Xavi: Barcelona are not the same without Sergio Busquets

Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez insists veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets remains a crucial player for the Catalans, as his contract nears its end.

The 34-year-old Spain international only has six months left on his contract, and has already been linked to numerous clubs, but Xavi is keen to hold on to him.

"For me he is a transcendental footballer for the team, vital for the dressing room. An example of sacrifice, of leadership. He's priceless," Xavi told the press ahead of Barcelona's Supercup tie with Real Betis.

"From a football point of view, he is the equilibrium of the team, he commands his teammates. When he is there and he is not there, you notice it.

"There is a before and after in terms of the defensive pivot with and without Busi. We will always see him as an example, a mould. This one has similar things to Busi, this one doesn't... Vital."

Busquets worked his way through the Barca youth system before breaking into the first team in 2008, and he is now closing in on 700 appearances for the club.

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