FIFA World Cup: Busquets- the last of the ‘Old Guard’; Enrique’s Barca bias?

Sergio Busquets is the only remaining player from the Spain squad that won the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Spain’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas (top L) and midfielder Sergio Busquets (top R) celebrate on a stage set up for the Spanish team victory ceremony in Madrid on July 12, 2010 a day after they won the 2010 FIFA football World Cup match against the Netherlands in Johannesburg.

Spain’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas (top L) and midfielder Sergio Busquets (top R) celebrate on a stage set up for the Spanish team victory ceremony in Madrid on July 12, 2010 a day after they won the 2010 FIFA football World Cup match against the Netherlands in Johannesburg. | Photo Credit: AFP

Sergio Busquets is the only remaining player from the Spain squad that won the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

The Spanish men’s national football team had its ‘Golden Generation’ from 2008 to 2012. In this period the La Rojas won two European championships and a World Cup.

Spain’s 2010 World Cup was arguably one of the best in the competition’s history with talent, filled to the brim. Every position had world beaters. Be it Iker Casillas in goal, the centre-back duo of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, the midfield maestros in Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta and the prolific striker in David Villa - Spain was a nightmare for the opposition.

However, post-2012, Spain has not won any major international trophies. Its current players have not been able to recreate the magic of the ‘Golden Generation’.

Which players from the 2010 World Cup winning team are going to Qatar?

As the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, approaches faster than ever, only one player remains in Spain’s current squad from the ‘Golden Generation’- Sergio Busquets.

Sergio Busquets is without a doubt one of the best defensive midfielders in football’s history. For a long time, Busquets has been responsible for shielding his backline and being the transition point of turning defence into attack. But, Busquets is not the player he once was. Turning 34, Busquets has shown signs of rust which is common with age.

Despite his age, Busquets remains a key player for Spain and Barcelona considering the vast experience he has. Such is his importance that Spain’s head coach Luis Enrique said that he would try and convince Busquets to play the next World Cup in 2026 as well.

Spain has a talented defensive midfielder in Rodri who has been excellent with his club, Manchester City. However, Enrique said that Busquets remains an integral cog in the midfield machinery of Spain.

“He is like [tennis player] Rafa Nadal. If we manage to play how we want, in the opposition half and pressing well, Busquets is like Nadal, the best in the world, but if the team is stretched and the game opens up, no. But I don’t see a better pivot in the world for how we play,” said Enrique.

How many Real Madrid players are in Spain’s World Cup squad for the Qatar World Cup?

There are just two Real Madrid players in Spain’s squad for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar- Dani Carvajal and Marco Asensio. Spain’s 2018 World Cup squad had seven players from the Los Blancos.

Fans and pundits have criticised head coach Luis Enrique for having a bias towards Barcelona players, especially due to the ties he has with the Blaugranas but Enrique has remained firm with his approach saying that he only picks players who would suit his style of play.

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