Oriol Busquets made a ‘dream’ debut when helping a much-changed Barcelona side coast into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey with a 5-0 win over Real Murcia at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde made the expected selection rotation, which included giving 18-year-old midfielder Busquets his first start on what was the occasion of the club’s 118th anniversary.
The league leaders were already 3-0 up from the first leg, and despite the predicted sweeping changes, Valverde’s men never looked in any danger of failing to finish the job.
Oriol Busquets congratulates Gerard Pique after the defender scored Barcelona’s second
Paco Alcacer headed Barcelona into the lead after 15 minutes, with Gerard Pique making it 2-0 early in the second half before Aleix Vidal, Denis Suarez and substitute Jose Arnaiz completed the rout.
Busquets did not look out of place during his hour-long debut, before being replaced by Sergi Roberto, and it is an experience the Barcelona B player, who came to the club as a raw eight-year-old talent, wants more of.
‘We have been working for a long time to make this dream come true, to make your debut with the first team,’ he said in an interview with Barca TV.
Five different goalscorers found the net for Barcelona as they booked their place in the last 16
‘It was a great experience, I am really grateful to the club and coach as well. I tried to show the qualities of my game as best I could.’
Busquets added on the club’s official website: ‘I tried to get my nerves under control, remembering it’s a game of football and I have to play as I know. I helped the team and we played a great match, achieving a good result.
‘My great dream was to play here, since I first came to Barca, and I will do everything possible to succeed here.
‘I have been working for this for many years, it’s been a very nice experience, the dream debut for every child who starts playing football from a very young age.’
Denis Suarez bagged the fourth for the home side as they recorded an 8-0 aggregate win
Valverde also sent on 22-year-old David Costas to replace Pique in the centre of defence just before the hour.
The Barcelona manager was pleased to see the way the squad adapted to come through what could have been a testing tie.
‘In this type of game you try and avoid surprises and the best way to do it is to play with pace and dynamism,’ Valverde said, quoted on the club’s official website.
‘Both in the first leg and in the second leg we were good in that aspect and having got through to the last 16 leaves a pleasant taste in our mouths.’