Sergio Busquets (Sabadell, 32 years old) never liked running backwards, neither on the street nor on the field, but because of his origins he has always been face to face, a neighborhood player and person without folds, a starter with the different coaches and coaches he has had in his career with Barcelona, a figure in last Sunday’s game in Anoeta (1-6) and called up by Luis Enrique for the games against Greece, Georgia and Kosovo.
There is no employee of the Barça Sports City who does not know the Busquets code. “When he says yes it is yes and when it is no it is no”, they agree in the locker room. “He never runs away from his commitment as a member of the captains team and, knowing that there is a queue to count the victories, he offers to explain the defeats,” they continue; “And also to put firm on some wayward or unsupportive.” Busquets earned the respect of the Camp Nou people.
He is not only concerned about the behavior of the squad when they discuss matters such as the negotiation of salaries, a management that caused many tensions, but he is also interested in questions related to the Barça game. Araujo recalls that Busquets waited for a training session to finish to explain to him in an aside how to improve the ball’s output to win over Koeman. De Jong also affirmed: “The one who has helped me the most is Busquets”.
Busi lives for football and takes care of himself to be a team player par excellence and not a soloist, oblivious to the media noise, little requested for interviews and sponsorships, ignored in the galas that reward the best individuals, at odds with publicity. “There are those who say they have no pull and I think they are not interested in promoting themselves,” underlines one of his friends, also protected in anonymity. “He doesn’t want to be talked about for him; that’s how Sergio is ”.
He aspires to be an anonymous citizen, or who lives with discretion, married and with two children, and who moves away from risky businesses, a supporter of tranquility and security, “with nothing relevant to tell for journalistic morbid”, they insist Those who know Busquets, very comfortable in Barcelona since he renewed his contract in 2018 until 2023 after the Barça club rejected an offer of 125 million from Paris Saint Germain.
Busquets refers to the field, explains himself with the ball, reason enough to understand his competitiveness and dedication in defending the position, right now as indisputable as his teammates Xavi and Iniesta were in their day, the trio of midfielders with him that Barcelona achieved glory in the Champions League. There is no one who moves his chair, not even Pjanic, after the passage of weight players such as Mascherano, Yaya Touré and even Arthur.
At the age of 32, no one interprets the game better from the mid-center alley, the benchmark position in the Barça style, as long as the team is together, is short, has possession of the ball and puts pressure on the rival field, as has happened lately with Barça de Koeman. He has an excellent command of the space-time relationship, jumps to pressure at the right moment, solves in a few meters and connects more and better than anyone with Messi.
It is enough to see the 0-4 that marked 10 against Real, when Busquets assisted Messi. Against Real he recovered the leather six times and his percentage of success in the pass was 93.34%, the usual average in LaLiga – against Elche it was 100% -. The victory assured, Koeman replaced him in the 67th minute to regulate his effort, now that he is in top form, after an always difficult start, be it coach Valverde, Luis Enrique or Koeman.
The deployment of the team from 3-5-2 has been very good for Busquets, especially since the coach has arranged for many players to gather in the center of the field due to the offensive of the flanks and the defensive withdrawal of the forwards. , especially from Griezmann. So comfortable has Busquets been that even De Jong, a midfielder with a lot of arrival and also a goal, remained as central in Anoeta.
De Jong helped throw the passing line from Ter Stegen’s area and forms the backbone of the team with Busquets in the dividing line and Messi a little further ahead. At a touch and within a radius of 10 meters, Busquets balances his team and unbalances the rival, he does not arrive late for coverage nor does he have to run from side to side, but rather gives speed to the ball and underlines the solidarity and coral character From Barcelona.
Invisible player when the team plays well, Busquets becomes the designated footballer if Barça loses. Sometimes it even seems like a hunting trophy, or the cap that should be removed to end a decline that veterans refuse to warn after games like Real’s. Not only did they run more than the youngsters but they were the best: Messi, Busquets and Alba.
That slow and out-of-form midfielder, expired and without peaks of play, repetitive in fouls and cards, became the meeting point for Barça football. Busquets was never fast and rather seems skinny, he never distinguished himself by his physique at a time when he was betting on players like Ilax Moriba. Very few have, on the other hand, their “mental strength and football intelligence”, they point out at the Camp Nou. Maturity allows him to avoid wear and tear and gives the club time to look for a substitute in advance without the need to bet on a double pivot difficult to fit in at Barça.
The stability of the team also depends on the health of Busquets. Lately the Catalans have all played together, in a tribal way, as if they had been born in the same neighborhood, so stray that nobody can turn around, forbidden to put the rear-view mirror, because the goal is in the rival goal, and right now in Cup and LaLiga. The reverse gear seems prohibited in the Barça.