57 Facts About Andres Iniesta


Andres Iniesta came through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, after an early migration from his birthplace, and impressed from an early age.

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Andres Iniesta was an integral part of the Barcelona sides that won two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015, and his 35 trophies, which includes nine La Ligas and four UEFA Champions League titles, make him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time.

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Andres Iniesta played for Spain at the Under-16, Under-19 and Under-21 levels before making his international debut in 2006.

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Andres Iniesta helped Spain win UEFA Euro 2008, playing every game and being selected in the Team of the Tournament.

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Andres Iniesta was a key member of the victorious Spanish team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup; he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands, for which he was named the Man of the Match, and was selected to the tournament's All-Star Team.

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At UEFA Euro 2012, Andres Iniesta led Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, again being chosen as the Man of the Match of the final against Italy, and was named the Player of the Tournament.

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Andres Iniesta has been named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI nine times and was chosen in the UEFA Team of the Year on six occasions.

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Andres Iniesta won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in 2012 and was named the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker in 2012 and 2013.

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Andres Iniesta was runner-up to Lionel Messi for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or and achieved third place in 2012.

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Andres Iniesta comes from Fuentealbilla, a small village in the province of Albacete, Castile–La Mancha, where he mostly played futsal due to the lack of football pitches in the village.

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Andres Iniesta's parents knew Barcelona's youth team coach, Enrique Orizaola, and he persuaded them to consider sending Iniesta to the Barcelona youth academy.

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Andres Iniesta traveled there with his parents and visited La Masia, the farmhouse where the club houses its young players; the trip convinced them to enroll Andres Iniesta in the Barcelona youth ranks.

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Andres Iniesta says he "cried rivers" the day he left for La Masia and struggled being separated from his parents; he was very shy and kept to himself while there.

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Andres Iniesta captained the Barcelona Under-15 team to victory in the Nike Premier Cup of 1999, scoring the winning goal in the last minute of the final, and was named player of the tournament.

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Andres Iniesta joined the first team during the tenure of Radomir Antic.

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Andres Iniesta played in 11 UEFA Champions League games, including a half-time appearance in the 2006 final, to replace Edmilson.

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Andres Iniesta played for the first time as a left wing-forward for Barca in two Champions League matches against Levski Sofia, finding the net twice.

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Andres Iniesta placed ninth in the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year voting, gaining 37 total points.

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Andres Iniesta received plaudits for his performances that season; Don Balon rated him as the league's most consistent performer.

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Individually Andres Iniesta endured a campaign largely disrupted by recurring injuries.

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Andres Iniesta missed pre-season fitness training due to the thigh tear suffered in the 2009 Champions League final.

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Andres Iniesta was one of the three finalists for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or alongside Xavi and Messi, placing as runner-up behind the Argentine.

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Andres Iniesta's performances earned him third place in the voting of the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or.

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Andres Iniesta signed a new contract with Barcelona in December 2013, keeping him at the club until 2018.

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Andres Iniesta signed a lifetime contract with Barcelona on 6 October 2017, effectively keeping him with the club for the remainder of his career.

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Andres Iniesta had a successful surgery in Barcelona a few days later.

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On 11 May 2021, Andres Iniesta signed a contract extension with Vissel Kobe, keeping him at the club for another two seasons.

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Andres Iniesta was named in the 2021 J League Best XI on 6 December 2021.

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Andres Iniesta was called up to represent the senior Spain squad at the 2006 FIFA World Cup on 15 May 2006, much to the surprise of many.

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Andres Iniesta won his first cap for La Furia Roja when he was brought on at half-time in a friendly against Russia on 27 May His first goal followed in a friendly against England on 7 February 2007.

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Andres Iniesta played a pivotal part in Spain's qualification for UEFA Euro 2008 by scoring goals against Sweden and by assisting the strikers.

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Andres Iniesta was selected in Spain's squad for UEFA Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.

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Andres Iniesta played in the first two of Spain's group stage matches and proved an important part of the team, providing a pass for David Villa's second goal against Russia.

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Andres Iniesta returned for the quarter-final as Spain beat Italy on penalties; he was substituted before the penalty shootout itself.

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Andres Iniesta was named in the Team of the Tournament alongside fellow Spain midfielders Xavi, Marcos Senna and six other teammates.

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Andres Iniesta did not participate in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa due to a thigh muscle injury; Spain was eliminated from the tournament at the semi-final stage.

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Andres Iniesta earned a yellow card for removing his jersey during his ecstatic goal celebration to reveal his message to his late friend Dani Jarque.

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Andres Iniesta won the man of the match award for his performance in the final, which gave Spain its first-ever World Cup.

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At UEFA Euro 2012, Andres Iniesta was awarded the man of the match award for his performances in three different matches.

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In winning the award, Andres Iniesta became the only Spanish player to win the award at least once in each of Spain's three consecutive successful tournaments.

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Andres Iniesta was chosen as the UEFA Euro 2012 Player of the Tournament.

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At the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, Andres Iniesta was named in the Team of the Tournament and awarded the Silver Ball for the second best player in the competition, as Spain finished runner-up to host nation Brazil.

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Andres Iniesta started all three matches for Spain at the 2014 World Cup, winning his 100th cap in the team's final group match against Australia.

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Andres Iniesta started in all four Spain's matches and were later knocked out by Italy in the Round of 16.

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In May 2018, Andres Iniesta was named in Spain's squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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Andres Iniesta came off the bench in the 67th minute in Spain's last match at the tournament against Russia on 1 July 2018 for the round of 16.

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Andres Iniesta amassed 131 senior international caps for Spain and at the time of retiring was the nation's fourth-most-capped player of all-time, behind only Iker Casillas, Xavi, and Sergio Ramos.

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Andres Iniesta's signature move is La Croqueta – a move pioneered by Michael Laudrup and popularised by Iniesta – where he quickly pushes the ball from his right foot to his left which takes the ball away from an opponent, allowing him to get out of a tight situation.

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Andres Iniesta's role has been likened to that of a mezzala, in Italian football jargon, namely an offensive–minded box–to-box or central midfielder.

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Much like other Barcelona youth products such as Pep Guardiola, Xavi and Ivan de la Pena, Andres Iniesta is a playmaker who relies on his technique, passing, intuition, movement and inventiveness to control the midfield, dictate the ebb and flow of play, and create chances or space for teammates.

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Andres Iniesta is the only footballer in history to win the Man of the Match award in a World Cup Final, a Euro Final, and a Champions League Final.

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Andres Iniesta had a sponsorship deal with sportswear company Nike, and has appeared in Nike commercials alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney.

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In March 2015, Andres Iniesta had the ninth highest social media rank in the world among sportspeople, with 24 million Facebook fans.

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On 22 October 2018, Andres Iniesta signed a new sponsorship deal with Japanese sportswear company Asics, with his first signature boot being released on 15 July 2019.

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Andres Iniesta is married to Anna Ortiz; the couple began dating in 2008 and wed on 8 July 2012.

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In 2011, Andres Iniesta invested €420,000 in his boyhood club, Albacete, thus becoming its major shareholder.

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In May 2018, Andres Iniesta revealed to Risto Mejide that he suffered from depression before the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to his injuries and the death of Daniel Jarque.

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