‘He embarrassed me’ – Arsenal star Saka names toughest opponent

Date published: Monday 11th April 2022 11:49 - Will Ford

Arsenal starlet Saka

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has named Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets as his toughest opponent, recalling an occasion when the midfielder “embarrassed” him.

Saka has made 122 appearances in all competitions since making his senior debut for Arsenal in 2018.


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When asked who his toughest opponent was in an interview with GQ, Saka named Barcelona midfield general Busquets.

The Spain international has won eight La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies in his time with the Catalan giants.

Saka has come up against Busquets just once, in a pre-season friendly in August 2019.

Saka said: “The way he just so elegantly turned me! I came at him to press him, I tried to fake this side then go to the other, and the way he just embarrassed me: I was just like, yeah, this guy is elite.

“The way he just took me out of the play, I said, ‘Respect.’ [Busquets] is three steps ahead of everyone and that’s what makes you a top footballer. That’s what I realised that day.”

Saka has played in a number of positions for the Gunners, including wing-back and central midfield.

But he now operates on the left wing and is a key part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

The 20-year-old grew up idolising Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and recalled one of the Argentinian’s famous Copa del Rey goal against Athletic Club as the one he would most like to have scored himself.

Saka added: “Because of the moment,” said Saka. “I think I would say Leo Messi’s goal in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Club. The one where he dribbled everyone. Now that I play, I can see how hard it is to score that goal.

“People are trying to kick him, to bring him down in the process, and he just keeps going, and he still scored in the final, as well. I was just like, wow. When he says he’s going past you, you’re not stopping him!”

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