Sergio Busquets: Barcelona captain to leave club at end of season after 18 years

Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets has officially announced his departure from the club at the conclusion of the current season, marking the end of his remarkable 18-year career with the team.

The 34-year-old former Spain midfielder holds an impressive record of 718 appearances for Barcelona, ranking as the third-highest in the club’s history.

Throughout his time with the club, Busquets has amassed an impressive collection of titles, including eight La Liga championships, seven Copa del Rey triumphs, seven Spanish Super Cups, and three Champions League victories.

“Although it has not been an easy decision, I think the time has come,” Busquets said.

“It has been an unforgettable journey,” he added. “I always dreamed of playing with this shirt and at this stadium. Reality has exceeded all my dreams.

“It has been an honour, a dream, a source of pride, and it meant everything to defend and represent this badge for so many years.

“But everything has a beginning and an end. I want to thank all the people who made this possible, from the first day to the last.”

Busquets initially joined Barcelona in 2005 as a youth player and gradually progressed through the ranks, eventually making his debut for the first team under the guidance of manager Pep Guardiola in a league match against Racing Santander in 2008.

As a defensive midfielder, Busquets has been a key contributor to Barcelona’s success, winning not only eight La Liga titles but also three European Super Cups and three Club World Cups during his tenure with the Spanish giants. Currently, Barcelona, under the leadership of Xavi, is comfortably leading La Liga by 13 points with only five games remaining, positioning Busquets to potentially secure his ninth league title before bidding farewell to the club.

Throughout his 15-year stint with the senior team, Busquets has demonstrated his versatility by scoring 18 goals and providing 40 assists. Barcelona acknowledged his immense contribution and described him as “one of the best players ever to represent the club” upon announcing his decision to depart the Nou Camp.

Furthermore, in his international career, Busquets captained the Spanish national team and claimed victory in the 2010 World Cup as well as the 2012 European Championship before retiring from international football in December.