Sergio Busquets’ promotion to the Barca first team must be one of the fastest career ascents in Barca history. In 2005, the youngster joined Barca’s Juvenil A team, and became part of Barca’s world renouned La Masia youth system. Who would have known that by 2008 the big man from Sabadell, Catalunya would be playing his first 90 minutes of football under Pep Guardiola, a man who was not only his coach at Barca B but also a firm believer in Sergio’s ability. It is clear that Busquets is valued at the Camp Nou (His buy out clause amounts to €150 million) , there’s no doubt about it. However, at times I feel as if his contribution to a game is overlooked slightly. People rant and rave about Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and don’t get me wrong, they warrant and earn their praise, but I feel that these plaers abilities to shine have been greatly enhanced through the “dirty work” that Busquets does. He adds balance to the team, dropping to defend and breaking up play before releasing the ball back to the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc and Thiago to do what they do best. Without Busquets, Barca’s creative instigators would be a lot less able.
Busquets is a gifted footballer with clear technical ability. He’s got it all, he can attack, defend, pass, dribble, break up play, everything. For me he’s the complete midfielder – box to box for a full 90 minutes without losing concentration or hunger. It doesn’t matter whether Barca are 3-0 up or 3-0 down, Busquets puts the work in and his hunger or determination has never been in question. He plays the famous pivote role in the Barca squad. The pivote sits between defence and midfield breaking up play and is usually the source of the next attacking move. Guardiola himself played the pivote role that Busquets does now and, in precentage terms, Busquets is the player that resembles his former coach the most. Growing up on the mean streets of Badia del Ballés, Busquets learned a thing or two about standing up for himself. These days however, it’s not himself that he has to stand up for, it’s his midfield comrades Xavi, Iniesta etc. If “Busi” feels that there is a threat to his little compatriots, he’s not shy to bring his own element of nastiness to the game. Not to smear his otherwise clean and fair image but lets put it this way, he doesn’t put up with any sort of intimidation of his team. This element of his game has brought him the nickname -“The Enforcer”.
Busquets simply adds steel to a Barca midfield that would otherwise be week and vulnerable to the physicality of the modern game. Aside from his 6 foot 2 inch stature, Busquets’ tackling ability is outstanding. His ability to read the game makes it easy for him to break up play, intercept a pass or make a last ditch tackle that may often spare Barca’s blushes. Sergio Busquets is an incredibly intelligent footballer with a real mind for the game. The impact Busquets has on where the pressing takes place, which has become emblematic of Guardiuola’s era, shows his value to the Barca team. It’s a progressive move – The defenders push up, Busquets moves the midfield up and so, Barca’s frontmen push high up the pitch, hounding the opposition for possession of the ball. Guardiola’s system meant that when the fullbacks attacked up the flanks, Busquets dropped back alongside Piqué and Puyol to defend against the counter. When this happens, Barca convert into a 3-4-3 formation, with Busquets acting as a centre half and the two fullbacks acting as wingers. This is Busquets. He allows others to shine while he himself, is content in the doing the unseen stuff, the tactical moves, the so called “dirty work”.
At the age of twenty four, Sergio Busquets’ success at the professional level has been nothing short of outstanding. Already, he’s won three league titles, two Copa del Reys, two Champions League medals, a World Cup medal and a European Cup medal, to name just a few. He was also included in the UEFA team of the tournament for his performances in Euro 2012. It’s not as if Busquets came along at the right moment, steeling in on these awards and victories, He’s been part of the success, part of a golden generation of gifted Spanish footballers. He’s been key in all of the triumph and domination, for both Barca and Spain. And at the fruitful age of twenty four, let’s hope he continues to grow and prosper. Sergio Busquets – “Enforcing” Barca’s success.