BarcelonaSergio Busquets Burgos (Badia del Vallès, July 16, 1988) will leave Barça this June 30. He has communicated this to his coach, Xavi Hernández, and the president of the Barcelona club, Joan Laporta, in the last few hours. The Catalan midfielder has decided that he will not extend his commitment beyond this month of June, despite having a formal proposal to renew at the bottom for one more exercise with the colors he has defended since 2008, when he made his debut in the first team with Pep Guardiola. Aware of the institution’s difficult economic situation, Busquets accepted the offer without any room for further negotiations, but, in the end, he preferred to put an end to his long period at the Camp Nou in order to embark on a new adventure. Al-Nassr, the team where Cristiano Ronaldo has been playing for a few months, want him; Al-Hilal, a team that also wants to recruit Leo Messi, and Inter de Miami.
Despite being about to turn 35 and to end his contract with Barça, Busquets was a vital piece for Xavi, with whom he has shared great successes on the pitch and also a very deep friendship. In fact, if the captain’s decision has been extended until now, it is in large part due to the insistence of the Egaren coach, who, faced with the financial difficulty of finding a replacement for him – Martín Zubimendi, from Real Sociedad, fits him, but worth 60 million euros -, he asked for a one-year extension. In the end, however, Busi has executed the idea with which he started this season, which was none other than to fulfill the contract and take a step aside to live other experiences. The nuance is in the destiny he will take from the month of July, because if he initially planned to go to Inter Miami, now everything points to him playing in Saudi Arabia, which is making a very big investment ambitious to whitewash its regime of dubious democratic roots with sport.
Busquets’ departure completes, now yes, a change of era that has been taking place in recent years. Seven months after the surprising professional retirement of Gerard Piqué, another of the illustrious members of the best Barça in history (2008-2012), the photo of Zenit associated with the 2011 Champions League, won by 3-1 in Manchester United, goes 100% in black and white with the departure of the Valaisan, transgenerational anchor of the Blaugrana midfield for five years. Apart from this great success, Busquets adds 2 more European Cups (2009 and 2015), 3 European Super Cups, 3 Club World Cups, 8 Leagues, 7 Copa del Rey and 7 Super Cups of Spain with the club of all his life With the Spanish national team, he won the World Cup in South Africa (2010) and the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine (2012).
More recognized by the people of football and the coaches he has had than by the general public, his talent has never earned him any great individual distinction. And with a very discreet profile – he opened accounts on social networks very recently – he has preferred to be a leader behind the scenes rather than a captain who wants to be the center of attention. In this he has always wanted to follow in the footsteps of Carles Puyol, from whom he inherited number 5 in 2014. His voice has always been heard more in defeats than in victories. In this sense, he did not negotiate to show his face after the harsh European defeats in Rome, Liverpool and Lisbon, an exponential summary of the most bitter part of his career at Barça. Despite the emotional impact of so many continental slaps in a row, he always tried to find footballing arguments to counter them.
A ‘sacred cow’ without relief
With the departure of Busquets, the last representative of the famous midfield that formed with Andrés Iniesta and Xavi, two other fruits of a Masia that has not produced similar talents since then, falls from the Barça line-up. In the case of the Badia del Vallès pivot, the lack of a house relief has been unfortunate. Oriol Romeu, Sergi Samper, Oriol Busquets, Sergi Roberto or Nico González have been postulated these years to collect the testimony of a position that defines the Blaugrana style of play, but none of them have found regularity there. Neither have the signings from outside reduced the importance of the 5 on the pitch. Last of all, Frenkie de Jong, paid in gold in 2019, has not disputed the captain’s rule, the only sacred cow -together with Messi- who leaves the club without having lost the label of undisputed starter. Without his extension on the field, Xavi will need a specific footballer to act at the base of the medulla. He would like to sign Zubimendi, but assumes he will have to explore more modest alternatives such as Guido Rodríguez (Betis) or Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina).
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