Sergio Busquets, In 2011, Barcelona was on top of the world. The Catalan club had won three consecutive La Liga titles and had just claimed their second UEFA Champions League trophy in three years. At the heart of that dominant team was Sergio Busquets, a young defensive midfielder who was essential to their success.
Fast forward to today, and the picture is very different. Barcelona is in crisis, having been knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 for the fourth consecutive year. They are no longer the dominant force they once were, and their famed squad of 2011 is long gone. So where are they now, and what happened to Barcelona’s 2011 squad?
Sergio Busquets was just 22 years old,
Sergio Busquets was just 22 years old when Barcelona won their second Champions League trophy in three years. He was already an established first-team player, having made his debut in 2008. Busquets was a key player in the team that dominated world football, alongside the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Lionel Messi.
But where is Busquets now? Well, he’s still at Barcelona, aged 32. In fact, he’s one of the few remaining members of that 2011 squad. Busquets has been a mainstay of the Barcelona team for over a decade now, and despite the team’s recent struggles, he remains an integral part of the side.
However, it’s not just Busquets who has remained at Barcelona. Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, and Lionel Messi are all still at the club, too. But while they have all remained at Barcelona, their fortunes have changed dramatically since 2011.
Pique has struggled with injuries in recent years and has been unable to maintain his previous high levels of performance. Jordi Alba has also suffered a decline in form, and while Messi is still undoubtedly one of the world’s best players, Barcelona has been unable to build a team around him that can compete at the highest level.
So what happened to the rest of the 2011 squad? Well, it’s a mixed bag. Some have retired from football altogether, while others have moved on to other clubs or are plying their trade in lesser leagues.
Victor Valdes, the goalkeeper who played such a crucial role in that 2011 Champions League win, retired from football in 2019. Carles Puyol, the legendary Barcelona captain, retired in 2014 after struggling with injuries. David Villa, who scored in the final of the 2011 Champions League, is now the head coach of New York City FC in MLS.
Cesc Fabregas, who played a key role in the Barcelona midfield, returned to the Premier League in 2014 to play for Chelsea, before moving to AS Monaco in 2019. Pedro, who also played a vital role in the team, left for Chelsea in 2015 before moving to AS Roma in 2020.
The 2011 squad was full of talented players, but it’s clear that they have all gone their separate ways in the years since that famous Champions League win. Some have retired, while others have moved on to new clubs or new challenges. But the one constant has been Barcelona’s decline in recent years.
The team that dominated world football for so long has struggled to keep pace with their rivals in recent years. While Busquets and a few others remain from that 2011 squad, the team is a shadow of its former self. It remains to be seen if Barcelona can once again become the dominant force they once were, but one thing is clear: the 2011 squad will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in the club’s history.