Announcing his departure from Barcelona in June at the end of his contract, Sergio Busquets received an outpouring of praise from the football community. On Instagram, he stated, “The moment has arrived to announce this is my last season at Barcelona.
It has been an unforgettable journey." Over the years, Busquets won the Champions League three times with Barcelona and La Liga on eight occasions before this season, and the Catalans are set to triumph for the first time in four years.
The 34-year-old midfielder has been a key player for Barca since breaking into the first team in 2008 under then coach Pep Guardiola, and became the club's captain in 2021. With 718 appearances, Busquets is third on Barcelona's all-time appearance list and has lifted 31 trophies. In his statement, Busquets said, "Although it has not been an easy decision, I think the time has come."
Busquets is the last player of an iconic era in Barcelona's history. His teammates, including Xavi, Pedro, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves, Luis Suarez, Javier Mascherano, and Carles Puyol, brought an immense amount of success – with Busquets now the final departure of that great line of legends.
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez, who played with Busquets in midfield for several years, wanted the midfielder to stay next season, but said the decision was his. Busquets' past and present teammates paid tribute to him on social media after he announced his departure from Barcelona. Lionel Messi, a close friend, wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram, stating, "On the pitch you were always No 5, but in reality as a player and as a person, you are a 10, Busi. Thank you for everything on and off the pitch."
After Sergio Busquets announced his departure from Barcelona at the end of his contract, his football colleagues and rivals showered him with praise. Barcelona defender Jordi Alba expressed his admiration for the veteran midfielder, saying that he had made an indelible imprint on Barcelona's history with more than 700 games and being a fundamental part of so many titles and glorious nights.
Even Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric acknowledged him as one of the best players he had played against. Barca president Joan Laporta also spoke highly of Busquets, implying that the player would return one day in a different role, as he has Barca in his blood. Busquets, who won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and the European Championship in 2012, has yet to reveal his next move, although reports suggest he may move to a team in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Jorge Messi, the father and agent of former Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, said his son's future would only be decided at the end of the season, despite reports that he may also move to the Middle East.