Barcelona“I’m not much for getting nervous, but let’s see what you have prepared for me”, were the first words of Sergio Busquets’ last appearance as a Barça player after more than 15 seasons in the first team, the last as to captain At his request, the comedian Dani Martínez presented a relaxed act, with the entire board and executive of Barcelona, with relatives and colleagues and ex-colleagues, such as Gerard Piqué or Carles Puyol, while others, such as coach Vicente del Bosque, were present with video messages. The former coach of the Spanish national team congratulated him on his career and dismissed his message with a “t’estimo” in Catalan.
“At the beginning of the season, I was more or less clear about it and I finished evaluating it with my wife. Especially after the last two or three years, which had not been very good. I was a little clear about it, but then you go to train, you are with your teammates, the coach and…”, he explained, just to start, about his decision. No nerves, with everything under control, like his wonderful football. “In the end I will cry and everything”, he finished joking.
Bojan Krkic and Piqué entered the scene and took the floor. Linyola recalled that when Busquets arrived at Barça as a youth player, he played as a midfielder. “He had a lot of quality!” interrupted the captain, amused. For his part, the one from Bonanova, who retired this same year, explained that one day he filled the locker in Busquets’ dressing room with Colacao and the one from Badia responded by putting stink bombs in his car. “Busquets always took risks, but it gave me confidence to have him ahead of me on the pitch. His football was special and that explains his career and this farewell event,” Piqué added.
“As I know that you will soon be a coach, I will wait for you on the bench. You know that I will beat you, you know that I will take the ball away from you and you know that I will mark your centre-half”, joked Pep Guardiola, also via video. “I still have a few years left, but I do want to get my coach’s card. Then I’ll see if I’m useful or not,” replied Busquets. Leo Messi, also in the video, said that it was “an honor” to play together. Even Real Madrid was represented at the event, with Emilio Butragueño: “He has been a great rival. He has been key to all of Barça’s successes.” Andrés Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Luis Enrique, David Villa and Cesc Fàbregas have also sent video messages, among others.
The puzzle of relieving a unique footballer
The departure of Busquets reminds us all that we have become a little older and increases the inevitable backpack of nostalgia that we carry around a Barça that, with him commanding the orchestra from the pivot, made us immensely happy. With his departure, Barça is definitively left without a batch of players who, with Pep Guardiola on the bench, touched the sky with their fingers. Now, Xavi, one of the other advantaged pupils of Santpedor’s coach, has possibly the most difficult and decisive undertaking for his scheme: to relieve the key piece so that his gear is rolling. “It’s Barça’s beacon,” recalled Domènec Torrent in an article in ARA. The Catalan coach, who was in Guardiola’s coaching staff during his time on the Blaugrana bench, also mentioned that if Pep was Busi’s “mentor”, Xavi helped him “to land in the first team”.
A role that, precisely, Busquets was now also playing with the younger players in the dressing room. Solving his absence is the main puzzle for Xavi, who has a list of substitutes headed by Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi. Both have contracts in force with their clubs. Barça will have to scratch their pockets to relieve the best central midfielder who has worn the Blaugrana colors. Xavi wanted him to continue, but Busquets has decided to leave and it’s time to say goodbye to that generation that one day lifted Barça to Olympus. “Everything has a beginning and an end,” said a unique footballer.
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