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Sergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets 2018.jpg
Busquets playing for Spain in 2018
Personal information
Date of birth (1988-07-16) 16 July 1988 (age 35)
Place of birth Sabadell, Spain
Height 1.89 m
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current club Inter Miami
Number 5
Youth career
1995–1996 Badia
1996–1999 Barberà Andalucía
1999–2003 Lleida
2003–2005 Jàbac Terrassa
2005–2007 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Barcelona B 25 (2)
2008–2023 Barcelona 481 (11)
2023– Inter Miami 11 (0)
National team
2008–2009 Spain U21 3 (1)
2009–2022 Spain 143 (2)
2008 Catalonia 8 (0)
Men's football
Representing  Spain
FIFA World Cup
Winner 2010 South Africa
UEFA European Championship
Winner 2012 Poland-Ukraine
Third 2020 Europe
FIFA Confederations Cup
Runner-up 2013 Brazil
Third 2009 South Africa
UEFA Nations League
Runner-up 2021 Italy
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:20, 22 October 2023 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Sergio Busquets Burgos (Catalan: [busˈkɛts], Spanish: [ˈseɾxjo βusˈkets]; born 16 July 1988) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Major League Soccer club Inter Miami. A deep-lying playmaker capable of directing gameplay through short and calm passes and his singular reading of the game, he is regarded as one of the greatest defensive midfielders of all time.

Busquets arrived in Barcelona's first team in July 2008 and went on to receive the La Liga's Breakthrough Player in 2009. From the 2009–10 season, he was a first team regular and was part of a widely lauded midfield trio with Andrés Iniesta and Xavi. Busquets made over 700 total appearances for the club, winning 32 trophies, including nine La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles and three UEFA Champions Leagues. He was part of the squads that won a continental treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League in 2008–09 and 2014–15. He left the club after 14 years at the end of the 2022–23 season.

Busquets made his senior international debut for Spain in April 2009, and has since made 143 appearances for the national side, scoring twice. He helped the country win the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012 tournaments, and also featured at three other World Cups and two European Championships. He retired from international football following the 2022 World Cup.

Club career


Born in Sabadell, Barcelona, Catalonia, Busquets began playing football with local team CD Badia del Vallès, followed by spells with CEF Barberà Andalucía, Lleida and UFB Jàbac Terrassa, before joining Barcelona's youth ranks in 2005. He scored seven goals in 26 games for the Juvenil A team in his second season and, two years later, Busquets was promoted to the B team under Pep Guardiola, and helped them achieve promotion to the third division. In that same season he would make his first-team debut, coming on as a substitute in the Copa Catalunya.

"Positionally, he seems like a veteran with or without the ball. With the ball he makes what is difficult look easy: he disposes of the ball with one or two touches. Without the ball, he gives us a lesson: that of being in the right place to intercept and running just to recover the ball."

Johan Cruyff, 15 September 2008
S. Busquets (2009-05)
Busquets attending a press conference for Barcelona in 2009

Busquets played his first La Liga match on 13 September 2008, featuring 90 minutes in a 1–1 home draw to Racing Santander. During Barcelona's 2008–09 UEFA Champions League clash against Basel at St. Jakob-Park on 22 October 2008, he scored the second goal in the 15th minute in a 5–0 group stage win; in early December, in another start, he scored his second with Barça in the competition, netting in the 83rd minute of a 2–3 home loss against Shakhtar Donetsk.

On 22 December 2008, Busquets signed a contract extension until 2013 with a buy-out clause of €80 million. On 7 March 2009 he scored his first league goal, in a 2–0 home win over Athletic Bilbao.

On 27 May 2009, having been regularly played as he competed for the spot with internationals Seydou Keita and Yaya Touré, he also featured in Barcelona's starting eleven in the Champions League final, a 2–0 win over Manchester United in Rome; with that victory, Carles Busquets and Sergio Busquets became only the third father-and-son combo to both have won Europe's top club competition playing for the same team, joining Cesare Maldini and Paolo Maldini (won it with A.C. Milan) and Manuel Sanchís and Manolo Sanchís (Real Madrid).

Busquets' fine form continued in the 2009–10 campaign, with Guardiola preferring him to Touré as Barcelona's central holding midfielder. In the second leg of the Champions League semi-final 1–0 victory (and an eventual 2–3 aggregate defeat) against Inter Milan at Camp Nou on 28 April 2010, he went down to the ground after Thiago Motta had raised his arm and appeared to push Busquets directly in the face. As a result of this action, the former was shown a red card and dismissed for violent conduct, whilst the latter was subsequently criticised by both Motta and the media for apparently feigning injury.

Busquets was again ever-present in 2010–11, even playing as a centre back on occasions. On 27 January 2011, he signed a contract extension that would keep him at the club until 2015 – the buyout clause was increased to €150 million. On 8 March 2011, playing at centre back, he scored an own goal from a corner kick against Arsenal, in the season's Champions League round-of-16, levelling the score at 1–1; Barcelona eventually won the game 3–1 (and 4–3 on aggregate). On 28 May, Busquets played the full match during his side's 3–1 Champions league final victory against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.

Busquets scored a rare goal on 24 April 2012 – only his sixth official one in four years – netting from an easy tap-in after an Isaac Cuenca cross to make it 1–0 for the hosts in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals against Chelsea. Barcelona could only draw 2–2 against ten men as the English club came back from being 0–2 down; his team eventually lost 2–3 on aggregate, after already having lost 1–0 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

On 16 July 2013, the day he celebrated his 25th birthday, Busquets agreed to a new deal until 2018, with the buyout clause remaining unaltered. On 1 August 2014, after the retirement of long time club captain and defender Carles Puyol and at the veteran's personal request, he was given the number 5 shirt for the upcoming campaign and was named one of the four captains for the club alongside Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

2015 UEFA Super Cup 61
Busquets during the 2015 UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla

Busquets started on 6 June in the 2015 Champions League final, as the team won their fifth accolade in the competition by beating Juventus 3–1 at Berlin's Olympiastadion. This made Barcelona the first club in history to win the treble of domestic league, domestic cup and European Cup twice, and Dani Alves, Busquets, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Pedro, Gerard Piqué and Xavi the only players to achieve the same feat.

On 3 October 2015, Busquets captained Barcelona for the first time in the absence of regular captain Iniesta and vice-captain Messi in a 1–2 away defeat to Sevilla.

Busquets opened the scoring in a 3–0 win against Las Palmas on 1 October 2017, with the match being played behind closed doors at the Camp Nou due to the ongoing Catalan independence referendum. Around a year later, he signed a new contract until June 2023, which increased his buyout clause from €200 million to €500 million. On 24 November 2018 he played his 500th game for Barcelona away to Atlético Madrid, and he made his 100th Champions League appearance on 11 December, in a 1–1 group stage home draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

On 9 January 2021, Busquets made his 600th appearance for Barcelona in a 4–0 win against Granada at the Los Cármenes. Only his contemporaries Xavi, Iniesta and Messi had played more games in the history of the club. In August, he became club captain after Messi left for Paris Saint-Germain FC. On 12 January 2023, Busquets made his 700th appearance for Barcelona in his team's penalty shoot-out victory after a 2–2 draw against Real Betis at the King Fahd International Stadium in 2022–23 Supercopa de España semi-final. In the next match, three days later, Busquets participated in his team's 3–1 win against Real Madrid in the 2023 Supercopa de España Final, becoming the player with the most matches in the history of El Clásico with 45 matches, jointly with Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos, in addition he becoming the player with the most wins in El Clásico matches, with 21 matches, jointly with Paco Gento. On 2 March, in the next El Clásico match, Busquets broke both records as Barcelona won 0–1 in the first leg of the 2023 Copa del Rey semi-final.

On 10 May 2023, Busquets announced he would leave Barcelona by the end of the season.

Inter Miami

On 23 June 2023, Inter Miami announced that they had signed Busquets. On 16 July, Busquets officially signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Inter Miami. He was also joined at the club with former Barcelona teammates Messi and Jordi Alba. He won his first title with the club on 20 August 2023, helping Inter Miami beat Nashville SC in the 2023 Leagues Cup final.

International career

Mario Balotelli shot Euro 2012 final 02
Busquets playing for Spain against Italy in Euro 2012 final

On 11 October 2008, Busquets earned his first cap for Spain's under-21 in their 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification play-offs first-leg away match against Switzerland. He scored in the 17th minute of a 1–2 loss, though they eventually emerged victorious 4–3 on aggregate. On 28 December, he played his first game for the Catalan representative side, starting in a 2–1 win over Colombia at the Camp Nou.

On 11 February 2009, Busquets was called up to the senior squad for a friendly against England. He was named as a substitute for a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Turkey on 28 March 2009, making his debut in the return match on 1 April, playing 16 minutes in a 2–1 win in Istanbul after replacing David Silva. In the summer, he went to his first senior tournament, helping Spain come third at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.

"If I were a player, I would like to be like Busquets."

Vicente del Bosque, June 2010

Busquets was selected by manager Vicente del Bosque for the 2010 World Cup in the same country, assuming the holding midfielder role naturalized Brazilian Marcos Senna had previously occupied in the conquest of UEFA Euro 2008. He played all of the tournament's games and minutes for the eventual world champions, save the last 30 minutes of the 0–1 group-stage loss against Switzerland in Durban. He finished the tournament with the third–highest pass success rate, alongside his teammate Puyol, completing 88% of his passes.

At UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, Busquets played every minute as Spain won the title, and he was named in the Team of the Tournament. On 8 September 2014, he scored his first international goal in a 5–1 win over Macedonia during Euro 2016's qualifying phase. His second came during the same tournament on 15 November, in the 3–0 defeat of Belarus in Huelva. He was selected for the final tournament in France.

Busquets celebrated his 100th appearance for Spain on 9 October 2017, in a 1–0 away win against Israel for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Subsequently, he was named in Julen Lopetegui's squad for the finals in Russia.

On 7 October 2020, Busquets captained the Spanish for the first time in a goalless friendly draw away to Portugal, as Sergio Ramos was on the bench. The following May, he was included in Luis Enrique's 24-man squad for UEFA Euro 2020. In the absence of Ramos, he was named captain. He tested positive for COVID-19 eight days before Spain's first game, causing the entire squad to withdraw from their final warm-up match against Lithuania. He missed the first two group games – both draws – before returning to the team for the third, in which he was voted man of the match by UEFA for a 5–0 win over Slovakia. Four days later, in their round of 16 match against Croatia, Busquets was again named the man of the match in his team's 5–3 extra time victory. In the quarter-finals, he hit the post with Spain's first kick of the penalty shootout against Switzerland, though his team prevailed.

In the final against France on 10 October, he once set-up Mikel Oyarzabal who scored the opening goal of the match, although Spain ultimately suffered a 2–1 defeat. For his performances throughout the 2021 UEFA Nations League Finals, Busquets won the Hisense Player of the Finals award.

In the 2022 World Cup, Busquets captained the national team during the tournament in Qatar. In the round of 16, he missed a penalty during the penalty shootouts against Morocco, which ended in a 3–0 defeat after a goalless draw. On 16 December 2022, Sergio announced his retirement from international football, having made 143 appearances in a 15-year period.

Style of play

"He's one of the greatest talents that has been given to Spanish football. This is a discovery. The first time I saw Busquets playing, I called a friend and said: ‘I saw a player from an extinct species’. He's a star."

Considered by several pundits to be one of the best midfielders of his generation, and one of the greatest holding midfielders of all time, Busquets is usually deployed as either a central or defensive midfielder, although he is also capable of playing as a central defender. Busquets is known for redefining the deep-lying midfield position by focusing on football intelligence, precision passing, and a ‘genius’ ability to read the game rather than overwhelming strength or physicality. A hard-working player, he excels at intercepting loose balls and breaking down opposition plays due to his positional sense, defensive attributes, tackling, tactical intelligence, and ability to read the game, despite his lack of pace. Due to his vision, ball control, physical prowess, technical skills, calm composure on the ball, and accurate passing ability, he rarely relinquishes possession, and alongside his former midfield teammates, such as Iniesta, Xavi and Ivan Rakitić, he has also played an important creative role in setting his team's tempo in midfield as a deep-lying playmaker through his short passing game. His role has also been likened to that of a metodista ("centre-half," in Italian football jargon), due to his ability to dictate play in midfield as well as assist his team defensively. His position and playing style have led him to be compared to his former manager, as well as fellow former Spain and Barcelona player, Pep Guardiola.

Manager del Bosque praised Busquets, saying, "If you watch the whole game, you won't see Busquets—but watch Busquets, and you will see the whole game." The latter's height also allows him to be effective in the air, and enables him to advance into more offensive positions on occasion, providing an additional attacking outlet for his team. Busquets has been accused of play-acting in the past, due to his tendency of exaggerating fouls. However, in response to these criticisms, he defended his behavior as intelligent, arguing that the realities of the game are more complex.

Often considered to be one of the most underrated footballers in the world, Busquets earned praise from his peers, with current club teammate Messi saying "When there will be trouble, Busquets will always be there."

Personal life

Busquets' father, Carles, was also a footballer. He played as a goalkeeper for Barcelona for several years during the 1990s, although almost exclusively as a backup.

In 2014, Busquets started a relationship with Elena Galera. They have two sons born in 2016 and 2018. He spotted an Arabic tattoo on his left forearm translating to "A thing for you, the life in my country", dedicated to his maternal grandfather to whom he was very close.

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona B 2007–08 Tercera División 23 2 23 2
2008–09 Segunda División B 2 0 2 0
Total 25 2 25 2
Barcelona 2008–09 La Liga 24 1 9 0 8 2 41 3
2009–10 La Liga 33 0 4 0 10 0 5 1 52 1
2010–11 La Liga 28 1 5 0 12 0 1 0 46 1
2011–12 La Liga 31 1 8 0 10 1 3 0 52 2
2012–13 La Liga 31 1 4 0 8 0 2 0 45 1
2013–14 La Liga 32 1 5 1 9 1 2 0 48 3
2014–15 La Liga 33 1 4 0 10 0 47 1
2015–16 La Liga 35 0 5 0 9 0 4 0 53 0
2016–17 La Liga 33 0 5 0 8 0 2 0 48 0
2017–18 La Liga 31 1 7 0 10 0 2 0 50 1
2018–19 La Liga 35 0 6 0 12 0 1 0 54 0
2019–20 La Liga 33 2 2 0 7 0 1 0 43 2
2020–21 La Liga 36 0 6 0 6 0 2 0 50 0
2021–22 La Liga 36 2 2 0 12 1 1 0 51 3
2022–23 La Liga 30 0 5 0 5 0 2 0 42 0
Total 481 11 77 1 136 5 28 1 722 18
Inter Miami 2023 Major League Soccer 11 0 2 0 7 0 20 0
Career total 517 13 79 1 136 5 35 1 767 20


Russia-Spain 2017 (7)
Busquets (furthest right) lining up for Spain in 2017
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Spain 2009 10 0
2010 16 0
2011 11 0
2012 14 0
2013 12 0
2014 11 2
2015 8 0
2016 12 0
2017 8 0
2018 9 0
2019 5 0
2020 4 0
2021 13 0
2022 10 0
Total 143 2
Scores and results list Spain's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Busquets goal
List of international goals scored by Sergio Busquets
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 8 September 2014 Ciutat de València, Valencia, Spain 70  Macedonia 3–1 5–1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
2 15 November 2014 Nuevo Colombino, Huelva, Spain 73  Belarus 2–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying


FC Barcelona Team 2011
Busquets (wearing No. 16) helps his Barcelona teammates hoist manager Pep Guardiola after they won the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.


Xavi and Sergio Busquets Euro 2012 trophy
Xavi and Busquets with the Henri Delaunay Trophy after Spain won Euro 2012

Inter Miami

  • Leagues Cup: 2023



  • Bravo Award: 2009
  • La Liga's Breakthrough Player: 2009
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2010
  • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2012
  • UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2014–15
  • La Liga Team of the Season:2015–16
  • UEFA La Liga Team of the Season: 2015–16
  • UEFA Nations League Finals Player of the Tournament: 2021


  • Prince of Asturias Awards: 2010
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit: 2011

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sergio Busquets para niños

  • List of footballers with 100 or more UEFA Champions League appearances
  • List of men's footballers with 100 or more international caps
  • List of FC Barcelona players (100+ appearances)
  • List of La Liga players (400+ appearances)
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