Busquets is about to retire. The midfielder that changed the position disappears. We will not have the chance to keep admiring a player more respected by the inner circle of football than fans.
“Busquets confused global football, he made us forget that number ten was responsible for a team playing well before. There’s only one Busquets”, “Busquets does everything well”, “if I could sign a player from Barcelona it would be Busquets” or “if I was a player I would like to resemble Busquets”. The best thing that can be said about a footballer is that big words like those, coming from legends like Juan Román Riquelme, Diego Pablo “Cholo” Simeone, Ferguson or Vicente del Bosque, are referred to him.
His farewell means that from now on, Guardiola’s Barça only remains in our minds. His departure is the closest thing to leaving your parents’ house: for years on, you know it will eventually happen, but you are never fully ready for the time to come. Busquets was the final link to our childhoods, he brought back the feeling of happiness that only football gave us when we were young.
Busquets, the unnoticed director:
This comparison has been made plenty of times and I will not stand out for being original, but if a football team was a philharmonic, the skillful wingers would be the soloists who play on their own to prove their technical ability and stand out. In that moment, Busquets would be the director who tuned every instrument and gives the rest of the band an easier time to display their talent. He will remain in the back of the frame while his colleagues receive the praise and ovations.
In a rock or pop band, Busquets would be the best bass guitarist in the world, a talent that can only be fully noticed when it is not there anymore. This way of performing in the pitch earned him many critics from those who did not understand his importance to the proper functioning of the teams he played for.
I can only come up with musical parallelisms as a result of what Busquets conveyed, art that can only be enjoyed if you payed full attention to his figure in matches. He was “The raft of the Medusa” in the Louvre, never admired despite its huge importance as all eyes were on “La Gioconda” and “The Venus of Milo”. He was a ballad sang by Whitney Houston for the ones who enjoy tactical football analysis.
He was the professional footballer whose physique made people believe they could be one too and, at the same time, the one that proved the analysts that they could never understand the game well enough to fully grasp the mind of a genius like him.
Sergio Busquets revolutionized a position which, historically and still nowadays, is determined by physical superiority, proving that football is a game in which the most important aspect is to have control over time and space. I am positive that Busquets is the player with the most completed dribbles by faking out opponents in the history of the sport. And if he statistically is not, he will always be in my mind.
He is the best midfielder ever when it comes to pressing in the opponent’s side of the pitch, which created the need of pairing him up with another player who held that position in the center of the field, but a quality that he does not get enough credit for (it can clearly be seen in his recovery inside the opponent’s box that lead to Villa’s goal in the 2011 Champions League final).
It seems like that figure fades away and Barcelona will look for a similar profile, the rumors point towards Zubimendi, to fill the gap he has left. But it is important to remember the words of Johan Cruyff in a 13th of September of 2008 that will be remembered as the day of Busquets’ debut: “Technically superior to Touré and Keita. Has the positioning of a veteran. With the ball, he made easy what is difficult: start a play with one or two touches. Without the ball, another lesson: to be at the exact place to win back the ball with the least effort. And all of that while being young and inexperienced”.
Like most of the time, Cruyff happened to be right. And if time has proven that there will never be another Xavi or Iniesta, it will also prove right the people who believe there will never be another player like Sergio Busquets.
Translated by Nuño Alonso.
Main image: @FCBarcelona_es.