Quaresma, Marquez and 3 Other Players Barcelona Signed Along With Ronaldinho in 2003

Quaresma, Marquez and 3 Other Players Barcelona Signed Along With Ronaldinho in 2003

Chukwu Ikechukwu
  • Barcelona signed an icon in Ronaldinho after splashing €30million to sign the Brazilian from Paris Saint-Germain
  • The Catalans signed the Brazilian alongside five other players after finishing sixth in La Liga the previous season
  • Ricardo Quaresma and Rafael Marquez are part of the five other players signed by Barcelona in 2003

Ronaldinho is arguably one of Barcelona’s greatest signings following the exploits of the Brazilian during his years at Camp Nou.

Barcelona had splashed a massive €30million to sign a talented Ronaldinho from Paris Saint-Germain, just a year after he won the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Brazil.

Ronaldinho would go on to become the best player in the world under Frank Rijkaard, winning the Ballon d’Or in 2005 and the UEFA Champions League title.

Barcelona, Ronaldinho, Quaresma, Camp Nou, La Liga, Spain
Barcelona signed five other players including Ricardo Quaresma and Giovanni Van Bronchost along with Ronaldinho in 2003. Photo credit Football Transfer/Photos of Football
Source: Twitter

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The Catalans also signed five more players alongside the Brazilian after they had a terrible 2002/03 campaign that saw them finish sixth in the La Liga standings that season.

Ricardo Quaresma, Rafael Marquez, Rustu Recber, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Mario Abrante all joined Barcelona in the same summer as Ronaldinho, but none could attain the same heights as the Brazilian superstar.

Here, Sports Brief alongside Planet Football takes a look at the other five players signed alongside Ronaldinho and how their careers panned out.

Ricardo Quaresma

Quaresma was once thought to be a better player than Cristiano Ronaldo, and he played for Sporting Lisbon before joining Barcelona amid much fanfare.

In 2003-04, the enigmatic winger failed to live up to expectations at Camp Nou, scoring just one goal in 28 appearances across all competitions.

Following a public spat with Frank Rijkaard, he refused to play for the manager and returned to Portugal with Porto in a deal that saw Deco move in the opposite direction.

Rafael Marquez

Marquez, one of the most underappreciated players of his generation, joined Barcelona from Monaco for a bargain fee of €5 million.

The defender won 12 trophies during his seven years at the club, including four La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues.

Barcelona released Márquez on July 31, 2010. He played in 242 matches and scored 13 goals during his time with the club, making him the club's most-capped non-European player and the eighth-most capped foreigner, Wikipedia reports.

After Barcelona, Marquez would feature for New York Red Bulls, Leon, and Hellas Verona before finally returning to his boyhood club Atlas where he retired in 2018.

Rustu Recber

Rustu Recber was one of the stars of the Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup and the Turkish goalkeeper turned down offers from Manchester United and Arsenal before joining Barcelona on a free transfer.

Rustu was part of the Turkey national squad that reached the semi-finals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008.

Despite being regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, his inability to communicate in Spanish forced him to play second fiddle to a young Victor Valdes.

On 15 October 2003, the Turkish goalkeeper made his debut for Barcelona in the UEFA Cup first round second leg at home against Slovakia's MK Pchov, winning 8-0.

Rustu was loaned back to Fenerbahçe on August 27, 2004, after only four league games (seven overall). This was extended for another year on July 28, 2005.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst

Van Bronckhorst joined Barcelona on a loan deal from Arsenal and quickly established himself in the team, with the move becoming permanent for only €2 million in 2004.

Having previously played in midfield, he developed into a reliable left-back during his four years in Spain, forming a brilliant partnership on the flank with Ronaldinho.

The former Netherlands international went on to win two La Liga championships, two Spanish Super Cups, and the Champions League, which he famously won against Arsenal in the 2006 final.

Van Bronckhorst had a year remaining on his Barcelona contract in 2007 but returned to Feyenoord on 27 June 2007 due to a clause in his contract stipulating he could join Feyenoord on a free transfer.

Van Bronckhorst became Feyenoord manager in May 2015. He won the KNVB Cup in his first season and the club's first Eredivisie title in 18 years in 2017.

In November 2021, he returned to Rangers as manager, reaching the Europa League final and winning the Scottish Cup in his first season.

Mario Abrante

After Real Valladolid released Frank de Boer and Philippe Christanval, Barcelona signed Mario on a season-long loan.

The centre-back appeared in just one La Liga game for the Blaugrana, starting in an infamous 5-1 loss to Malaga.

As Valladolid were relegated in June he returned to the Castile and León club for two further seasons, both spent in Segunda División.

Ronaldinho awarded legend trophy

Earlier, Sports Brief reported Ronaldinho's legendary career has been recognised in fitting fashion. The Brazilian legend was honoured at Mundo Deportivo's Gran Gala, as he scooped a big award on the night.

The former Barcelona player won the 'Legend Trophy' for his achievements and was presented with the award by Barcelona president, Joan Laporta.

The Barca president and Brazilian attacker share a good relationship, as seen by some of the photos they took together on the night. Ronaldinho was Laporta's first big signing when he became the club's president.