Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has expressed that a new epoch is starting at the club, as Sergio Busquets announced his departure at the end of his contract this summer. The defensive midfielder was an integral component of Barcelona’s successful era, securing three Champions Leagues and has a chance to clinch his ninth La Liga title if Barcelona vanquish Espanyol on Sunday. Playing as a pivot behind Andres Iniesta and Xavi in an iconic midfield trio, the three also won the World Cup with Spain in 2010. Nevertheless, the coach expects players like Pedri and Gavi to exceed and surpass the club’s past successes.
“We are in the process of establishing a new era,” Xavi revealed on Saturday’s press conference. “I hope that players like Gavi and Pedri can transcend even us. That’s life and sport, and there’s a formidable batch of home-grown players and midfielders especially. I hope they follow in Busquets’ footsteps and achieve as much success as he has. A new era is beginning.”
Busquets, who has played over 700 times for Barcelona and received 31 awards, including the highest honor of the Ballon d’Or, where he received his highest finish, 20th, in 2012. “He’s the finest defensive midfielder I’ve ever seen,” Xavi continued. “For me, not being nominated for the Ballon d’Or was an injustice.”
Busquets previously noted that he prefers to focus on collecting trophies rather than individual awards. Sunday presents Barcelona with the opportunity to win La Liga for the first time since 2019. “We’re at 200 percent,” Xavi stated, anticipating the Catalan derby against Espanyol. “I’m seeing them train with full pelt, hope, desire, and intensity to win the La Liga.”