Sergio Busquets Burgos (Catalan: [busˈkɛts], Spanish pronunciation: [ˈserxjo βusˈkets]; born 16 July 1988) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team.
He was a relatively obscure player when he arrived in Barcelona's first team in July 2008, but eventually made a name for himself as one of the best central midfielders in a relatively short period of time, reaching the Spanish national team less than one year after making his professional club debut.
Busquets helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012 tournaments. He also represented the nation at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, earning 90 caps in total.
Born in Sabadell, Barcelona, Catalonia, Busquets began playing football with local team CD Badia del Vallès, followed by spells with CEF Barberà Andalucía, UE Lleida and UFB Jàbac Terrassa, before joining FC Barcelona's youth ranks in 2005. He scored seven goals in 26 games for the Juvenil A team in his second season and, two years later, Busquets was promoted to the B-team under Pep Guardiola, and helped him achieve promotion to the third division. In that same season he would make his first-team debut, coming on as a substitute in a Catalonia Cup match.
On 13 September 2008 Busquets played his first La Liga match, featuring 90 minutes in a 1–1 home draw against Racing de Santander. During Barcelona's UEFA Champions League match against FC Basel at St. Jakob-Park on 22 October 2008, he scored the second goal in the 15th minute in a 5–0 group stage win; in early December, in another start, he scored his second with Barça in the competition, netting in the 83rd minute of a 2–3 home loss against FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
On 22 December 2008 Busquets signed a contract extension until 2013, with a buy-out clause of €80 million. On 7 March of the following year he scored his first league goal, in a 2–0 home win over Athletic Bilbao. On 27 May, having been regularly played as he competed for the spot with internationals Seydou Keita and Yaya Touré, he also featured in Barcelona's starting eleven in the Champions League final, a 2–0 win over Manchester United; with that victory, Carles and Sergio Busquets became only the third father-and-son combo to both have won Europe's top club competition playing for the same team, joining Manuel Sanchís Martínez and Manuel Sanchís Hontiyuelo (won it with Real Madrid) and Cesare Maldini and Paolo Maldini (A.C. Milan).
Busquets' fine form continued in the 2009–10 season, with Guardiola preferring him to Touré as Barcelona's central holding midfielder, developing a fine playing relationship with Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta, which would see Barcelona go on to win La Liga for the 20th time in their history.
In the Champions League semi-final against Inter Milan at Camp Nou on 28 April 2010, he went down to the ground after Thiago Motta had raised his arm and appeared to push Busquets in the face. As a result of this action, Motta was shown a red card and dismissed for violent conduct. Busquets was subsequently criticised by Motta and the media for apparently feigning injury.
Busquets was again ever-present for Barcelona in the 2010–11 campaign, even playing as a central defender on occasion. On 27 January 2011 he signed a contract extension that would keep him at the club until 2015 – the buyout clause was increased to €150 million. On 8 March, playing at centre back, he scored an own goal from a corner kick against Arsenal, in the season's Champions League round-of-16, levelling the score at 1–1; Barcelona eventually won the game 3–1 (and 4–3 on aggregate).
On 24 April 2012, Busquets scored a rare goal – only his sixth official one in four seasons – netting from an easy tap-in after an Isaac Cuenca cross to make it 1–0 for the hosts in the season's Champions League semi-finals' second leg against Chelsea, but Barça could only draw 2–2 against ten men, losing 2–3 on aggregate.
On 16 July 2013, the day he celebrated his 25th birthday, Busquets agreed to a contract extension until 2018, with the buyout clause remaining unaltered.
On 1 August 2014, after the retirement of Carles Puyol, and at Puyol's personal request, Busquets was given the number 5 shirt for the 2014–15 La Liga season.
On 6 June 2015, Sergio Busquets started for Barça in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final, as the club won its fifth European Cup by beating Juventus at Berlin's Olympiastadion. This made Barcelona the first club in history to win the treble of domestic league, domestic cup and European Cup twice. Busquets, Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, Gerard Piqué and Dani Alves are the only players to have been a part of both treble-winning teams.
On 11 October 2008 Busquets earned his first cap for Spain's under-21, in their 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification play-offs first leg match against Switzerland: he scored in the 17th minute but the national side lost 1–2 away, eventually emerging victorious 4–3 on aggregate.
On 11 February 2009 Busquets was called up to the senior squad for the friendly against England. He finally made his debut for La Furia Roja on 1 April 2009, in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Turkey, playing 16 minutes in a 2–1 win in Istanbul after replacing David Silva; four days earlier he had been named as a substitute when the same sides met in Madrid, with Spain winning 1–0 through a goal from teammate Gerard Piqué.
Busquets was selected by manager Vicente del Bosque for the finals in South Africa, assuming the holding midfielder role naturalized Brazilian Marcos Senna had previously occupied in the conquest of UEFA Euro 2008: he played all the games and minutes for the eventual World champions, save for the last 30 minutes of the 0–1 group stage loss against Switzerland.
On 8 September 2014, Busquets scored his first international goal in a 5–1 win over Macedonia in Euro 2016 qualifying. He added another during the qualification campaign on 15 November, in a 3–0 win over Belarus in Huelva.
Style of play
Busquets is usually deployed as either a central or defensive midfielder, although he is also capable of playing as a central defender. Busquets is known for the pivotal midfield-anchor role that he plays for both Barcelona and the Spanish national side; a hard-working player, he excels at breaking down opposition plays due to his positional sense, defensive attributes, tactical intelligence, and ability to read the game. Due to his vision, ball control, and accurate passing ability, he rarely relinquishes possession, and alongside Andrés Iniesta and Ivan Rakitić he plays an important role in setting his team's tempo in midfield through his passing game. Vicente Del Bosque has highly praised Busquets, saying, "If you watch the whole game, you won't see Busquets—but watch Busquets, and you will see the whole game." Busquets's height also allows him to be effective in the air, and enables him to advance into more offensive positions on occasion, providing an additional attacking outlet for his team. Busquets has been largely accused of diving by the media on a number of occasions due to opposition players being wrongly booked or even sent-off during the game because of his excessive play-acting and protests. However, in response to these criticisms, he has defended diving in football as intelligent play.
Busquets' father, Carles, was also a footballer, having played as goalkeeper for Barcelona for several years during the 1990s, although almost exclusively as a backup.
In 2014, Busquets started a relationship with Elena Galera, with the couple fathering a son, Enzo (born 2016).
- As of match played 14 January 2017
|Club||Season||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Other||Total|
- As of match played 15 November 2016
- Scores and results list Spain's goal tally first.
|1.||8 September 2014||Estadi Ciutat de València, Valencia, Spain||Macedonia||3–1||5–1||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
|2.||15 November 2014||Estadio Nuevo Colombino, Huelva, Spain||Belarus||2–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying|
- La Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16
- Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16
- Supercopa de España: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016
- UEFA Champions League: 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15
- UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015
- FIFA World Cup: 2010
- UEFA European Championship: 2012
- FIFA Confederations Cup: Runner-up 2013; Third Place 2009
- Bravo Award: 2009
- La Liga's Breakthrough Player: 2009
- La Liga Team of the Season: 2015–16
- UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2012
- UEFA Champions League Team of the Season: 2014–15
- Prince of Asturias Awards: 2010
- Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit: 2011
- "Sergio's profile". FCBarcelona.com. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "UEFA Champions League squad of the season". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- "Los campeones del mundo de fútbol ya tienen la Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo" [The football World Champions already have the Royal Order of Sporting Merit] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 5 January 2011.