If the first Clásico of this season promised to be Ansu, Pedri, Valverde or Rodrygo (although Ramos later resolved it); and this is that of Dembélé or Vinicius, strong youngsters, the old Barça rockers continue to demand their voice. Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba will add 70 games against the whites this Saturday. The midfielder will play for the fortieth time against Madrid. So far, they have won 19 games against the whites, drew eight and lost twelve. Meanwhile, Alba will reach the thirtieth game against Madrid (five of them played with the Valencia shirt). You can see that the side did not live the Guardiola era. His balance is significantly worse than that of Busquets: he won nine, tied seven and lost thirteen.
The first Classics were absolute happiness for Sergio Busquets, Although he was not a starter, since his position was occupied by Yaya Touré, Barça passed over Madrid quite often. Except for that 2011 Cup final, Barça added memorable triumphs at the Bernabéu such as 2-6, and others more comfortable in which it was already indisputable (0-2 at the Bernabéu in LaLiga and the Champions semi-final). Busquets has not scored a goal in a Classic, but it has been untouchable for the technicians to the point that he only missed the Classic of the 2019-20 season, in which he stayed on the bench. Valverde left him out of the team and it was never clear if he did it or not because of a fever. This course was replaced by Koeman in the 82nd minute.
Jordi Alba, meanwhile, has scored two goals for Madrid. But on bad days. Defeat with Valencia (3-6) and elimination in the Copa del Rey semifinal (3-6). He did give assists in games remembered by the Barça fans. He gave an assist in the 0-4 score at the Bernabéu in the 2015-16 season; the key pass to Messi on the famous Sant Jordi day when the Argentine showed the shirt to the fans; and the pass to Coutinho from 1-0 that ended in hand against Madrid.
Indicated after the 2-8 against Bayern (Alba came from further behind, specifically from Anfield and the Cup final), Busquets and Alba seemed to have their days numbered at the Barça club. However, they were delicate cases. Canteranos, they have given themselves body and soul to the club and have won a lot. His long contracts (Busquets until 2023 and Alba until 2024), however, were highly questioned. Koeman called them individually as soon as they landed at the Ciutat Esportiva to find out what they thought and if they were in a position to retrain to rebuild the team. The two have done it successfully and have become essential for the Dutchman. Jordi Alba has already played 39 games this season, in which he has scored five goals and has given twelve assists. And Busquets has played 40, in which he has given three assists, the last in San Sebastián with a great pass to Messi. The old rockers are still standing at Barça.