He controls play, he plays deep, and he is the man credited for Barcelona’s domination of the game in recent times. Often the man behind the scenes of Barcelona’s ever long success story, the tall and well-built defensive midfielder has often been renounced as the backbone of Barca’s eleven. Yes, we are talking about Sergio Busquets.
He is often over shadowed by the likes of Messi and Iniesta, after all, his role as a defensive midfielder is not the most sparkling on the big screen. However ask any football fanatic and they rate him highly when it comes to influencing play. Sergio’s ability to sit back in his own half yet be the ultimate crucifier of the team’s domination based game is somewhat of a wonder.
He is like a wall defensively, with only a handful of attacks to have ever truly broken the back-line he conducts, and manages to seal off the opposition attack. He has shown just how valuable he can be for Barcelona at several occasions; holding together Barcelona’s defensive line even against the likes of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Sergio Busquets is the best defensive midfielder
He is the oil that keeps the Catalan engine running smoothly, and is the key component connecting the two halves of Barcelona intact. Barcelona’s game is based around an intricate sense of short passing throughout the pitch and is heavily dependent on ball control and possession. If not for the likes of Sergio, the fluidity we see in Barcelona play will lack depth and perhaps not be the same.
But what really separates Busquets from other Central Defensive Midfielders, is his ability to stretch the backline up the pitch to provide extra attacking support, while maintaining a strong, almost impenetrable defensive line all along. It is because of him that full backs like Dani Alves are often seen making runs along the flanks almost as if they were wingers. His passing accuracy is impeccable, aggregating a total passing success of 90.2% in his career. He is very strong in terms of tackling too and has a natural ability to intercept passes and make key challenges, which rounds out all the attributes required to attain success as a midfielder.
His defensive attributes are evident in every game he plays, and many football pundits rate him as the best defensive midfielder in the world at the moment due to his defensive instincts. Busquets has an average of 2.9 tackles per game and 1.8 interceptions per game which goes on to say how much of a hurdle he can be for opposition forwards. Some have even come as far as to compare him with the king of midfield-Ruud Gullit, as he is fierce in tackling and has well rounded statistics as a midfielder and a defender, granting him versatility to play all over the pitch and command the midfield.
Almost every team could do with a player as talented as Sergio Busquets when it comes to being a defensive midfielder. His role is not easy with him having to constantly move about the pitch to upkeep both the offense and the defence for a tiki-taka style team, who need possession to play out a game. However it is safe to say that not only is he capable of it but might even be the best at it, which makes him a must in Barcelona’s arsenal.
He truly completes his side and throughout his career has shown why he isn’t just the best defensive midfielder his team has got, but when in form, probably the best defensive midfielder the world’s got. The world is yet to see someone who links up attack and defence as well as Sergio Busquets does for his squad. And even though Barcelona is yet to find a perfect replacement, they can only hope to enjoy the Spaniard’s services while they last.