Busquets is now the third most appearances Barca player

Busquets is now the third most appearances Barca player

Busquets is now the third most appearances Barca player
Footballer Sergio Busquets

Busquets has not looked back since Pep Guardiola moved him to the first squad in 2008, and he remains an important player for both club and nation to this day.

Sergio Busquets made his FC Barcelona debut in a 1-1 tie with Real Racing Club de Santander in September 2008, and few could have predicted how crucial he would become so fast. Pep Guardiola, Barça’s new manager at the time, promoted him from the reserves and placed him in the center of midfield, where he has remained to this day.

Busquets remains an important player for Barcelona under his new coach and former teammate Xavi Hernández, as seen by the midfielder reaching a crucial milestone on Thursday night. By making his LaLiga Santander debut against Real Sociedad, Busquets surpassed Andrés Iniesta to become the FC Barcelona player with the third most appearances in club history – 675 and counting.

Only Xavi, with 767, and Lionel Messi, with 778, have played more times for the club, numbers that illustrate Busquets’ legacy during more than a decade at the Camp Nou.

His trophy cabinet attests to this, with eight LaLiga Santander crowns and three Champions League trophies among other medals and honors, including the World Cup with Spain in 2010.

Despite his many accomplishments, Busquets is not a player or person who seeks attention, and he is frequently at his best when he goes undetected, quietly pulling the strings for Barça’s midfield from the pivot position.

Although some questioned if he was in decline, Xavi’s arrival and revival of FC Barcelona’s traditional game has given Busquets, in particular, a second wind at the age of 33.

Guardiola’s decision to rely on the unknown 20-year-old in 2008 was a risk, but it swiftly paid off as FC Barcelona cruised to a spectacular treble. The victory over Manchester United in the Champions League final in Rome in 2009 allowed Busquets to follow in the footsteps of his father Carles, the former Barcelona goalkeeper who won the title in 1992, although as a substitute.

“He always plays with others in mind,” Guardiola said. “He reads communications quickly, recognizes what the team needs and quietly adjusts to it, detects difficulties, and delivers answers.” He experiments with simplicity and clarity.”

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, like many others who witnessed Busquets’ initial season with Barça, was keen to recruit him into the national squad and then reproduce the Catalan club’s midfield trio at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when Spain won the title for the first time.

“You don’t see Busquets when you watch the game,” Del Bosque stated. “When you look at Busquets, you see the entire game.”

Current Spain coach Luis Enrique is also a fan of Busquets, who has made 133 appearances for his nation, tying him with Xavi and trailing only Sergio Ramos (181) and Iker Casillas (181). (167).

Although he played as a striker as a kid before joining FC Barcelona, Busquets’ professional career has been spent in defensive midfield, and he has only scored 17 goals in the last 14 years.

He isn’t exceptionally speedy or powerful, but his game-reading and football IQ are remarkable.

A pillar of Barça’s positional play, always in the right place at the right time, what makes Busquets so excellent is also what may prevent him from receiving the same accolades as some of his former teammates.

However, those in charge of the club, from Guardiola to Xavi, thru Luis Enrique, understand how important he is, as seen by his passing Iniesta and moving into the top three appearance makers in FC Barcelona history.

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