So much has been written about Sergio Busquets over the past year or so, much of it not entirely complimentary.
In fact, I’m probably guilty of ‘putting the boot in’ on Barcelona’s midfield talisman on more than one occasion.
I’m sure I had my reasons at the time, and just as I was critical then, so I will sing his praises now.
Before the match against Getafe, Busi was rightly lauded by the Camp Nou for reaching the milestone of 700 games at Barca.
Only his coach, Xavi, and Leo Messi are ahead of him in the appearance stakes, which speaks volumes as to the midfielder’s consistency at the very highest levels of club football.
On Sunday evening, it was a delight to watch Busi. If there’s one saying that encompasses everything that he brings to the party it’s ‘simplicity is genius.’
Johan Cruyff often spoke about how making football look easy was incredibly difficult, and yet Sergio Busquets defines the ‘less is more’ axiom.
Getafe, as expected, were a stubborn opponent, with their five-man defence stagnating Barca’s attacks for long periods.
Quique Sanchez Flores is a wily old campaigner and will have known exactly how Barca were going to play against his side.
That much was obvious from the way in which he kept the Blaugranes wide players at bay until Raphinha was allowed to drift into space and play a pinpoint pass for Pedri to slide in what turned out to be the winner.
Busquets’ own contribution may have been understated in the sense that it wasn’t headline grabbing, but anything that the hosts did well came as a result of moves involving the captain.
A short pass here, a give-and-go there… very simply he was class personified.
The everyday fan in the stands often doesn’t see the work he’ll get through in each game, but to those who have a more nuanced understanding he is priceless. The consummate footballer’s footballer.
His command of the position for which he is employed is one of the chief reasons why Xavi, (and those Barca coaches who came before him since 2008), has been able to play the system he does in the way in which he wants. Busi is that important.
The dissenting voices are already making themselves heard when the offer of another year’s contract for Busquets is being discussed, but they should be drowned out by those keen to see Barca succeed in the immediate future.
A transition will need to take place eventually of course, but to do so at this juncture would be entirely the wrong decision.