Andres Iniesta was born on May 11, 1984. Iniesta comes from Fuentealbilla, a small village in the province of Albacete, Castile, La Mancha, Spain. He is a professional Spanish footballer. Andres Iniesta used to play as a central midfielder for the Barcelona club and the Spanish team. At the present age, he plays for the Japanese club named Vissel Kobe.
Andres Iniesta came to La Masia, Barcelona’s young academy and has impressed since he was very young. He made his first-team debut at the age of 18 in 2002. He started playing regularly in the 2004-05 season and played until 2018. Iniesta is an integral part of Barcelona. He has won 33 titles, including 9 La Liga titles and 4 UEFA Champions League titles, making him the most prolific Spanish football player of all time.
At the age of 12, while playing for Albacete Balompié in a tournament in Albacete, he drew scouts from clubs across Spain. His parents were acquainted with Barcelona youth team coach, Enrique Orizaola, and he convinced them to consider sending Iniesta to the Barcelona youth academy. Iniesta traveled with his parents and visited La Masia, where the club trained his young players, the trip persuaded them to enroll Iniesta in the ranks of Barcelona’s youth academy.
In the 2004-05 season, Iniesta featured in 37 of the club’s 38 matches, more than any other player. He scored two goals for Barcelona in La Liga. Xavi’s injury at the start of the 2005-06 season allowed Iniesta to play more often in the center of midfield, and that was when Iniesta found his forte. He played 11 matches in the UEFA Champions League, including 2006 final, after replacing Edmilson. His contribution to the team was praised by Frank Rijkaard when Barcelona won the La Liga and Champions League.
In the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Iniesta was elected the fourth captain, in order of priority, Carles Puyol, Xavi and Victor Valdes, all four of which were produced by the Barcelona youth system. Iniesta’s performances throughout the season were highly acclaimed, and he received a standing ovation both at the Camp Nou, as well as from the supporters in away matches. Iniesta scored the decisive goal in the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, leading Barcelona to the final and winning the championship after beating Manchester United with the score 2-0.
Iniesta signed a new contract with Barcelona in December 2013, he played for this club until 2018. As a vice captain, he frequently served as captain of Barca during the 2014 season, and became the team Chief after Carles Puyol retired and Xavi left. Iniesta scored three goals in the team’s Copa del Rey campaign, and was the best player in the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final. Barcelona became the first club in history to win the treble of domestic league, National Cup and European Cup 2 times. Iniesta is one of seven Barcelona players who won the treble in those two years.
Despite signing a lifetime contract, on April 27, 2018, Iniesta announced he would leave Barcelona at the end of the season. He made his 674 and last appearance for Barcelona on May 20, in the last match of the season, Barcelona won at home with the score 1-0 against Real Sociedad.
On May 24, 2018, the Japanese club, Vissel Kobe, announced it had signed a contract with Iniesta for three years. He debuted for the club on July 22 in a 3-0 defeat to Shonan Bellmare.
Iniesta played for Spain at U16, U19 and U21 levels before making his international debut in 2006. He helped Spain win Euro 2008. This season, he played every match and was selected to the Best Team of the League. Iniesta is also a key member of the Spanish team in winning the 2010 World Cup, he scored the goal in the final against the Netherlands, winning the best player of the final. At Euro 2012, Iniesta led Spain to win the Euro championship for the second time in a row. He was once again selected as the best player of the finals and was voted Best Player of the Tournament.
Iniesta is considered one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest midfielders of all time. Since 2009, he has been in FIFA World XI nine times. Iniesta won the UEFA European Player of the Year award in 2012.
His personal life
Iniesta is married to Anna Ortiz, the couple started dating in 2008 and married on July 8, 2012. They have two daughters, Valeria (born April 2011) and Siena (born May 2017), and one son, Paolo Andrea (born May 2015). They lost an unborn child, Andres Jr., due to miscarriage in March 2014.
In 2011, Iniesta invested 420,000 euros in the club he joined as a teenager, Albacete, and became a major shareholder. Two years later, when the club faced the relegation of Spanish football, he lent them an additional 240,000 euros to cover his salary and keep the club running.
In May 2018, Iniesta revealed to Risto Mejide that he was depressed before the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to injury and the death of Daniel Jarque.
His play style
Iniesta is a versatile player; he can play well in any position as attacking midfielder, striker, even defensive midfielder.
Iniesta started at the academy as a defensive midfielder. But his ability to control the ball, his technique, and his agility show him in line with the attacking midfield position. In addition to talent, Iniesta’s professional attitude greatly contributed to helping him into the first team of Barcelona at the age of 18.
Like the players of the adult generation from La Masia, Iniesta possesses the ability to pass the ball and handle the ball very well. Iniesta and Xavi have a good relationship. The fact of the matter is that they become the best central midfield duo of Barcelona of all time.