Guardiola: Barcelona History Not Possible Without Iniesta
30 April, 2018, 03:45 | Author: Anita Tucker
18 - Iniesta was 18 years and 170 days old when he made his Barca debut in a Champions League clash with Club Brugge on October 29, 2002.
Spain greats Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Fernando Torres also expressed their admiration for Iniesta, while Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino - the former coach of Barcelona's city rivals Espanyol - added: "We were enemies for a while".
9 - While never a Ballon d'Or victor, Iniesta has been included in the FIFA FIFPro World XI on nine occasions - only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have more appearances (11).
A graduate of Barcelona's famed La Masia Academy, Iniesta's time with the Catalan giants coincided with arguably the best period in the club's history.
Iniesta is set to win his ninth La Liga crown for Barca, who only need a draw at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
Last year, Iniesta became the first player to sign a lifetime contract with Barcelona, a deal that allowed him to keep playing for the club as long as he remained fit. "I want to thank my teammates", he said.
Even so the modest, diminutive national treasure who scored the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final and led Barcelona to the treble in 2009 and 2015, steps away from Camp Nou as the most decorated Spanish player of all time with more than 30 trophies for club and country.
I don't want to kid anyone.
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"Andres is a player absolutely in the first class", Lopetegui said.
"There are still things to talk about and to close, but I have always said, I will never play against my club, so it could be anywhere that is not Europe", was all he commented.
Many still consider an injustice that Iniesta did not receive the Golden Ball in that 2010 and this week the magazine "France Football", which since 1956 delivers the award, he apologized for never having recognized him as the best in the world. The recognition he has had at all levels of global football is not earned by chance. He also thanked the fans, who had seen him "grow since I was 12 years old and have supported me in good and bad times".
Once Iniesta plays his remaining five matches with Barcelona, Iniesta will head to Russian Federation for this summer's World Cup in what could be the end of his glorious career with Spain.
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