Xavi on Barcelona in the 'post-Busquets' era
Barcelona coach Xavi believes that a new era will begin at the Catalan club with captain Sergio Busquets announcing his departure at the end of the current season following the end of his contract.
The centre-back has been a key element in the club's success, winning three Champions League titles and can secure a ninth domestic league title if they beat Espanyol on Sunday.
Busquets held a defensive position in the middle behind stars Andres Iniesta and Xavi, while the trio were involved in Spain's successful campaign at the 2010 World Cup when La Roja won the only World Cup in its history.
However, current Spanish coach Xavi expressed his hopes that current young duo Pedri and Gavi will surpass the trio's achievements in Barcelona: "We are working to shape a new (era)."
The coach, who comes from Qatar's Al Sadd, told a press conference on Saturday: "I hope that players like Gavi and Pedri will surpass us, this life, this sport."
The former midfielder added: "I hope they overtake us. I hope they will follow in Busquets' footsteps and achieve his successes, a new era that begins."
Busquets, 34, has made more than 700 appearances for Barcelona, winning 31 trophies. But his highest position in the Ballon d'Or award for the best player in the world was 2012 in 2019.
Xavi continued: "He is the best defensive midfielder I've seen. Not naming him for the Ballon d'Or was unfair to me."
Busquets had previously revealed that he prefers to focus on cups rather than individual titles, and his chance will be on Sunday to include the league title for the first time since 200, given the large difference with his nearest rivals.
Xavi spoke about the derby against Espanyol: "We are <> per cent ready. I see the players training with full energy and strength to win LaLiga".