FC Barcelona - Sergio Busquets and Javi Martínez, face to face

They play in the same position. They were both born in 1988 and have shared success with the Spanish national team. The last Sergio Busquets and Javier Martinez – who get on great together – played against each other was in last season’s Spanish Cup Final and this Tuesday they will again be on opposing sides when Barça play Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. Both are key players for Tito Vilanova and Jupp Heynckes and both are ready for next week’s big challenge.

“Sergio Busquets is a key player for Barça. There are others who get more headlines, but this Barça team have won so many titles thanks in large part to him. Sergio Busquets is the key player for Barça. He always keeps his position and sets up players like Xavi and Iniesta who can go forward knowing that their backs are covered”, according to Javi Martínez. Sergio is equally full of praise for the Basque midfielder: “Javi Martínez has a spectacular physical potential. He gets all around the pitch and wins possession back everywhere. He’s the lungs of the team and as many of his teammates and his coach have said – he is the key piece which the team needed”.

Close tie

Both players are convinced that the tie will be a real clash of titans: “I think this is the ideal moment for us to face Barça, but the problem is that they are also in good form”, according to the ex-Athletic Bilbao player, whilst Busquets believes “it’s going to be a close game between two big teams who play great football”.

Is there any aspect of the other team which most worries them? “Of Barça, unfortunately, everything! They are a well balanced team with the best player in the world. Even if Messi has an off day, they have other players like Pedro, Alexis, Villa, Xavi, Iniesta, etc.”, says Martinez. For Busquets: “Bayern know what they are doing. They play a game which is easy on the eye for any fan and they have some great individuals. Any of their players can cause problems for you, and as a team too!”.

Key to the win

Finally, the two gave their opinion as to what will be the key to reaching the final: “for me it’ll be the first leg. Against Arsenal and Juventus we went into the second leg with a big lead. This time we play the first game at home and we know we need a good result, because we will certainly be made to suffer in Barcelona”. The Catalan, in contrast, saw the small details as being the most important: “the team which is best organised on the pitch and most focussed will get to the final. It’ll be the small details or some error which will tip the balance - hopefully in our favour!”.