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) , 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.
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.