The Barcelona midfielder rates Pep Guardiola’s 2011 European Cup win as the club’s pinnacle and, if they can beat Manchester United again, would relish facing Guardiola’s current side
The last time Manchester United and Barcelona met it ended with a plea for mercy. There were 10 minutes left in the 2011 European Cup final when Wayne Rooney approached Xavi Hernández and, the way the Catalan recalls it, said something like: “That’s enough, you’ve won. You can stop playing the ball around now.” Sergio Busquets, who was alongside him that day, smiles at the memory, laughing a little. Eight years on he is one of only three of the 26 men who played at Wembley who remain as the clubs prepare to meet again on Wednesday and there is nostalgia as well as joy in reliving the moment he calls “the culmination of everything, the highest point”.
Time passes but nothing passes quite like that team. Busquets attempted 82 passes against United during the final, misplacing only five; Leo Messi 100, Andrés Iniesta 115, Xavi 148. The eight players with the most passes were all Barcelona’s, collectively completing almost 700. “They do mesmerise you the way they pass it,” Sir Alex Ferguson said. “No one has given us a hiding like that.” In the film Take the Ball, Pass the Ball, Michael Carrick describes Barcelona as “just too good” – words that made it all the more worthwhile, validating an ideal that Busquets represents.
Source: Football News
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