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Stuttgart in way of Busquets' final dream

Sergio Busquets calls VfB Stuttgart "tough opponents" but the FC Barcelona midfielder is dreaming of ending his second senior season like his first, in the UEFA Champions League final.

Sergio Busquets (right) in action during the first leg
Sergio Busquets (right) in action during the first leg ©Getty Images

There is just one thing on Sergio Busquets's mind and that is helping FC Barcelona reach a second consecutive UEFA Champions League final – this time at the home of Real Madrid CF.

The 21-year-old ended his first senior season last May by starting Barcelona's 2-0 defeat of Manchester United FC in Rome, meaning he emulated the European Champion Clubs' Cup triumph of his father Carles in 1992, making them only the third father and son to have both won the competition. If Busquets Jr is to be victorious again, Barcelona must come through their first knockout round tie with VfB Stuttgart with the scoreline at 1-1 ahead of the Camp Nou second leg.

"To reach the final at the Santiago Bernabéu is like a dream, but before that we have a match against tough opponents in Stuttgart," the Spanish international said. "It's a hard game and every match is a whole different story; there are no easy teams in the last 16 and we have to watch out for Stuttgart."

Indeed, Barcelona trailed at half-time in the first leg in Germany before Zlatan Ibrahimović's equaliser. "We learnt a good lesson in the first leg because we weren't precise enough in the first half," Busquets said. "We have to play to win. We're at home with our crowd behind us and we have to be ourselves. We're the reigning champions; we have to stick together and put the pressure on in attack."

Barcelona did just that in the second half against Valencia CF on Sunday, allowing Lionel Messi to strike a hat-trick in a 3-0 win that kept them level with Madrid at the Liga summit, thereby boosting team morale into the bargain. "The dressing room is in good spirits, happy after the victory against Valencia," Busquets said. "The second half was good and helped us get into a positive dynamic."