FC Barcelona midfielder and captain Sergio Busquets greets fans during a training session at the Spotify Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, 2 January 2023. EFE/ Juan Carlos Cárdenas

Busquets to leave Barcelona after 18 years

Barcelona, May 10 (EFE).- Sergio Busquets has announced he will be leaving Barcelona at the end of this season after more than 18 years with the club.

In a video shared by the club on Wednesday, the Barcelona captain said he was calling time on an “unforgettable” career at the Camp Nou that saw him clinch 31 titles.

Coach Xavi Hernández had urged the midfielder to stay on but Busquets, whose contract ends on June 30, has decided not to renew his contract with the team he joined in 2005 as a youth player.

FC Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets (l) and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric (r) during the 26th match of the 2023 LaLiga season at Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain, 19 march 2023. EFE / Siu Wu.

Busquets will be leaving Barcelona after 17 seasons with the team, which saw him win 8 LaLiga titles, 7 Copas del Rey, 7 Spanish Super Cups, 3 Champions Leagues, 3 Club World Cups and 3 UEFA Super Cups.

Barça, who are 13 points clear with five games left to play, are poised to add another LaLiga title, bringing Busquets’ haul to 32.

It seems likely Busquets’ next stop will be Saudi Arabia, where he has several offers.

In his farewell video, Busquets said that his journey with the Barça team had been “unforgettable” and that “reality had surpassed” everything he had dreamed of when he first signed on to the team as a young boy.

FC Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets during a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 14 January 2023. EFE/ Juan Carlos Cárdenas

“Who was going to tell me when I arrived as a junior that I would play 15 seasons in the best team in the world — the club of my life of which I have been, am, and will be a fan, partner, player and captain — and to be able to exceed 700 games?” the footballer mused in the video.

Busquets added that it had been “an honor, a dream and a source of pride” to wear the Barça shirt for so many years, but, he said, “everything has a beginning and an end”.

The Barça midfielder went on to thank all the people who have supported his work at the club, including club workers, physiotherapists, doctors, delegates, managers, presidents and fellow players.

He championed Barcelona fans and his family, whom he thanked for their support throughout his career.

“Belonging to Barça is as good as it gets,” Busquets said, echoing one of the club’s most popular chants. EFE