Why Sergio Busquets Is The Most Underrated Midfielder

REUTERS/Albert Gea

The largely-awaited Champions League encounter between Chelsea and Barcelona ended with both teams sharing the spoils in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

While Willian and Lionel Messi grabbed the headlines by getting on the scoresheet, the pundits were left impressed by the genius shown by Sergio Busquets on the pitch.

The star midfielder, despite being hugely underrated, has been one of the most crucial players for both Barcelona as well as the Spanish national team – being a constant presence in both the team’s midfields.

The 29-year-old dropped an impressive display on Tuesday night as well, as he completed the most number of passes (128), the most touches (152), and made the most tackles (6) throughout the game against Antonio Conte’s men.

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Moreover, in comparison to N’Golo Kante, who is regarded by many as the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League, Busquets completed 103 more passes than the France international, whilst maintaining a passing accuracy of a whopping 92%.

Naturally, following the full-time whistle, BT Sport pundits Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Rio Ferdinand were all full of praise for the Catalan giants’ central midfielder.

The Liverpool legend described Busquets by stating: “Having played against him, in the end, you stop pressing him because it’s just so frustrating. You can’t get near him, you can’t get the ball off him, you can’t get close.

“If you come out of your position to press him, he pops it around you – and you can’t do it for 90 minutes because you’re just using useless energy up. He’s an absolute nightmare to play against. He didn’t break sweat. It almost looks like he’s in second gear.”

Lampard was in full agreement with his fellow compatriot, as the ex-Chelsea star added: “He plays in second gear, and I mean it in a positive way, because everything is so easy for him. Perfect positioning defensively, and the counter-press generally starts from him.

“He’s the back man in midfield, he sends people in to win it back, his awareness on the ball – he was an absolutely joy tonight.”

Lastly, Rio Ferdinand claimed: “He could go out there in a pair of velvet slippers and perform. He is that composed and that calm.

“What I love about him, Scholes being one and Lampard being another back in the day, is that when you watched them play, they got pictures all the time of what was going on. So when the ball did come, they could play one touch and the picture is so clear for them.”

 

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