Barcelona stalwart Sergio Busquets has evoked memories from the 2011 European Cup final between his side and Manchester United in the build-up to their Champions League showdown
Barca utterly outplayed United in that final, as they have had 63% possession of the ball, exchanging around 700 during 90 minutes.
It was the Catalans’ apex under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage, and Sergio Busquets is one of just three men currently on Barcelona’s books that have featured that spectacular night at the Wembley Stadium.
With his team preparing for a trip to England for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-finals tie with Manchester United, the 30-year-old has recalled the last European encounter between these two heavyweights.
According to the Spanish midfielder, Wayne Rooney approached Xavi Hernandez ten minutes before the final whistle and said: “That’s enough, you’ve won. You can stop playing the ball around now.”
It was the golden era of Guardiola’s famous tiki-taka, and even Sir Alex Ferguson could not have helped himself not to hail the Blaugrana’s outstanding performance in the final.
“They do mesmerize you the way they pass it,” he said. “No one has given us a hiding like that.”
The Spain international has emphasized that the biggest recognition a football player can get is the one coming from their opponents.
“Beyond the way, we enjoyed it on the pitch, that recognition from opponents – and we’re talking about incredibly important people – leaves you feeling pride and gratitude.
“Sometimes you can be frustrated when the opponents are so much better, but instead they said things like that. It’s the highest praise. We hurt them a lot keeping the ball; they spent a lot of time running after it.
“That was the best performance of Pep’s era, where our success, our superiority was most overwhelming – a demonstration of how we wanted to play.”