It goes. Three decades after his anonymous arrival – no one noticed that this stylized figure, with reed legs and genius mind who discovered Guardiola just before Cruyff enthroned him – he was going to change his outlook on football. And about that position. leaves Sergio Busquetsthe midfielder who best synthesized that role in contemporary times, as if he carried the Barça style book in each of his passes.
It wasn’t fast, it never was, but his head was always traveling at supersonic speed, so he understood Barca’s philosophy better than anyone. He appeared one afternoon in September 2008 at the complex crossroads. And since then, no one moved it.
It will for own will because his mind, punished by the passage of time and the inevitable deterioration of his physique, in addition to the departure from the style that has been experienced in recent times, has made him, on occasions, feel like a stranger.
That position is orphaned, to which he, an invisible player in the populist windows of individual awards, gives a new adjective. ‘Looking for a Busquets‘ ‘Play like Busquets’ And how has this son of Carlos Busquets, the goalkeeper with no hands as defined by the French newspaper L’Equipe, played? Well with one stunning simplicity, with a sense of collective play that made him weave passes so naturally that it seemed the easiest thing in the world. Lie!
There, right there, where space is denied and the players huddle, hiding passing lanes, the neatness of ‘Busi’ stood outone of the points of the most famous triangle in the history of Barça in the center of the field along with Xavi and Iniesta.
An essential piece in world champion Spain, capable of blending in with Xabi Alonso in another role until making Vicente del Bosque declare, pressured by the media environment to get rid of him, that he would love to “reincarnate” in Busquets.
It was not necessary. ‘Busi”s football defeated those skeptics who did not see what Cruyff did see that September 2008. “This Barça looks very, very good,” Johan wrote in El Periódico de Catalunya, from the Prensa Ibérica group, just after the draw with Racing (1-1) at the Camp Nou, combined with the defeat in Soria against Numancia (1-0), which encouraged the opportunistic cry to overthrow Guardiola, a newcomer to the Camp Nou bench.
In that article, which appeared in this newspaper, Cruyff did not allow himself to be carried away by the short-sighted advantage but projected the road map of the best period of the club. Barça had not started a League game so badly (one point out of six possible, with only one goal scored and a penalty) since 1973.
But Cruyff, a visionary, gave himself up to Guardiola. “Neither inexperienced nor suicidal. Go, analyze and make decisions,” stressed the revolutionary father of Barça’s style before announcing to the world the arrival of a chosen one.
Jabac, Badia, Barbara, Lleida and ….
His name, then unknown even to the wise men of La Masia because he had arrived at the age of 16 from Jabac de Terrassa after previously passing through Badía, Barberà and Lleida, was Sergio Busquets. the same to whom Barça had rejected in a testbut the persistence of Rodri, ex-player and ex-Barcelona coach, against Quique Costas (“come, please, you have to see ‘Busi’s’ son, you must see it!'”) together with Madrid’s interest in taking him away, changed opinion about that boy who gave off an irremediable air of a street player, who revolutionized the position of defensive midfielder.
He went from the Milla, Guardiola, Xavi to him. Hence Cruyff’s amazement when he first saw him in the Mini when he discreetly spied on Pep’s Erasmus at Barça B and then, with eyes full of joy, on his first day at the Camp Nou. “Technically superior to Touré and Keita. Positionally, veteran appearance. With and without the ball.
With easy ball the difficult: output one-two touches. Without the ball, another lesson: to be in the right place to intercept and recover by running just enough. And that being young and inexperienced. The same sins as his technician “, he argued in a definition that is still valid now, 15 years later.
Adored by coaches, invisible at award galas
In such a wonderful and long journey, Busquets has left a master’s degree that will be studied in schools of coaches, the only ones who really understood it because as Cruyff would say “playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the most difficult thing there is”.
Xavi left for Qatar (2015); then Iniesta to Japan (2018) and now ‘Busi’ is on his way to Arabia (2023). The best trio of Barça midfielders is over
He is leaving now because he does not want to hurt himself, aware that Barça crushes everyone, including its legends. He is leaving the midfielder of the future, being, curiously, an old player who always fled from propaganda because there was no better advertisement than to see him play. He to one or two touches, while his brain scanned the game map as if he had a built-in GPS because the balls accomplices flowed, happy and simple of a sophisticated and creative mind.
“Busquets confused world football. Before it was the 10 who had to make you play well, now it’s the 5. But there is only one Busquets. Only one”
“The only number 5 that is a number 10 is Busquets. Busquets confused world football. Before it was 10 who had to make you play well, now it’s 5 because Busquets there is only one. One only”, declared Juan Román Riquelme, the essence of the Argentine 10, in an interview with ESPN.
“Since Busquets appeared, we began to assume that five has to have a good passwe began to say that if the teams play badly it is because they do not have a five or because they pass the ball badly,” added the former Boca Juniors and Barça player.
Xavi went to Qatar (2015), then Iniesta to Japan (2018) and now Busquets, perhaps to Arabia (2023). nothing will ever be the way it was, devoured by the time that crushes everything. But the memory of his football, clairvoyant, cunning, rascal and intelligent, will engulf everyone who comes after him. There was no other Xavi. Not even a new Iniesta will light up. Nor will there be another ‘Busi’. Don’t waste time looking for it.
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