SERGIO BUSQUETS will leave FC Barcelona this summer, ending an 18-year association with the La Liga club.

The 34-year-old midfielder, who joined Barca’s youth team in 2005, made his first-team debut in 2008 but has decided to move on after turning down the offer of a new contract on reduced terms.

He’s expected to sign for Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal, who are also chasing his former Barca teammate, Lionel Messi.

Busquets said: “The time has come to announce that this will be my last season with Barca.”

“It has been an unforgettable journey. I always dreamed of playing with this shirt and at this stadium and reality has exceeded all my dreams.”

“I wouldn’t have believed it you if you had told me when I arrived as a youth player that I would play 15 seasons at the best club in the world and surpass 700 matches.”

“It has been an honour, a dream, a source of pride and meant everything to defend and represent this badge for so many years. Although it has not been an easy decision I think the time has come.”

Busquets, whose 718 matches for Barcelona put him third on the club’s all-time list of appearances, has won eight league titles – soon to become nine – three Champions Leagues, seven Copas del Rey, seven Spanish Super Cups, three European Super Cups and three Club World Cups.


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