Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has hurled praise at Sergi Roberto who is expected to take over the captain’s armband from Sergio Busquets after the midfielder leaves the club at the end of the season.
Busquets has announced he will walk away from the club in the summer when his contract expires, meaning Barcelona will need a new captain. Roberto looks set to take over the role and has his manager’s full backing, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
“Sergi Roberto is a fine captain, exemplary, he talks much more than people think, he is an undervalued footballer and he will be a great captain,” he told reporters.
Xavi has fiercely defended Roberto during his time as coach. The veteran has been regularly criticized by some sections of the support, but Xavi has described him as the “perfect wild card.”
The Barcelona coach has also named Roberto as one of several players capable of captaining his team next season. Xavi also mentioned a host of other stars including Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Pedri, Gavi, Ronald Araujo and Roberto Lewandowski.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Sergio Busquets Says Farewell
Outgoing captain Busquets said goodbye to Barcelona after his team’s 3-0 win over Real Mallorca in La Liga on Sunday, May 28. The skipper told fans at the Camp Nou that he has lived the dream at Barcelona, as reported by ESPN.
“I dreamed of one day playing in this stadium,” he said “When I was a kid, I came here to watch matches, I went to away games, I watched on television. Nobody will ever take away the feeling of pride of belonging to the best club in the world“I am leaving, but the dream I had has been fulfilled — in fact, it’s been better than I ever imagined. This is also not a goodbye, it is a ‘see you soon.’”
Xavi confirmed after the win that Busquets and Jordi Alba had both played their final games for the club. Neither player will feature in the team’s final game of the season against Celta Vigo at Balaidos in a week’s time.
Sergi Roberto Proud To Be Captain
Roberto took over the captaincy in Barcelona’s final home game of the season against Real Mallorca. Busquets was substituted late on and handed over the armband to Roberto before walking off to a huge ovation.
The midfielder spoke out after the game and admitted it was a special moment for him and that he’s looking forward to taking on the responsibility, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
“Sergio‘s farewell, when he given me the armband, has been a very special moment. I have gone from fourth, third, second and now first captain,” he said. “For me it is a source of pride, for now I have to be the first captain.”
Yet it’s not clear how much Robero will play next season. The versatile veteran is not guaranteed a place in Xavi’s starting XI and has only started 14 La Liga games for Barcelona in the current campaign.