Full name: Sergio Busquets Burgos
Squad No: 16
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Date of birth: 16 July 1988
Place of birth: Sabadell, Spain
Height: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight: 73 kg (161 lbs)
Like many Catalan kids, Sergio Busquets had the dream of playing for FC Barcelona. Living just 20 km (13 miles) from the Catalan capital, he took the "long way" around to get there as he started his youth football career on the east side of Catalonia at UE Lleida football academy in 1999, the club where his father Carles ended his career. Four years later he moved 30 km north of Barcelona, to Terrassa, where he entered the youth program of Unío Jabac. At the age of 17 he took a big step toward accomplishing his dream as he joined La Masia.
It took Busquets two years to graduate and join the B team. At first he struggled to crack the team and he had to wait 12 games to start a game for Barcelona B coach Pep Guardiola. Pep saw a lot of potential in him and being of one of the best defensive midfielders of his time he knew how to make Sergio a better player. The youngster ended up playing almost every remaining game in the Tercera División and was a key member in the side that won a promotion to Segunda B
The next season saw Guardiola promoted to the first team and he decided to take some of his best "B" players with him, including Sergio Busquets. He ended up playing two more games for the B team, when the Primera División had the international break, bringing his second team totals to 32 appearances and two goals scored. His first (official) game for Barcelona was in the Spanish League, in a draw, against Racing Santander on September 13 2008.
Because of the history between him and coach Guardiola, Busquets was immediately trusted with an important role on the team. He played all of his games in the season as a holding midfielder, where he faced stiff competition from Yaya Touré, but the youngster ended up being one of the most used players of the season.
During his three year career with the first team, he has proven to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the business, but he also showed he can play very well outside of his comfort zone. This season he has played his first games as a center-back and he can also play as a central midfielder. So far he has played in 127 games for Blaugrana and he has scored 5 goals.
With his stellar performances for the club he also caught the eye of Spain's national team manager Vicente del Bosque. The tactician called him up for a friendly against England, but he never made it onto the pitch. A couple of months later, on 1 April 2009, he played his first game for La Furia Roja in a World Cup Qualifier against Turkey. Since then he has become a member of the starting eleven, assuming his natural holding midfielder role. In his young international career he has 27 appearances, but he is still looking for his first goal.
Sergio Busquets is a hard working, intelligent defensive midfielder, he has great instincts when it comes to timing tackles and anticipating the opposing teams' moves. He plays a simple game and opts for the smart, simple pass rather than to over complicate the situation. Sergio's height allows him to be a threat in the air game and, if needed, to play as a central defender. However he isn't much of a threat offensively, as players with his size score more often than he does, but this might be due to Barcelona's system rather than his inability get open on set-pieces.
La Liga (2): 2008-09, 2009-10
Copa del Rey (1): 2008-09
Supercopa de España (2): 2009, 2010
UEFA Champions League (1): 2008-09
UEFA Super Cup (1): 2009
FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2009
FIFA World Cup (1): 2010
La Liga's Breakthrough Player (1): 2009
Bravo Award (1): 2009
A couple of months ago Sergio Busquets signed a contract extension to keep him at the Camp Nou until 2015.
Next week: Pedro