Sergio Busquets

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Sergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets 2018.jpg
Busquets playing for Spain in 2018
Personal information
Full name Sergio Busquets Burgos[1]
Date of birth (1988-07-16) 16 July 1988 (age 32)[2]
Place of birth Sabadell, Spain
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Position(s) Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Barcelona
Number 5
Youth career
1995–1996 Badia
1996–1999 Barberà Andalucía
1999–2003 Lleida
2003–2005 Jàbac Terrassa
2005–2007 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Barcelona B 25 (2)
2008– Barcelona 415 (9)
National team
2008–2009 Spain U21 3 (1)
2009– Spain 123 (2)
2008– Catalonia 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:42, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 4 June 2021

Sergio Busquets Burgos (Catalan: [busˈkɛts],[3] Spanish: [ˈseɾxjo βusˈkets];[A] born 16 July 1988) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Barcelona and the Spain national team. He is considered to be a deep lying playmaker capable of directing the game play through short and calm passes and one of the best defensive midfielders of all time.[4][5][6][7]

A one-club man, he arrived in Barcelona's first team in July 2008, and made over 600 total appearances. He was part of their squads that won a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League in 2008–09 and 2014–15.

Busquets made his senior international debut for Spain in April 2009, and has since made over 120 appearances for the national side. He helped the country win the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 tournaments, and also featured at two other World Cups and as many European Championships.

Club career[edit]

Born in Sabadell, Barcelona, Catalonia, Busquets began playing football with local team CD Badia del Vallès,[8] followed by spells with CEF Barberà Andalucía, UE Lleida and UFB Jàbac Terrassa,[9] before joining Barcelona's youth ranks in 2005.[10] He scored seven goals in 26 games for the Juvenil A team in his second season and, two years later, Busquets was promoted to the B team under Pep Guardiola, and helped them achieve promotion to the third division.[11][12] In that same season he would make his first-team debut, coming on as a substitute in the Copa Catalunya.[13]

"Positionally, he seems like a veteran with or without the ball. With the ball he makes what is difficult look easy: he disposes of the ball with one or two touches. Without the ball, he gives us a lesson: that of being in the right place to intercept and running just to recover the ball."

Johan Cruyff, 15 September 2008[14]

Busquets played his first La Liga match on 13 September 2008, featuring 90 minutes in a 1–1 home draw to Racing de Santander.[15] During Barcelona's 2008-09 UEFA Champions League clash against Basel at St. Jakob-Park on 22 October 2008, he scored the second goal in the 15th minute in a 5–0 group stage win;[16] in early December, in another start, he scored his second with Barça in the competition, netting in the 83rd minute of a 2–3 home loss against Shakhtar Donetsk.[17]

Busquets attending a press conference for Barcelona in 2009

On 22 December 2008, Busquets signed a contract extension until 2013 with a buy-out clause of €80 million.[18][19] On 7 March 2009 he scored his first league goal, in a 2–0 home win over Athletic Bilbao.[20] On 27 May 2009, having been regularly played as he competed for the spot with internationals Seydou Keita and Yaya Touré, he also featured in Barcelona's starting eleven in the Champions League final, a 2–0 win over Manchester United in Rome; with that victory, Carles Busquets and Sergio Busquets became only the third father-and-son combo to both have won Europe's top club competition playing for the same team, joining Manuel Sanchís Martínez and Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo (won it with Real Madrid) and Cesare Maldini and Paolo Maldini (A.C. Milan).[21]

Busquets' fine form continued in the 2009–10 campaign,[22][23] with Guardiola preferring him to Touré as Barcelona's central holding midfielder. In the second leg of the Champions League semi-final 1–0 victory (and an eventual 2–3 aggregate defeat) against Inter Milan at Camp Nou on 28 April 2010, he went down to the ground after Thiago Motta had raised his arm and appeared to push Busquets directly in the face.[24] As a result of this action, the former was shown a red card and dismissed for violent conduct, whilst the latter was subsequently criticised by both Motta and the media for apparently feigning injury.[24][25][26][27]

Busquets was again ever-present in 2010–11, even playing as a centre back on occasions.[28][29] On 27 January 2011, he signed a contract extension that would keep him at the club until 2015 – the buyout clause was increased to €150 million.[30] On 8 March 2011, playing at centre back, he scored an own goal from a corner kick against Arsenal, in the season's Champions League round-of-16, levelling the score at 1–1; Barcelona eventually won the game 3–1 (and 4–3 on aggregate).[31] On 28 May, Busquets played the full match during his side's 3–1 Champions league final victory against Manchester United at the Wembley Stadium.[32]

Busquets scored a rare goal on 24 April 2012 – only his sixth official one in four years – netting from an easy tap-in after an Isaac Cuenca cross to make it 1–0 for the hosts in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals against Chelsea. Barcelona could only draw 2–2 against ten men as the English club came back from being 0–2 down; his team eventually lost 2–3 on aggregate, after already having lost 1–0 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.[33]

On 16 July 2013, the day he celebrated his 25th birthday, Busquets agreed to a new deal until 2018, with the buyout clause remaining unaltered.[34] On 1 August 2014, after the retirement of long time club captain and defender Carles Puyol and at the veteran's personal request, he was given the number 5 shirt for the upcoming campaign and was named one of the four captains for the club alongside Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi.[35]

Busquets during the 2015 UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla

Busquets started on 6 June in the 2015 Champions League final, as the team won their fifth accolade in the competition by beating Juventus 3–1 at Berlin's Olympiastadion.[36] This made Barcelona the first club in history to win the treble of domestic league, domestic cup and European Cup twice, and Dani Alves, Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Pedro, Gerard Piqué and Xavi the only players to achieve the same feat.[37]

On 3 October 2015, Busquets captained Barcelona for the first time in the absence of regular captain Iniesta and vice-captain Messi in a 1–2 away defeat to Sevilla.[38]

Busquets opened the scoring in a 3–0 win against Las Palmas on 1 October 2017, with the match being played behind closed doors at the Camp Nou due to the ongoing Catalan independence referendum.[39] Around a year later, he signed a new contract until June 2023, which increased his buyout clause from €200 million to €500 million.[40] On 24 November 2018 he played his 500th game for Barcelona away to Atlético Madrid,[41] and he made his 100th Champions League appearance on 11 December, in a 1–1 group stage home draw against Tottenham Hotspur.[42]

On 9 January 2021, Busquets made his 600th appearance for Barcelona in a 4–0 win against Granada at the Los Cármenes. Only his contemporaries Xavi, Iniesta and Messi had played more games in the history of the club.[43]

International career[edit]

Busquets playing for Spain against Italy in Euro 2012 final

On 11 October 2008, Busquets earned his first cap for Spain's under-21 in their 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification play-offs first-leg away match against Switzerland. He scored in the 17th minute of a 1–2 loss,[44] though they eventually emerged victorious 4–3 on aggregate.[45] On 28 December, he played his first game for the Catalan representative side, starting in a 2–1 win over Colombia at the Camp Nou.[46]

On 11 February 2009, Busquets was called up to the senior squad for a friendly against England.[47] He was named as a substitute for a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Turkey on 28 March 2009,[48] making his debut in the return match on 1 April, playing 16 minutes in a 2–1 win in Istanbul after replacing David Silva.[49] In the summer, he went to his first senior tournament, helping Spain come third at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.[50]

"If I were a player, I would like to be like Busquets."

Vicente del Bosque, June 2010[51]

Busquets was selected by manager Vicente del Bosque for the 2010 World Cup in the same country, assuming the holding midfielder role naturalized Brazilian Marcos Senna had previously occupied in the conquest of UEFA Euro 2008.[52] He played all of the tournament's games and minutes for the eventual world champions, save the last 30 minutes of the 0–1 group-stage loss against Switzerland in Durban.[53] He finished the tournament with the third–highest pass success rate, alongside his teammate Puyol, completing 88% of his passes.[54]

At UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, Busquets played every minute as Spain won the title, and he was named in the Team of the Tournament.[55][56] On 8 September 2014, he scored his first international goal in a 5–1 win over Macedonia during Euro 2016's qualifying phase.[57] His second came during the same tournament on 15 November, in the 3–0 defeat of Belarus in Huelva.[58]

On 16 November 2016, Busquets captained Spain for the first time in the absence of regular captain Sergio Ramos in a 2–2 draw during a friendly match against England at the Wembley Stadium.[59] He celebrated his 100th appearance for Spain on 9 October 2017, in a 1–0 away win against Israel for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.[60] Subsequently, he was named in Julen Lopetegui's squad for the finals in Russia.[61]

In May 2021, Busquets was included in Luis Enrique's 24-man squad for UEFA Euro 2020. In the absence of Ramos, he was named captain.[62] He tested positive for COVID-19 eight days before Spain's first game, causing the entire squad to withdraw from their final warm-up match against Lithuania.[63]

Style of play[edit]

"He's one of the greatest talents that has been given to Spanish football. This is a discovery. The first time I saw Busquets playing, I called a friend and said: ‘I saw a player from an extinct species’. He's a star."

César Luis Menotti, July 2011[64]

Busquets is usually deployed as either a central or defensive midfielder, although he is also capable of playing as a central defender.[65] A hard-working player, he excels at intercepting loose balls and breaking down opposition plays due to his positional sense, defensive attributes, tackling, tactical intelligence, and ability to read the game, despite his lack of pace.[14][65][66][67][68] Due to his vision, ball control, physical prowess, technical skills and accurate passing ability, he rarely relinquishes possession, and alongside both his current and former midfield teammates, such as Iniesta, Xavi and Ivan Rakitić, he has also played an important creative role in setting his team's tempo in midfield as a deep-lying playmaker through his passing game.[66][69][70][71][72]

Manager del Bosque praised Busquets, saying, "If you watch the whole game, you won't see Busquets—but watch Busquets, and you will see the whole game."[73] The latter's height also allows him to be effective in the air, and enables him to advance into more offensive positions on occasion, providing an additional attacking outlet for his team.[74] Busquets was largely accused of diving by the media on a number of occasions, due to opposition players being wrongly booked or even sent-off during the game because of his excessive play-acting and protests. However, in response to these criticisms, he unabashedly defended diving in football as intelligent play.[67][75]

Often considered to be one of the most underrated footballers in the world,[76] Busquets earned praise from his peers, with club teammate Messi saying "When there will be trouble, he [Busquets] will be there."[77]

Personal life[edit]

Busquets' father, Carles, was also a footballer. He played as a goalkeeper for Barcelona for several years during the 1990s, although almost exclusively as a backup.[78]

In 2014, Busquets started a relationship with Elena Galera. In 2016, the couple welcomed their son Enzo.[79] He sported an Arabic tattoo on his left forearm translating to "A thing for you, the life in my country", dedicated to his maternal grandfather to whom he was very close. [80]

In early June 2021, Sergio Busquets tested positive for COVID-19.[81]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Busquets executing a bicycle kick against Dynamo Kyiv, 2009
As of match played 22 May 2021
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Copa del Rey Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona B 2007–08[10] Tercera División 23 2 23 2
2008–09[82] Segunda División B 2 0 2 0
Total 25 2 25 2
Barcelona 2008–09[83] La Liga 24 1 9 0 8[a] 2 41 3
2009–10[83] 33 0 4 0 10[a] 0 5[b] 1 52 1
2010–11[83] 28 1 5 0 12[a] 0 1[c] 0 46 1
2011–12[83] 31 1 8 0 10[a] 1 3[d] 0 52 2
2012–13[83] 31 1 4 0 8[a] 0 2[c] 0 45 1
2013–14[83] 32 1 5 1 9[a] 1 2[c] 0 48 3
2014–15[83] 33 1 4 0 10[a] 0 47 1
2015–16[83] 35 0 5 0 9[a] 0 4[e] 0 53 0
2016–17[83] 33 0 5 0 8[a] 0 2[c] 0 48 0
2017–18[83] 31 1 7 0 10[a] 0 2[c] 0 50 1
2018–19[83] 35 0 6 0 12[a] 0 1[c] 0 54 0
2019–20[83] 33 2 2 0 7[a] 0 1[c] 0 43 2
2020–21[83] 36 0 6 0 6[a] 0 2[c] 0 50 0
Total 415 9 70 1 119 4 25 1 629 15
Career total 440 11 70 1 119 4 25 1 654 17
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  2. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances in Supercopa de España, two appearances and one goal in FIFA Club World Cup
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Appearance(s) in Supercopa de España
  4. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, one appearance in Supercopa de España, one appearance in FIFA Club World Cup
  5. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, one appearance in Supercopa de España, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup

International[edit]

Busquets (furthest right) lining up for Spain in 2017
As of 4 June 2021[84]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Spain 2009 10 0
2010 16 0
2011 11 0
2012 14 0
2013 12 0
2014 11 2
2015 8 0
2016 12 0
2017 8 0
2018 9 0
2019 5 0
2020 4 0
2021 3 0
Total 123 2

International goals[edit]

As of 15 November 2014 (Spain score listed first, score column indicates score after each Busquets goal)[84]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 8 September 2014 Ciutat de València, Valencia, Spain 70  Macedonia 3–1 5–1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
2 15 November 2014 Nuevo Colombino, Huelva, Spain 73  Belarus 2–0 3–0

Honours[edit]

A group of association football players, who played for FC Barcelona at the time of the photo, lifting their coach after winning their second FIFA Club World Cup.
Busquets (wearing No. 16) helps his Barcelona teammates hoist manager Pep Guardiola after they won the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup

Barcelona[2]

Xavi and Busquets with the Henri Delaunay Trophy after Spain won Euro 2012

Spain

Individual

Decorations

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In isolation, Busquets is pronounced [busˈkets].

References[edit]

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  79. ^ El hijo de Sergio Busquets se llama Enzo (The son of Sergio Busquets is called Enzo); Sport, 10 March 2016 (in Spanish)
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External link[edit]