The Decorated Playmaker and Captain

Full Name: Andrés Iniesta Luján
Nicknames:

The Illusionist (El Illusionista)
Don Andrés
The Brain (El Cerebro)

Birthdate: May 11, 1984
Place of Birth: Spain
Playing years: 1994 to Present
Position(s): Midfielder (Left and Attacking Midfield)
Football Club (Current): Barcelona

Award(s):

Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit (2011)
Marca Legend Award (2011)
UEFA Best Player in Europe Award (2012)
IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker (2012, 2013)
Golden Foot (2014)

Formative years

Andrés Iniesta grew up in Fuentealbilla, Spain from a well-to-do family. At the age of 10, his father José Antonio got him to Albacete youth academy where he honed his skills as a young footballer. Whilst playing in a junior seven-a-side tilt, he caught the attention of big scouts and Spanish clubs. With his father’s connection to FC Barcelona management, Iniesta was able to secure a tryout and was later sent to La Masia academy and the Barcelona youth program. He was the youngest player in the ranks but he soon became one of the ace midfielders. He was appointed as captain of the Barcelona Under-15 and he led his teammates to the 1999 Nike Premier Cup. Iniesta eventually joined the main squad of Barca with then captain Pep Guardiola.

Notable Skills/Style of Play

– Strong dribbling skills
– Off the ground ballplay
– Inclined to layoffs
– Creative passing
– Tendency to hold on to the ball
– Inventiveness in controlling the midfield

Football Career

Iniesta’s succeeding years with Barca evinced his high-caliber prowess in the field. He earned praises for his readiness to play any position for his team. He played a big role in Barcelona’s La Liga victory in 2004 and in 2008, his club won the Joan Gamper Trophy with him at the helm. He is often lauded not only by Barcelona fans but also by his rivals. He scored a crucial equalizer in the semi-finals of the 2009 Champions League and his team was able to bring home the trophy. Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney went on to state that Iniesta was the best player in the world. After experiencing personal difficulties, he bounced back and netted Spain’s match-winning goal in the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals. Throughout the season, he received standing ovations in admiration of his World Cup winning goal and his friendship with the late Daniel Jarque. That same year, he was lined up among Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernández as a finalist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or. His goals in key matches helped Barcelona snag the Supercopa de España title in season 2011-2012. Impressive performances in three different matches led to him being awarded the man of the match for UEFA Euro 2012. He was also chosen as the UEFA Euro 2012 Player of the Tournament. Moreover, he led Barcelona to an unbeaten streak of 51 matches in La Liga and became captain of the team in 2014. Overall, he has amassed 34 major winners’ medals on top of his club’s recent wins.

Leaving Barcelona

Despite 16 incredibly successful years with Barcelona, Iniesta is poised to leave the club at the end of this season. In an emotional press conference, the midfielder announced his exit while thanking his teammates. Earlier reports indicated his move to the Chinese Super League but that has since been delayed. He has offers to remain in Europe however, with Pep Guardiola considering the swoop and opportunities with Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain. The playmaker bids a glorious goodbye though as Barcelona celebrates a double win having trumped Sevilla for their fourth-straight Copa del Rey title and dominating Deportivo for the Spanish league title. Barca has won the La Liga for the seventh time in 10 seasons just last Sunday. A resplendent international farewell for Iniesta is also imminent as he’s set to head to Russia at the World Cup this summer. For his millions of supporters, he will always be the epitome of smooth passing carousel and exceptional football.

See the heartwarming sight of Andrés Iniesta in the legendary blue and red colors of Barca in his last games with the team. That includes a final Clasico clash with Real Madrid this coming Sunday. Place your bets on these matches through Eastbridge bet broker to access the best odds in the market!

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