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Sergio Busquets – The most underrated player in Europe?
31 March 2013 @ 00:39

 By Graham Owen

“He only looks good because of the players around him.” “He doesn’t do anything.” “He only passes it sideways and backwards.”

These are the type of comments about Barca’s anchor-man that leave me scratching my head in disbelief, it seems sometimes that I am the only person who fully understands and appreciates just exactly what the 24-year-old Catalan provides to both FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, so I thought it’s about time I got it off my chest…

The amount of times I have been forced to press the pause button on the TV remote during games in which the Sabadell-born maestro is involved, to explain to various different people why Sergio Busquets Burgos is such an integral part of teams which contain more than a few other super-talented, revered stars, is getting ridiculous.

The most recent example of this was in Barca’s 3-1 win over Rayo at Camp Nou on Sunday, after over 25 minutes of pressure from the visitors, and with the Cules packed into the stadium shifting nervously in their seats, Sergio won the ball on the edge of his own 18-yard box, shifted it between two Rayo players to the onrushing Iniesta, with the ball ending up in Rayo’s net via Messi and David Villa.

This is a prime example of just what the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League winner does, and he is arguably the best in the world at doing it, he does not score goals (a measly return of four goals in 142 Barca games proves this), he doesn’t win matches by himself and he doesn’t grab plaudits like some of the more glamorous attacking players around him, but take him out of that Barcelona team and they would miss him, without a doubt.

A boyhood Barca fan, growing up just outside of Barcelona in the industrial city of Sabadell, Sergio joined the famous La Masia academy in 2005, just two short years later, he was invited to play for Barcelona B (then managed by Pep Guardiola) and helped the second string gain promotion to Spanish football’s third tier, he made his first team debut, coming on as a sub in a Catalonia Cup match, the rest is, albeit largely unappreciated, history.

Eight years on, Sergio is a regular for both club and country, with no signs of slowing down, he would most likely walk into the starting XI of most teams in Europe, so why does the man who Guardiola himself once said that if he could be reincarnated as a footballer, he would be Sergio Busquets, continue to be ignored?

It’s a question that will continue to baffle me, but as long as the Camp Nou masses, the supporters who follow Spain and his fellow players continue to appreciate him, I don’t think Sergio Busquets cares one bit, even if FCB’s Botiga superstore doesn’t keep in stock any replica shirts with ‘Sergio 16′ on the rear…


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