Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets has announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season, bringing an end to an 18-year association with the Catalan giants.
The former Spain international has played 718 matches for the Blaugrana, the third-most in the club’s history, winning a plethora of domestic and European titles during his time at the Nou Camp.
Busquets made his debut for Barcelona in a league match against Racing Santander in 2008 under the tutelage of manager Pep Guardiola.
The defensive midfielder was a vital cog in the midfield machine that helped Barca win a historic sextuple in 2009, which included the Champions League, La Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, and Club World Cup.
Throughout his career, Busquets has been renowned for his exceptional reading of the game, precise passing ability, and intelligent positioning. The Spaniard’s astute defensive work often went unnoticed, but his importance to the team was underlined by his inclusion in the UEFA Team of the Year on four occasions.
Barcelona have been enduring a difficult few seasons, with the club struggling to live up to their high standards on the pitch.
However, Busquets’ commitment and loyalty to the club remained steadfast, and he continued to be a key player in the team’s midfield.
Announcing his decision to leave the club, Busquets said: “Although it has not been an easy decision, I think the time has come.
It has been an unforgettable journey. I always dreamed of playing with this shirt and at this stadium. Reality has exceeded all my dreams.”
Busquets has won eight La Liga titles, seven Copa del Reys, seven Spanish Super Cups, and three Champions Leagues during his time at Barcelona.
He has also won three European Super Cups and three Club World Cups with the club.
In a statement announcing Busquets’ departure, Barcelona described him as “one of the best players ever to represent the club.” The club thanked him for his “unwavering commitment and dedication” and wished him well for the future.
Busquets’ departure marks the end of an era at Barcelona, but the club’s fans will forever cherish the memories of his performances on the pitch.
His intelligent play, work ethic, and love for the club will be sorely missed, and it will be a tough task for anyone to fill the void left by the Spanish midfielder.