be marked as one to watch by Barca boss Tito Villanova in the dressing room should his side come up against the German champions.