Rio Ferdinand reveals that Sergio Busquets made him feel like a conference player during their 3-1 defeat against Barcelona in 2011. Busquets played a major part at the base of Spain’s midfield, dictating the tempo of the game. Spain dominated Italy in the semifinal but could not convert their chances. They ended up losing in the penalty shootout with Alvaro Morata missing the decisive penalty.
“It was here at Wembley, and we got abused in that game by Barcelona, they were brilliant.” Rio Ferdinand said talking about Sergio Busquets. “So your confidence is low and I was trying to get the ball back from him [Busquets] at a throw-in and he just said ‘ah Ferdinand, Vidic, boom, boom, boom’ [imitating long passes]. I felt like a conference player.”
Busquets has helped Spanish teenager Pedri with the freedom needed to express himself. He has flourished alongside Busquets and Koke in the tournament so far. His range of passing and ball retention skills has been second to none so far. He has completed the most passes in the final third as compared to any player at Euro 2020 so far. Such is his level of performance that coach Luis Enrique said that Pedri at 18 is better than what Iniesta was at the same age.
“It’s unique what Pedri has done. People have not seen anything like this before, never. Andres Iniesta was not like this at 18-years-old.” Enrique said. “We have another 18-year-old in Ansu Fati to come back to. We have to look after these young players.”