Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez believes a new era is starting at the club after Sergio Busquets said this week he will leave in the summer at the end of his contract.
The defensive midfielder was a key part of the club’s glorious era of success, winning three Champions Leagues, and he can clinch his ninth La Liga title if Barcelona beats Espanyol on Sunday.
Busquets played as pivot behind Andres Iniesta and Xavi in an iconic midfield trio, and the three of them also won the World Cup with Spain in 2010.
However the coach said he hoped the likes of Pedri and Gavi could beat anything he, Iniesta and Busquets achieved at Barcelona.
“We are working on forming a new (era),” Xavi told a news conference Saturday.
“I hope players like Gavi, and Pedri, can even go beyond us, that is life, that is sport.
“I hope they can surpass us, I hope. There’s a very good batch, home-grown players and midfielders especially.
“I hope they follow in Busquets’ footsteps and can achieve as much success as he has, a new era is beginning.”
Busquets, 34, has played over 700 times for Barcelona and lifted 31 trophies. However his highest ever finish in the voting to win the Ballon d’Or was 20th, in 2012.
“He’s the best defensive midfielder I’ve ever seen,” continued Xavi.
“Not being nominated for the Ballon d’Or, for me it was an injustice.”
Busquets has said previously he prefers to concentrate on silverware rather than individual accolades and Sunday offers Barcelona the chance to win La Liga for the first time since 2019.
“We’re at 200 per cent,” said Xavi ahead of the clash with Catalan derby rival Espanyol in Cornella.
“I’m seeing them train at full pelt with hope, desire and intensity, to win La Liga.”
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