In recent times FC Barcelona has proved to be the team to fear. Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the most coveted managers alive in football history, who is also known for his arrogance and love for the game, claimed that Pep’s side was the best team he had ever faced in his whole career.
That statement came directly after the second defeat to this Barca team at Wembley, on English territory – 3-1 on may 2011 and most importantly in the UCL final. The first loss was in Rome back in 2009 with the match ending as a 2-0 triumph for the Catalans, in the same winner takes all stage of the same competition.
As a result, many questions were asked concerning the reason of this team’s enormous success that had never happened before. Pep’s side was arguably one of the best ever, controversially the best to have ever existed on the club level. Some say it is Léo Messi himself, some say Xavi, other claim Don Andrès, many think it’s the team together with the all the players mentioned above completing each other. As a matter of fact, all the mentioned players above have received personal huge awards for their success and importance in world football, icluding Ballon D’or/World Player Of The Year/Euro Player Of The Tournament/UEFA Player Of The Year, and others!
Pep Guardiola as well, who is the Godfather of this team received the ‘Manager Of The Year Award’. For the people who have already forgotten, Guardiola came to Barcelona back in 2008, after Frank Rijkaard’s contract was terminated due to lack of results in the last 2 seasons with the Catalan club after failing to claim any valuable trophy. They finished 2nd to Real Madrid in La Liga 2007, and 3rd behind Villareal in 2008, were knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool at an early stage in 2007 (round of 16), and by Manchester United in the semis in 2008.
Then came the philosopher, Josep Guardiola and imposed his total football, tiki taka system, which turned out to be a huge success! Lots of people don’t give him enough credits nowadays, whereas he is the main reason for this team’s historical success. Spain won the World Cup using a similar tiki taka system based around Barcelona players, which proves that Barça’s success is not Lionel Messi as some club haters try to make us believe, otherwise Argentina would have won World Cup not Barcelona, I mean Spain! And Barcelona wouldn’t have waited for Pep to win all trophies if Messi alone was the reason. Besides, the player himself admitted that without his team mates he would be nothing and wouldn’t have won anything.
On the other hand, both Ballon D’or candidates Xavi and Iniesta assured that Messi is the most worthy of it, to show you the spirit between the players in the locker room….Unlike other clubs, MES QUE UN CLUB!
With that said, Barça’s success is much more than Messi! This is a team sports, I repeat A TEAM SPORT, XI men, tactics, systems, chemistry, goalkeeping, defence midfield, attack! Guardiola managed to create one of the most, if not the most complete team ever! Before he left the club last season, he was asked about the best player in his team, he said that it would be Messi without any doubt. Then he later on added who was the most important player in his team, and you will know the name soon, but before that some things need to be explained.
In order to reach perfection, Guardiola knew that his job would be very complicated, but the decided to challenge its complexity with plenty of simplicity. He wanted a smooth vibe between the 4 lines, and for that he needed a keeper like Victor Valdès who can get into the passing game and help his team mates in applying the tiki taka system. Valdès was already present but his role under Rijkaard seemed less important than under the new era, just like all the remaining players’ roles.
Barcelona reached a great level of football with Yaya Touré, the coordination between the lines was present but something was still lacking! Suddenly, a player from Barça B, trained at La Masia came to action. This player required some enormous talents in order to bench a player of the caliber of Yaya. He had, and stil has, many abilities that no other players can beat him at. He is a box to box player, the type of player who can handle transition from defense to offense and offense to defense on his own, a ‘No Error’ player. SERGIO BUSQUETS really had it all!
He rarely commits a mistake, or an inaccurate pass, or even loses the ball in midfield. With the ball at his feet, Barcelona players feel secured. Alves is free to attack because Sergio will cover him, so is Piqué sometimes. Defenders feel they have a big defensive support ahead of them, whilst the players in front of Buski, mainly Xavi and Iniesta, trust him and always pass him back the ball when they don’t find a way to invade the opposition from deep. Sergio will reorganize the attack and find the way, for he is the link between defence and offence . Maybe Touré was a better dribbler and a better scorer, but this isn’t what the most successful team lacked, certainly the problem wasn’t offensive!
Sergio had the defensive edge over Yaya and that’s what made him the more regular starter. He then easily found his way to the Spanish team and was a in the starting XI with both Barça/Spain at a very early age and in a very important position, edging the likes of the experience Marcos Senna!
Barcelona fans can easily see the difference nowadays, when Sergio Busquets is not playing. You got a feeling that something is missing in the team, you always get that feeling that all of the players aren’t at their usual shape and form. He always intercepts the passes and wins back the ball, he is a true stopper, a ball winner, a passing machine, and he regulates the tempo of the game, alongside Xavi. He can play centre back when needed and you never hear him complaining. Yes, Sergio’s presence is that vital, more vital than you ever thought, for we all listen and learn when the Godfather speaks.
Indeed, Pep Guardiola said after deciding to leave the club, that the most important player to his team is no doubt non other than SERGIO BUSQUETS, for he is the backbone of this team!