Barcelona star Sergio Busquets passes legends Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos for all-time El Clasico appearance record

Sergio Busquets Barcelona 2022-23
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Barcelona veteran Sergio Busquets overtook former team-mate Lionel Messi and ex-Real Madrid man Sergio Ramos in the record books on Thursday.
  • Busquets made 46th El Clasico appearance
  • Overtook Messi and Ramos on 45 each
  • Could make it 48 by end of season

WHAT HAPPENED? Barca and Madrid faced up for the third time this season in their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg tie. The 34-year-old once again started in midfield for Xavi's side, crowning him with the 46th El Clasico appearance of his career. The start takes Busquets above both Messi and Ramos, who called time on their La Liga careers having played in 45 derbies each.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: With the Copa del Rey return leg still to play in a months' time, as well as the league match at Camp Nou between the two meetings, Busquets will have the opportunity to take his total to 48 before a decision is made on his future in the summer. Thursday's match finished 1-0 to the away side, with an Eder Militao own-goal giving Xavi's a slim advantage to take to Camp Nou. The win also took Sergio Busquets to 22 in his El Clasico career, overtaking Paco Gento (21) as the most in the history of the derby.

WHAT NEXT FOR BUSQUETS? Before the next two matches against his eternal rivals, the veteran Spaniard will hope to feature in some capacity in Barca's league game at home to Valencia on Sunday.