Football

Sergio Busquets to leave Barcelona after 18 years

Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets will bid farewell to Camp Nou at the end of the 2022/23 campaign. The holding midfielder has been a vital cog for the Catalans for 18 years and will go down as one of its most faithful servants.

During his 18 years with his boyhood club, Busquets played 718 matches for Barcelona, the third most in their history. He follows Gerard Pique out of the club after the veteran defender bowed out in November 2022.

Sergio Busquets

La Masia graduate won everything there is to be won as a Barcelona player. His list of honours includes eight La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, seven Copa del Reys, and seven Spanish Super Cup triumphs. In addition, he won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championships with La Furia Roja.

Busquets calls time on a trophy-laden career

The holding midfielder was an ever-present figure for Cules since his debut in the 2008/09 campaign. From Pep Guardiola to Xavi, he enjoyed the trust of managers and made at least 40 appearances in his fifteen campaigns with the first team.

His early aspirations of playing in Camp Nou as a Barcelona player came true with impressive results. The 34-year-old  acknowledged the support he received from the Blaugrana in realizing his objectives as he admitted it was time to make the difficult choice of leaving.

“Although it has not been an easy decision, I think the time has come,” Busquets said.

“It has been an unforgettable journey,” he added. “I always dreamed of playing with this shirt and at this stadium. Reality has exceeded all my dreams.

“It has been an honour, a dream, a source of pride, and it meant everything to defend and represent this badge for so many years.

“But everything has a beginning and an end. I want to thank all the people who made this possible, from the first day to the last.”

End of an era

Barcelona enjoyed unimagined success with Busquets at the helm. While Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez enjoyed plaudits away from the pitch, their metronome continued to keep his head down and get on with the task at hand.

However, his services did not go unnoticed. Busquets’ efforts were recognized by the club and the numerous managers that managed the affairs of the dressing room.

“His importance to the team has never been in question. Indeed, the team has continued to base itself around its midfield maestro. If he has a bad day, the team has a bad day. If he has a good day, the team has a good day. His recoveries, his first-touch passes, his extraordinary ability to read the game and his long, tireless legs have made him the engine of the team for a decade and a half.

“Very few people knew about Sergio Busquets on 13 September 2008. Now they all do. Possibly the best defensive midfielder in Barça history. And some might say in the entire history of this game we love,” FC Barcelona’s website read.

Everyone with whom Busquets started has left and it is now his turn to bid farewell. He is the last standing pillar of the team that Pep Guardiola brought to prominence and he now leaves with Xavi etching his own name in Barca’s history books.


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