There’s no doubt Barcelona have endured a rollercoaster year on and off the pitch with no sign of the chaos ending any time soon. Captain Lionel Messi’s future remains uncertain, president Josep Maria Bartomeu is facing a vote of no confidence and new manager Ronald Koeman is under pressure to restore the club to its former glories.
Midfielder Sergio Busquets, who has seen it all during his 15 years at the club, was asked about the club’s current situation while on international duty with Spain. The midfielder came up with a pretty perfect answer in Monday’s press conference, admitting it would take hours to get to the bottom of the club’s problems.
“One thing is what happens outside, which is not the best moment of the club. And another is what happens on the pitch, which was not our best year and it shows at an individual and collective level. If I stopped to give my opinion carefully, it could take five or six hours,” he said.
“On the pitch it was not our best year. Football is a team sport and if you are not well collectively, you will not be individually. But it has already happened and we have a new opportunity. Things have changed and we hope it will get better.”
However, Barcelona have provided fans with some room for optimism in their first three games of the season under Koeman. Wins over Villarreal and Celta and a draw with Sevilla mean the team have seven points from a possible nine and offers encouragement after a difficult summer.
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Busquets Answers Critics
The Barcelona midfielder also took time out to answer his critics and speak about his future with the national team. The veteran turned 32 in July but is not considering hanging up his international boots just yet.
“I focus on going season to season. It is clear that I am not 20 years old anymore and I cannot look much into the future. I feel fine,” he said.
“Soccer is like that and practically all the players have been criticized. I am proud to continue here and to continue adding games. In the end, the day to day is valued. Criticism that is constructive, is welcome. The rest I know is part of football.”
Busquets captained the Spain team last time out in their friendly draw against Portugal, but manager Luis Enrique has warned the Barcelona star he’s not guaranteed a place in his side for next summer’s European Championship.
Backing For Ansu Fati
The midfielder also answered questions about 17-year-old team-mate Ansu Fati. The starlet has enjoyed a strong start to the season, scoring three goals in three games for Barcelona, and is also part of the Spain set-up.
“Ansu Fati is very young and he always tries to observe and ask questions. He’s maturing by leaps and bounds.”
Fati and Busquets are both expected to start Spain’s Nations League clash Ukraine on Tuesday. The duo will then both return to Barcelona to prepare for Saturday’s La Liga trip to Getafe.