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The words "5ERGIO UNIQUE" said it all on this final occasion that the Spotify Camp Nou and the Barça legend said their goodbyes. The farewell was marked by a Club event full of emotion for this one-of-a-kind player, Sergio Busquets. One of the best central midfielders Barça has ever seen, who forged unique memories during his time at the Club, both tangible in terms of titles, but also intangible like the feelings of assuredness engendered by his metronomic playing style.
This was Sergio's day, first on the red carpet, and then on the pitch in the stadium. The now former Barça captain came dressed elegantly in black for the occasion and was accompanied by this family at Spotify Camp Nou. He was joined by the first team squad and other former players of great standing such as Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol and Bojan Krkić.
Tributes rain in from all around the world
The Spotify Camp Nou was picture perfect for the event and this time the midfielder had on smart shoes rather than his boots. The stands may have been empty but all the 32 trophies he won during his 15 seasons at the Club were there on show, and the applause rang out constantly from all those present to add to the atmosphere. The Board of Directors were there, led by FC Barcelona presidente Joan Laporta, and even Emilio Butragueño attended on Real Madrid's behalf, paying a lovely tribute to Busquets' career.
The number 5 played in many wonderful games in the stadium, bringing delight to many, but today was his turn to smile with the countless tributes of admiration he received. Busquets heard from former players with whom he made history, such as Piqué, Puyol, Iniesta, Messi and Guardiola, experiences that will live long in the collective memory and which brought smiles to Sergio once again. He joined the Club's youth system in 2005, and he stated that “when we won the six titles in one season, I had a great time with these teammates, many of whom had come through La Masia and we spoke the same football language".
Smiles, a few tears, and a challenge
Friendship and companionship were two other often used terms when talking about Busquets. “He is a very endearing person, and an example for the boys and girls at La Masia. He has been a cornerstone of the best Barça in history, with his true footballing style, and he became the best in his position in the world”, explained Joan Laporta.
The tears were held back until his wife Elena Galera said a few words, expressing her evident pride about someone for whom the tributes kept coming. There was still time for some laughs, helped by the comedian and compere for the event, Dani Martínez, and also fruit of the "policeman" nickname he has among his teammates and his coach, Xavi Hernández. There was even a challenge posed by former Barça player and coach, Pep Guardiola, when he said, “See you in technical area”.
Sergio: “We'll see each other again”
During his final speech to close the event, the eternal Sergio Busquets' eyes shone brightly once again. He thanked everyone and the captain repeated what he said at the Spotify Camp Nou, “this is not a goodbye, it's a see you soon. We'll see each other and enjoy good times once again. A culer is leaving who will be supporting Barça wherever he goes”. The end to a wonderful evening gave way to a round of applause that could really go on forever. Thanks Sergio!
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