The basic principles have remained the same ever since: control possession and you cant concede, is how tactics historian Jonathan Wilson put it. But, in his prime, he also took on the role of a box-to-box-midfielder, making runs into the box and breaking the lines. Thanks for the feedback. Recent comments from Spain coach Vicente del Bosque and Barca boss Pep Guardiola, however, hint at the vital role he played in both his country's success in South Africa and Barca's run of eight trophies in two and a half seasons. At only 18-years old, he has become a crucial player in the squad, playing in 47 matches and starting 36 this season. (top L-R)Ijker Casillas;Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Fernando Torres, (bottom L-R)Andres Iniesta;David Silva, Xavi Hernandez, Alvaro Arbeloa, Jordi Alba. Individually, all three were exemplary midfielders and they were even better together. Copyright 21/07/2022 Alamy Ltd. All rights reserved. (Photo by D.Nakashima/AFLO) [2336], Barcelona's Gerard Pique (C) gestures as he celebrates a goal with teammates (L- R) Carles Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Pedro Rodriguez, David Villa, Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez during their Spanish First Division soccer match against Atletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid September 19, 2010. Ronald Koeman was brought in to reinvigorate a lacklustre Bara squad, one whose defensive issues were widely-known but whose lack of an impactful midfield was understated. Coverage of 50+ tournamentswith daily updates before and after games! When Barcelona won the Champions League in 2005/06 under Frank Rijkaard, Xavi and Iniesta only played together twice during that run, but Guardiola decided they both had to be in his starting line-ups. Granted, the blueprint or formula they perfected has since been emulated by other teams like Real Madrids own iconic trio of Toni Kroos, Casemiro, and Luka Modric, but no one has reached their heights both at a club level and internationally. As an 8/10 hybrid, Pedri is responsible for threading balls into the penalty area, creating chances, and maintaining possession. After poor results, Koeman switched to a 4-3-3 formation at the beginning of 2021, utilizing Busquets in his preferred role as a lone number 6 or holding defensive mid, with Pedri and De Jong in front of him as interiors. It was working well, and he switched to a 3-5-2 not long after, which added more defensive stability but still maintained the midfield trio, just with wingbacks to either side of them. Their only central midfielders were Busquets, Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, the misused Frenkie De Jong, and Arthur. Mr Nice: could Christoph Galtier be the man to finally lead PSG to Champions League Glory. As reported byAS, Busquets' new deal will run until 2019, with the option of a further year, keeping the homegrown player at the club well through his peak years and beyond. GOAL takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours involving Manchester United, GOAL takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from around the world, The Poland striker is the marquee arrival at Camp Nou this summer - but the club were unable to sell strips with his name on for a bizarre reason, Man Utd transfers LIVE: Red Devils ready to wait for De Jong, Lewy's back in stock! They also played together at international level and the system was quite similar. The numbers speak for themselves when looking at how successful this trio was. Like any player on the pitch, midfielders occupy a variety of positions and can typically fit into certain archetypes or predetermined roles. Their metronomic passing, tactical intelligence, synchronous movement, and unbridled ball control have remained yet unmatched. They are three of the best midfielders to have ever lived and theyre all-time greats when it comes to ball retention and splitting-the-lines passing. Together, the trio won two UEFA Champions League titles, two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, two Supercoppa Italiana and two UEFA Super Cups. Xavi - Iniesta - BusquetsThe greatest midfield the game has ever seen. The midfielder has won 30 domestic honours for the club, including eight La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues. Together the trio have dominated the Champions League like no other. Few are better at distributing the ball than Busquets. Furthermore, in his prime, Xavi fulfilled a similar role to De Jong as a hybrid deep-lying playmaker and box-to-box midfielder, dropping back to help initiate buildup and make an impact in the final third. Each role has its own significance and responsibilities. Clarence Seedorf, also known as Il Professore, was athletic, technically adept and a great striker of the ball. Photo: Bernd Weissbrod dpa - Please refer to ht. Busquets became club captain in August 2021 following the departure of Messi to PSG and is one of only four players to make more than 600 appearances for the club alongside the Argentine, Xavi and Iniesta. The key in replacing Xavi and Iniestanot in terms of creativity, of course, but in terms of a long-term presence in the centre of the park, as a face of the club's midfield and as an ambassador on the pitchis to maintain his form and consistency over longer periods. The roles they filled, the attributes they had, and the perfect fit with one another will forever be envied and attempted to replicate. While they cant be compared in terms of sheer quality or ability, a Blaugrana midfield trio has since emerged this season with similarities to it in terms of style and tactical fit.. With the change in formation and tactical manoeuvring from Koeman, the trio of Busquets, Pedri, and De Jong emerged and has since taken over Spanish football. Birmingham and Reading: Championship staples that could finally go down! Kroos goes about orchestrating play from deep without so much as breaking a sweat. Photo by Giuliano Bevilacqua/ABACAPRESS.COM, KYIV, UKRAINE - JULY 1, 2012: Players of Spain football team sing the national anthen before UEFA EURO 2012 Final game against Italy at Olympic stadium in Kyiv, Ukraine. Spain's (L-R) Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Jordi Alba, Victor Valdes, Pedro Rodriguez pose with the trophy after winning the UEFA EURO 2012 final soccer match Spain vs. Italy at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, 01 July 2012. Cruyff was also responsible for the unifying of the teaching at the clubs academy, La Masia. Seedorf was all class and went about his game in a methodical manner. At 32-years old, the veteran has been turning heads over the last few months. No midfield trio has frustrated oppositions and mesmerized football fans as consistently as Busquets, Iniesta and Xavi. Although, athleticism was never his strong suit. While Busquets patrols behind, the new-look midfield can see any two of Rafinha, Ivan Rakitic or Iniesta roam ahead of him. It was a new approach that meant to bring defensive stability and allow De Jong to thrive. They went on to feature in a total of 412 matches together at club level, plus a further 73 at international level for Spain. Photo: Jens Wolf dpa (Plea, Ireland's team makes a circle before the UEFA EURO 2012 group C soccer match Spain vs Republic of Ireland at Arena Gdansk in Gdansk, Poland, 14 June 2012. Tik. The World Cup winner is also completing more passes in the oppositions half compared to the last two seasons, 42.8 in 20/21 versus 40.9 and 33.5. Together, they dominated club football, winning three Champions Leagues, four La Ligas, three Copa del Reys, four Spanish Supercups, two Club World Cups, and two UEFA Supercups.
(Top row L-R) Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Roberto Soldado, Victor Valdes (Bottom row L-R) Pedro Rodriguez, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Jordi Alba Credit: Aflo Co. Ltd./Alamy Live News, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Barcelona have had a possession-based philosophy for decades, with Johan Cruyff the brains and deity behind the style. Please complete the form below. Tik. Tak. The key to this ideal midfield, may it be a three-player triangle or double pivot, is a mixture of individual brilliance, tactical attributes, and how well they fit together. Congratulations, Sergio! (Top row L to R) Goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Fernando Torres, (bottom row L to R) Pedro, Juan Mata, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Jordi Alba. Are English Teams the Favourites for European Glory? Three of the finest midfielders of their generation were able to bring out the best in each other. Spain team group line-up (ESP) Football/Soccer : Spain team group (Top L-R) Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Diego Costa, (Bottom L-R) Cesar Azpilicueta, David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Jordi Alba, before the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 Group B match between Spain 1-5 Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil . Spain team group line-up (ESP), JUNE 23, 2013 - Football / Soccer : FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, Group B match between Nigeria 0-3 Spain at Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil. He must be the focal point for success, even as a defensive-minded player. Photo: Thomas Eisenhuth dpa (Please refer to chapters 7 and, Barcelona's player Sergio Busquets pauses during an interview with Reuters at his club's training grounds in Barcelona February 14, 2011. Alternatively, he can drop deep to pick up the ball and is extremely impressive on the defensive end with his pressing and dispossessing of opponents, averaging 24.69 pressures per game (96th percentile) and 2.30 passes blocked (99th percentile). Quite simply, this was the best midfield of all time, one able to play in a way that no other team had before and able to win every tournament they possibly could. (L-R, top row) Yaya Toure, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Sylvinho, Samuel Eto'o and Victor Valdes. Liverpool's other Colombian: Could Anderson Arroyo's incredible journey end with a Luis Diaz reunion in red? (Photo by Maurizio Borsari/AFLO/Alamy Live News), 'Spanish League'- match Real Madrid Vs FC Barcelona- season 2014-15 - Santiago Bernabeu Stadium - Luis Suarez (FC Barcelona) in action during the Spanish League match(Photo: Guillermo Martinez / Bohza Press / Alter Photos) /nortephoto.com, Barcellona team group line-up, APRIL 3, 2012 - Football / Soccer : Barcelona team group (L-R) Isaac Cuenca, Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Victor Valdes, front; Lionel Messi, Daniel Alves, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Carles Puyol before the UEFA Champions League Quarter-f, Barcelona team group line-up, MARCH 28, 2012 - Football / Soccer : Barcelona team group (L-R) Seydou Keita, Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Victor Valdes, front; Lionel Messi, Daniel Alves, Alexis Sanchez, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Carles Puyol before the UEFA Champions League Quarter-, Barcelona's player Sergio Busquets attends an interview with Reuters at his club's training grounds in Barcelona February 14, 2011. They were each the quintessential versions of particular midfield roles that, when put together, fit like pieces in a puzzle.. It is made up of three players at distinct junctures of their careers: one near the end, one rising to the middle, and one just starting off. In total, there were 182 Barcelona matches in which Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets were all on the pitch together at the same time and they won 124 times, drew 40 times and lost 18 times for a winning percentage of 68%. There's an argument that the midfield unit of Gattuso, Pirlo and Seedorf was incomplete without Kaka's magic. Now, there were two holding midfielders, called pivots, and a number 10, or a centre attacking midfielder, who is behind the striker. To match Interview, Barcelona, Spain. (Top row L to R) Goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Fernando Torres, (bottom row L to R) Pedro, David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Jordi Alba. He remains an integral part of the team and is still responsible for so much in terms of build-up, goal creation, maintaining possession, and providing defensive cover. The trio were at the heart of iconic teams, whether the dominant Barcelona sides or Spain of 2008-2012, and stood out despite being surrounded by defenders like Dani Alves, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, or forwards like Lionel Messi, David Villa, and Samuel Etoo. Find the right content for your market. Press and possess, press and possess.. Since arriving in late 2020, Pedri has taken the world by storm. Luka Modric is just as technically proficient but is more of a ball-carrier as well. From their first match together in 2008 a 1-1 draw with Racing Santander to their final match in 2015 a 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich they won so much. Tactically, Xavi, Iniesta, and Busquets roles fit each other perfectly, encapsulating the ideal mix of traits and attributes in a midfield trio. Quite simply, this was the best midfield of all time, one able to play in a way that no other team had before and able to win every tournament they possibly could. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP), Soccer Football - FC Barcelona Tribute to Andres Iniesta - Auditorium 1899, Barcelona, Spain - May 18, 2018 General view of (L-R) Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Samuel Eto'o, FC Barcelona's President Josep Maria Bartomeu, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Evole, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba during the presentation REUTERS/Albert Gea, 'Spanish League'- match Real Madrid Vs FC Barcelona- season 2014-15 - Santiago Bernabeu Stadium - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) Celebrates a goal during the Spanish League match against FC Barcelona(Photo: Guillermo Martinez / Bohza Press / Alter Photos) /nortephoto.com, Spain team group (ESP), JULY 1, 2012 - Football / Soccer : FC Barcelona players (L-R) Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Jordi Alba, Victor Valdes, Pedro Rodriguez of Spain celebrate with the trophy after winning the UEFA EURO 2012 Final match between Spain 4-0 Italy at Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine. The ebb and flow of Pedri and De Jong as interiors is still far from the connection of Iniesta and Xavi. Iniesta, Xavi, and Busquets left their mark on the game as the greatest midfield trio of all time. They did not exactly play as a midfield trio for the Spanish national side, with Xabi Alonso playing alongside Busquets in a double pivot. Compared to other midfielders in Europes Big 5 Leagues, the Spaniard remains a statistical anomaly. For comparison, he has scored five in his last two seasons as a professional. Sign up to stay updated. Though he is not built like destroyers usually are, Busquets made up for it with his tactical intelligence and sense of positioning. Through thick and thin, Busquets has remained a key yet often understated and under-appreciated player for the Blaugrana. Although, he has thrived in almost any position he has played this season, whether as a holding midfielder, centre back, or libero. pic.twitter.com/2pVI1bq8Di. Photo: Marcus Brandt dpa (Please refer to, 'Spanish League'- match Real Madrid Vs FC Barcelona- season 2014-15 - Santiago Bernabeu Stadium -Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) Celebrates a goal during the Spanish League match against FC Barcelona(Photo: Guillermo Martinez / Bohza Press / Alter Photos) /nortephoto.com, Barcelona team group line-up, DECEMBER 18, 2011 - Football / Soccer : Barcelona players (L-R) Carles Puyol, Xavi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, Thiago Alcantara, Victor Valdes, Daniel Alves, Lionel Messi and Eric Abidal line up before the FIFA Club World Cup Final mat, Spain's players line up for a team photo before their Confederations Cup semi-final soccer match against Italy at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza June 27, 2013. They also played together at international level and the system was quite similar. Busquets has played for Barca his entire career, making his debut against Racing Santander aged 20 in 2008. Messi didnt have to worry about anything other than looking forward as he had the backing of Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta, Cruyff himself put it. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER), Spain's starting line-up poses for the group photo before the UEFA EURO 2012 group C soccer match Spain vs Republic of Ireland at Arena Gdansk in Gdansk, Poland, 14 June 2012. Andrea Pirlo is one of the best deep-lying playmakers of all time. Credit: Maurizio Borsari/AFLO/Alamy Live News, Salvador, Brazil. Achievements Privacy Policy Cookie Policy Licensed Images Partners Copyright 2017 - 2022 Barca Universal - [emailprotected]. The Bara captain moves past @andresiniesta8 and into the on Bara's all-time appearances list! Both of them. Want to know more? Consequently, Messi was asked to do more creative work and dropped deeper more than he probably would have liked. They could play incisive through balls that could upend entire defences with just one pass and could also dictate the tempo of every match they played. The players ( from top L) Pedro, Sergio Busquets, Sergio Ramos, Joan Capdevila, Gerard Pique, and Xabi Alonso; ( from bottom L) goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Xavi and Carles Puyol. De Jong is truly an all-around player, offering a little bit of everything to Bara. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (BRAZIL - Tags: SPORT SOCCER), Spain's players pose for a team photograph before their 2010 World Cup final soccer match against the Netherlands at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg July 11, 2010. The veteran Spain international is now only behind Xavi and Lionel Messi on the all-time list. Enter your email to receive all the latest news articles, Football Match Previews with daily updates, Bespoke subscriptions from 1 month to a full season, https://www.footballteamnews.com/img/news/thumb_news_5d19ba471b309.jpg, https://www.footballteamnews.com/assets/images/logo.png, They played together between 2008 and 2015, During those seven seasons they won 19 trophies, Tik. Despite not being the tallest or the strongest, they were unstoppable. His consistency over the years is astounding, having played in a trio with Xavi, Iniesta, Rakitic and Iniesta, and alongside others like Vidal, Arthur, and now, De Jong and Pedri. Ronaldo, Pogba and Harry Potter - Inside the world of USMNT and Juventus ace Weston McKennie. Much like a number 9 is considered a prototypical centre forward, a number 6, 8, 10, for example, are all synonymous with the midfield positions. By instilling a certain philosophy in the clubs players from a young age and through all youth categories, success would come in the late Noughties and early Teenies.

Sergio Busquets, then, has to be the one to provide continuity. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER), Spain team group line-up (ESP), JUNE 23, 2012 - Football / Soccer : Spain team group (L-R) Iker Casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, front; David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Jordi Alba before the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final soccer match between Spain 2-0 France at Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine. Barcelona picked up 19 trophies over those seven seasons, an average of 2.7 per season. He can sit deep and pick up the ball or make an impact in and around the box; the Dutchman seems as if he has a spare set of lungs and is the perfect box-to-box midfielder. As mentioned, he started the season off poorly but since the turn of the New Year with Koeman using him as a single pivot again, he has emerged valiantly and reminded culs why he is one of the best midfielders of all time. Speaking of his on-pitch fortunes, Busquets was a key part of Barcelona's great start to the season; he was exemplary in his control of the centre of the park, demonstrating rapidity in winning back and distributing the ball and protecting the defence.

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