Sergio Busquets, to finish in style

Sergio Busquets, to finish in style

Could it be him, the real star of Spain? In the midst of an ambitious but drastically rejuvenated workforce, Busquets, winner of the 2010 World Cup and Euro-2012 with La Roja, is the only international still called up to have already lifted a trophy with Spain. At the dawn of what will possibly be his last World Cup, the emblematic 34-year-old FC Barcelona midfielder remains a fixture for Luis Enrique. The technician regularly aligns him in selection alongside one of his young club teammates Pedri and Gavi, and sometimes even with both, as against Switzerland on September 24 (2-1 defeat).

“My objective will be to convince + Busi + that he plays one more,” said the Spanish coach when the Roja list for the World Cup was announced. “If we manage to play the way we want, to be in the opponent’s camp and to keep the ball, Busquets remains number one. If we start playing long and changing our style, obviously, +Busi+ will not be the best midfielder for that. But to play the way we want to play, I don’t see a single player better than +Busi+”, he said.

“To stay so long on the front line, to chain the events, you have to be prepared. Of course you can play until a fairly advanced age, despite this very demanding and hard schedule. Everything has evolved. Physically , in dietetics … Today, careers can last much longer”, slipped the Catalan in an interview for the Spanish magazine Panenka, on November 14, not closing the door to a continuation of the international adventure. .

The Spanish “lighthouse”

This tall and frail midfielder (1.90 m for 75 kg), known for his surgical management of the Blaugrana midfield, flees the media, social networks and the scenes of individual awards. “In the galas, there is not a place for everyone on stage. Maybe the position I play makes my job less obvious to the general public. And the media is also important, but me, I didn’t want to be a guy like that”, chased the Catalan to 139 selections. As Barça emerges from a two-year crisis, with the departure of Lionel Messi from Paris SG, a debt of more than a billion euros to be mopped up and the series of scandals that have marred its prestige, Busquets has gone through this period quietly, and even extended his contract downwards this season.

In the absence of newly retired Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and other figures, Busquets is now the only “beacon” of the Spanish game, as former coach José Antonio Camacho recently called him. “+Busi+ gives me a lot of advice on the pitch. He tells me where to stand, what to do… For example, I know that I have to improve in decision-making, and +Busi+ helps me a lot in this aspect- there”, appreciated the young Nico Williams (19) in an interview with AFP on Monday.

“I try to distribute advice. I did it during the Euro (in 2021, editor’s note), we had not started in the best way, then I tried to bring my stone to the building: explaining situations, reassuring teammates, etc.”, detailed Busquets in Panenka, last week. With the eternal calm that characterizes his playing, “Busi” is slowly preparing to pass the baton to his young successors. But before that, he still has one last challenge: to hang a second star on the Spanish tunic.

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