Sergio Busquets is an indispensable piece in the schemes of Luis Enrique and Vicente del Bosque, who couldn’t imagine their teams without the balance and poise he brings from his position in midfield. Many talk about the trident, formed of Neymar, Leo Messi and Luis Suarez, but when the play is analysed, Busquets is always one of the top performers. The former cantera player has played 1626 minutes of 2010 available, 20 of 22 games. Moreover, he’s always started, for Barcelona and Spain. Only Ivan Rakitic beats him in one statistic, the number of games played – 21 – though he hasn’t started them all.
Key for Spain
In terms of minutes, only Luis Suarez is ahead of Busquets. The Uruguayan, however, hasn’t had any commitments with his international team. The Badia-born midfielder, on the other hand, has been vital for Spain as they qualified for Euro 2016 first in the group, ahead of Slovakia. Busquets has started the last four Spain games and not missed a minute, apart from the game agianst Macedonia, which was a dead rubber. Despite playing so much it hasn’t impacted on his form.
And for Barcelona…
Busquets started, like each year, a little off the pace, but with the season continuing he’s found the right physical level to play at his best. Coinciding with Lionel Messi’s injury, he took a step forward. Like Neymar and Luis Suarez, he has stepped up his game. Those two are scorign the goals, but a big difference has been Busquets’ growth.
Barcelona are grateful Busquets has found his best form in a difficult moment for the club, with Messi’s prolonged absence. The club are doing well now, virtually qualified for the next round of the Champions League already, and more comfortable in La Liga in the weeks following their defeat by Sevilla.
The team has improved proportionally to Busquets’ own improvement. He is giving exhibition on how to recover the ball and create the play. Just watch the last few games of Barcelona to see the improvement the team have taken, recovering last season’s stability. They have not conceded in the last three games.
Busquets has been key as Barcelona return to dominating their rivals, recovering the ball quickly and attacking with speed. Busquets has recovered 96 balls, in the 16 games he has played with Barcelona – an average of six per game. A key stat when you consider the elevated percentage of Barcelona’s possession.
The importance of Busquets has been seen by Luis Enrique trying to rest him at the end of games that are already won. He wants to keep him fresh for the key clashes. The huge number of injuries Barcelona have suffered has impeded this, though. Del Bosque and the schedule have not helped either, and Lucho will be praying he arrives safely at the Santiago Bernabeu on November 21.