Champions League

Rio Ferdinand Recalls the Time Sergio Busquets Made Him Feel Like a 'Conference Player'

Amreen
Rop Ferdinand recalled his brush with Sergio Busquets during the 2011 Champions League final
Rop Ferdinand recalled his brush with Sergio Busquets during the 2011 Champions League final / Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
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Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Sergio Busquets left him feeling like a "conference player" during Barcelona's 3-1 Champions League win over Manchester United in 2011.

The Barca midfielder was impressive for Spain during their Euro 2020 campaign, which came to an end against Italy on Wednesday. But his first-half performance in the semi-final against Roberto Mancini's side reminded Ferdinand of the time he went up against Busquets at Wembley.

Speaking during the BBC's coverage of Spain's Euro 2020 semi-final against Italy, Ferdinand said: "We were here at Wembley in the final and we actually got abused that game by Barcelona, they were brilliant. Your confidence is low anyway, you are trying to get the ball back off him. He turned and said to me “Ferdinand, Vidic, boom boom boom” [referring to the two centre-backs playing long balls all the time], honestly I felt like a conference player."

He went on to claim he loves watching Busquets, and praised his game against Italy, saying: "He has bossed this game and he's a fabulous player to watch."

Ferdinand went on to add that a player for the next generation is Pedri, who starred for Barcelona last season. Ferdinand added: “The way he receives the ball all the time, his head’s up and has the awareness. Receiving the ball on the half turn is natural for him.

“He has the natural ability to know where people are. Little bits of skill here and there separates him. Last season for Barcelona, you saw how impressive he was and he’s brought it to this stage.”

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