Analysing the Importance of Sergi Busquets to Luis Enrique's Barcelona

Jason Pettigrove@@jaypetti1971Contributor INovember 20, 2015

Sergio Busquets has all of the tools required to be successful in his position.
Sergio Busquets has all of the tools required to be successful in his position.VI-Images/Getty Images

Sergio Busquets continues to be one of Barcelona's most important players.

Xavi Hernandez famously referred to him as the "snowplough," per an interview with Sid Lowe of the Guardian and since 2010 no one other than Dani Alves has made as many tackles.

For all of the attacking verve and excellence that Barca are known for, their control of most games would not be possible without Busquets' presence at the heart of central midfield.

Musa Okwonga @Okwonga

If you are ever feeling lonely on Twitter, tweet about the merits of Sergio Busquets. You will find company soon enough :)

Certainly not a player who hogs the limelight, in fact he detests it, Busquets just wants to be left alone to get on with the job in hand. 

Lowe interviewed Busquets prior to a Champions League game last season and the player himself was as modest as always:

I don’t want people talking about me, for good or bad. I don’t do many interviews. I don’t have Twitter. [...] Forwards get the plaudits and goals are football’s essence.

But I’m not selfish like that, I don’t long for praise or the lead role. I’d rather the strikers scored [than me]; they live off goals.

I don’t care. If I did, I wouldn’t play in this position. I love my role, I love the job I do.

A job that he does rather well as it happens.

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More old school than a modern, marauding powerhouse, the quality that the player shows in almost every single game is peerless. A footballer's brain combined with brawn if required, Busquets is the protector supreme and then some.

That he relegated Yaya Toure to a transfer to Manchester City tells the ill-informed much about the skill set of this most unassuming of footballers.

Andres Cordero @DreCordero

Watching Sergio Busquets, I'm convinced we should dissolve the Ballon d'Or.

Daryl Grove of Paste Magazine noted a famous Johan Cruyff quote that perfectly encompasses everything that Sergio Busquets is about: "Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is."

It's often said that "Busi" has to get through the "dirty work" in his position sat just in front of Barca's centre-back pairing.

Grup 14 @G14_en

It’s appreciation time for Sergio Busquets who is playing amazingly. https://t.co/mVsioYnWmE

While it's true that there isn't much glamour to the particular role he undertakes, it takes a special kind of player to be able to carry it out so well.

Busquets is efficient and never does more than is absolutely necessary. He is one of, if not the best exponent of the simple football that Cruyff alludes to. Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque even said he would like to be reincarnated as Busquets, according to Lowe. 

To be expert in the defensive-midfield role, the timing of the tackle is paramount. Once successful, take, give and goon multiple occasions in any one game. Firefighting might actually be a more appropriate phrase.

Lee Roden of talkSPORT once noted during Barcelona's struggles under Gerardo Martino: "Then there's the increasingly exhausted image of Sergio Busquets running around the pitch like a man possessed, asked to put out fires more numerous than his two legs alone can cope with."

Allied to the need for picking the opposition's pocket are the highest levels of passing accuracy and here too, Busquets excels.

According to WhoScored.com, his return of 89.5 in 2009/10 was the worst it's ever been for a player who normally hovers around the mid-90s when it comes to distribution stats. 

If we consider just how many times Busquets passes the ball in any game, that's some return.

Sat in the pivot position, he does at least have the luxury of being able to cast his eyes over most of the pitch before him and assess where best to play his next pass. Often well before the ball reaches him.

That appreciation of a developing move and spacial awareness are more highly desirable qualities that the player possesses. Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are just three of his colleagues that depend on it.

One thing is abundantly clear. Luis Enrique's Barcelona are an entirely different proposition without Busquets in place.


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