Andrés Iniesta

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Andrés Iniesta
Andrés Iniesta in Spain-Iran press conference 2018-06-19.jpg
Andrés Iniesta (2018)
Surname Andrés Iniesta Luján
birthday May 11, 1984
place of birth FuentealbillaSpain
size 171 cm
position Attacking midfield
Years station
1994-1996 Albacete Balompié
1996-2002 FC Barcelona
Years station Games (goals) 1
2000-2003 FC Barcelona B 54 0(6)
2002-2018 FC Barcelona 443 (35)
2018– Vissel Kobe 38 0(9)
National team
Years selection Games (goals) 2
2000 Spain U15 2 0(0)
2000-2001 Spain U16 7 0(1)
2001 Spain U17 4 0(0)
2001-2002 Spain U19 7 0(1)
2003 Spain U20 7 0(3)
2003-2006 Spain U21 18 0(6)
2006-2018 Spain 131 (14)
1 Only league games are given.
Status: February 23, 2020

2 Status: end of career

Andrés Iniesta Luján (born May 11, 1984 in Fuentealbilla ) is a Spanish football player . The offensive midfielder has been under contract with Vissel Kobe in the Japanese J1 League since May 2018 and is mostly used in central midfield, but occasionally plays on the left side, also as a winger . He played a total of 443 games for FC Barcelona from 2002 to 2018 , scoring 35 goals. He also won the Champions League four times with the club .

In the final of the 2010 World Cup against the Netherlands , Iniesta scored the winning goal for the Spanish national soccer team shortly before the end of extra time, making them world champions for the first time . At the European Championships in 2012, he was voted European Champion for the second time since 2008 and also voted the best player of the tournament.



World star and title collector at FC Barcelona

Andrés Iniesta in action against Rubin Kazan, 2009

Andrés Iniesta was born in Fuentealbilla in the Spanish province of Albacete and began playing football with the Albacete Balompié club from the provincial capital Albacete . At the age of twelve he was discovered by scouts of FC Barcelona at a game of his club and immediately committed because of his extraordinary talent. He attended the club's own boarding school La Masia and was trained there. Iniesta went through, mostly used in defensive midfield, the youth teams of FC Barcelona and came in the 2000/01 season to FC Barcelona B , where he was retrained as a playmaker .

On October 29, 2002 coach Louis van Gaal Iniesta put in the Champions League group game against Club Bruges for the first time in the first team. He played his first game in the Spanish league on December 21, 2002 against RCD Mallorca . During his first season at Barça, he made six league and three Champions League appearances.

In the following 2003/04 season he was mostly a substitute for Ronaldinho and came on a goal in eleven league games. In his third season, 2004/05 , Iniesta became a fixture in the FC Barcelona squad and was used in 37 of 38 league games, including twelve times in the starting line-up. He scored two goals and gave some assists for teammates like Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho. In the 2005/06 season, Iniesta steadily increased his performance. At the beginning mostly only a substitute player, the midfielder came more often after an injury to his teammate Xavi and scored a goal.

With his goal in the 7th minute against Levski Sofia Iniesta scored the first goal of the Champions League 2006/07 , which was also his personal debut goal in the premier class. Also in this season Iniesta was one of the pillars of his team, but he missed only one league game and was with six goals of the highest-scoring midfielder. Because of these achievements, Real Madrid are said to have offered 60 million euros for Iniesta in July 2007. The then president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta , immediately declared: “We are not going to sell Iniesta. He belongs to the heart of FC Barcelona and is a key player of ours. "Iniesta commented on Real Madrid's offer:" When I say that I want to end my career at Barcelona, ​​I mean it with all my heart. "

In the 2007/08 season , Iniesta played 28 full-time league games, more than ever in his career. On May 6, 2009 he scored in the Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea FC in stoppage time with the only shot on goal of his team in the entire game, the goal to the 1: 1 final, which the team due to the away goal rule the final reached. When Barça won the Champions League final against Manchester United three weeks later , he was one of the best players on the pitch and initiated Eto'o's opening goal. In this season , he also won the Spanish championship and the Copa del Rey and was thus the first profit triples in club history of FC Barcelona involved. He was then named the best Spanish player in the Primera División by Don Balón magazine . In the 2010 World Footballer of the Year election , he was ranked second between his teammates, ahead of Xavi and behind Messi .

Iniesta often struggled with injuries in the 2009/10 season and only played 20 league games from the start. In the last games of the season, when Barça won the Spanish championship again, he was unable to play and had to watch his team's elimination in the Champions League semi-final against Inter Milan from the stands. The following season , Iniesta was again champion with Barcelona and won the Champions League by beating Manchester United in the final .

In October 2017 Iniesta signed an open-ended contract.

After more than 400 league games, Iniesta announced his departure at the end of the season on April 27, 2018.

Career end in Japan

On May 24, 2018 Iniesta moved to the Japanese first division club Vissel Kobe and joined the team after the World Cup in Russia . On July 22, 2018, he made his debut in a 3-0 loss to Shonan Bellmare when he came on in the 59th minute of the game. On January 1, 2020, the Spaniard won his first title with the club as captain with Kobe after defeating the Kashima Antlers in the 2019 Kaiser Cup .

National team

Andrés Iniesta with Spain

Iniesta's international appearances began in 2001 when he won the U-16 European Championship with Spain . The following year he won the European Championship with the Spanish U-19 national team . At the 2003 Junior World Cup in the UAE , he played in the Spanish U20 , which reached the final of the tournament, and was elected to the FIFA All-Star team after the tournament was over. He was then captain of the Spanish U21s several times.

On May 25, 2004, Albacete- born Iniesta played in the Catalan football team , unrecognized by FIFA and UEFA , when he started an unofficial friendly against Brazil in a 5-2 defeat . It was his only mission so far.

Iniesta's first game for the Spanish senior team took place on May 27, 2006 against Russia , as a substitute for Cesc Fàbregas in the second half.

World Championship 2006

Iniesta was in the squad of the Spanish national team for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he played in the last group game against Saudi Arabia . He scored his first goal for Spain in a friendly against England in February 2007 .

European Championship 2008

In qualifying for the European Championship in 2008 he played an important role in Spain's national team, especially through his goals against Sweden and Iceland and his assists. Iniesta was then appointed to the Spanish squad for the 2008 European Championship . The Spanish fans and media saw him among the "Glorious Four" of the Spanish midfield. Besides him, Xavi , Cesc Fàbregas and David Silva were also in the “dream” midfield . In the first game against Russia , he played a pass around the defenders to David Villa , who scored 2-0. When the opponent was Russia again in the semifinals, he became one of the most important players on the field thanks to his half-high and sharp cross from the left corner of the penalty area, which his team-mate Xavi completed to 1-0. After his outstanding performance in his team's final victory against Germany , Iniesta was also appointed to the UEFA all-star team of the tournament . He was also the only Spanish player to start every game in the 2008 European Championship.

He was unable to take part in the 2009 Confed Cup due to a thigh injury.

World Championship 2010

In the qualifying for the 2010 World Cup , Iniesta was used in six out of ten games and was successful as a goalscorer against Belgium . At the 2010 World Cup he was questionable for the first group game for a long time, but in the end he was in the starting line-up for the game against Switzerland . In that encounter, Iniesta had to be substituted off injured shortly before the end of the game, which meant he missed the second group game against Honduras. He declared himself ready for the last group game against Chile and scored the 2-0 for Spain with a precise low shot into the right corner. Spain prevailed as first group ahead of Chile. In the round of 16 against Portugal , he initiated the winning goal with a pass to Xavi , who passed the heel to goal scorer David Villa . Four days later, Iniesta dribbled through to the opponent's penalty area in the quarter-finals against Paraguay and then dropped to the free-standing Pedro . His shot hit the post and Villa converted to the only goal of the day. As in the group game against Chile, Iniesta was subsequently voted Man of the Match . This was followed by the semi-final against Germany , which dominated his team especially in midfield and won the game with a goal from Carles Puyol . In the final against the Netherlands , Iniesta improved over the course of the game after he found no means against the Dutch defensive in regular time. In extra time he put on a scoring chance for Cesc Fàbregas and was mostly only stopped by fouls, which led to John Heitinga being sent off , and finally scored the winning goal in the 116th minute. Iniesta, who in turn was elected Man of the Match, scored Spain's first ever World Cup win .

European Championship 2012

Iniesta was elected player of the tournament at the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine and successfully defended the title with Spain. In the same year he was named Europe's Footballer of the Year . He became the first player since 2007 to break the dominance of teammate Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in awards like this, and received just one vote more than either of the other two in the live vote.

At the Confederations Cup in 2013 he reached the final with Spain for the first time, losing to hosts Brazil after a record series of 29 competitive games without defeat. Iniesta was awarded the "Silver Ball" as the second best player and was "Player of the Match" in the first game against Uruguay.

World Championship 2014

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil , he was eliminated from the group stage with Spain .

European Championship 2016

At the European Football Championship in France in 2016 , he was accepted as a regular player in Spain's squad. He played all games in the tournament over the full playing time. In the opening game, Piqué converted his cross shortly before the end to the decisive 1-0. As runner-up in the preliminary round, the team met Italy in the round of 16 and was eliminated again early.

World Championship 2018

At the 2018 World Cup , Iniesta was eliminated in the round of 16 against the Russian team on penalties. After the game, he resigned from the national team. Iniesta scored 14 goals in 131 international matches.


National team:


Personal awards:

Play style and skills

Iniesta is a versatile player who can be used in a variety of positions. As a rule, he plays in the left offensive midfield, sometimes in the right or as a left winger. He likes to change sides during a game and uses his good shooting technique to get involved in the attack game. His outstanding strengths include his technical knowledge, his pass safety and his eye for the open space, with which he repeatedly succeeds in undermining the opponent's defense. His former team-mate Samuel Eto'o said of him: "He is one of the few footballers who easily manage everything difficult".

His great role model is his former coach Pep Guardiola , who he hung as a poster in his room and on which he wrote: “For the best player I have ever seen.” In the nineties, Guardiola said to Xavi about Iniesta: “Look look at this Iniesta in the youth team. Xavi, you will retire me, but Iniesta, he will send us all into retirement. ”Guardiola called him the“ master of space and time ”, the German sports journalist Christian Eichler described him as the“ greatest player Spain ever had ”.


Iniesta grew up in the La Mancha region . In 2007, a street (Calle Andrés Iniesta) was named after him in his home town of Fuentealbilla , where he later had a house built. Iniesta also owns a 120 hectare vineyard in Fuentealbilla .

Little is known about Iniesta's private life, in July 2012 he married his girlfriend Anna Ortiz. Their daughter Valeria was born on April 3, 2011. In 2014, he and his wife lost their second child together due to a miscarriage. On May 31, 2015, he became the father of a son Paolo Andrea.

After Iniesta scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final and took off his jersey, his undershirt read: “Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros” (in German: Dani Jarque always with us). With this he remembered his long-time friend Daniel Jarque , with whom he had played in many Spanish youth national teams and in 2002 became U-19 European champions together. The former Espanyol Barcelona captain died of heart failure in 2009 at the age of 26.


Since joining the professional team of FC Barcelona, ​​Iniesta wore the jersey with the number 24. After Ludovic Giuly switched to AS Roma in July 2007 , Iniesta got the jersey with the now vacant number 8. He had already worn this number in his youth . His teammate Xavi is number 6 in the club, while Xavi was number 8 in the national team at the Euro 2012 and the Confederation Cup 2013 and Iniesta was number 6.

There is a book in Catalan that describes Iniesta's experiences during the 2008/09 season.

In December 2011 Iniesta bought 7,000 shares of his home club Albacete Balompié for 420,000 euros. He should be the main shareholder of the club.

Web links

Commons : Andrés Iniesta  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Andrés Iniesta . In: Internationales Sportarchiv 08/2011 from February 22, 2011, supplemented by news from MA-Journal up to week 28/2012 (accessed via Munzinger Online ).
  2. a b Andrés Iniesta Lujan ( Memento from January 3, 2013 in the web archive )
  3. Match schedule / line-up: Club Brugge KV - FC Barcelona (Champions League 2002/2003)
  4. Match schedule / line-up: RCD Mallorca - FC Barcelona (Primera Division 2002/2003)
  5. Iniesta> Club Games
  6. FC Barcelona - Primera Division stakes 2004/2005 sorted by stakes
  7. FC Barcelona - Primera Division appearances in 2005/2006 sorted by starting line-up
  8. kicker online: FC Barcelona - Levski Sofia 5-0, Champions League, 2006/07 season, 1st matchday - match report
  9. FC Barcelona - Primera Division appearances 2006/2007 sorted by goals
  10. El Real Madrid va a por Iniesta
  11. a b Iniesta is Barça's new number 8 ( Memento from August 3, 2012 in the web archive ), October 2, 2007
  12. a b BDFutbol: Players - Profile of Iniesta (Andrés Iniesta Luján)
  13. FOCUS: Andrés Iniesta: Barça's Philosopher's Stone
  14. kicker online: FC Barcelona - Manchester United 2-0, Champions League, 2008/09 season, 10th matchday
  15. Don Balón: Los Nº1 de Don Balón ( Memento of July 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  16. kicker online: Iniesta is missing Barça against Inter
  17. Andrés Iniesta signs lifetime contract with FC Barcelona ,, October 6, 2017, accessed on October 6, 2017.
  18. Andrés Iniesta announces his Barça goodbye ,, April 27, 2018, accessed on June 11, 2018.
  19. Andrés Iniesta to Join Vissel Kobe ,, May 24, 2018, accessed on June 11, 2018.
  20. Andrés Iniesta formally presented at Vissel Kobe in Japan ,, May 26, 2018, accessed on June 11, 2018.
  21. Failed Japanese debuts for Iniesta and Torres ,, July 22, 2018, accessed on July 23, 2018.
  22. Andrés Iniesta skippers Vissel Kobe to first trophy in David Villa's final match ,, accessed on January 3, 2020 (English)
  23. Brazilians dominate the FIFA All-Star Team ( Memento from June 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  24. Iniesta lives Barça dream  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  25. Mundo Deportivo: Catalunya - Brasil
  26. Fútbol en la Red: INIESTA ( Memento of May 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  27. Match scheme / line-up: Spain - Russia (friendship 2006)
  28. Andrés Iniesta in the database of FIFA (English)
  29. Match scheme / line-up: England - Spain (friendship 2007)
  30. Iniesta> EM qualification 2006/2007
  31. The fantastic four under six feet
  32. kicker online: Spain - Russia 4: 1, European Championship, season 2008, 1st matchday - game analysis
  33. kicker online: Russia - Spain 0: 3, European Championship, season 2008, 5th matchday - game analysis
  34. kicker online: Germany - Spain 0: 1, European Championship, season 2008, 6th matchday - game analysis
  35. Spain - European Championships 2008 ( Memento from September 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  36. kicker online: European champions without Iniesta
  37. ^ Iniesta> World Cup qualification. Europe 2010
  38. kicker online: Only Iniesta worries “La Roja”
  39. kicker online: Spain - Switzerland 0: 1, World Cup, 2010 season, 1st matchday - game analysis
  40. kicker online: Iniesta reports that she is fit
  41. kicker online: Iniesta reports fit Chile - Spain 1: 2, World Championship, season 2010, 3rd match day - game analysis - kicker online
  42. Spain wins Iberian brother duel
  43. kicker online: Paraguay - Spain 0: 1, World Cup, 2010 season, 5th matchday - game analysis
  44. Chile-Spain
  45. Paraguay-Spain
  46. 0: 1 against Spain: German dream trip ends in the semi-finals
  47. Netherlands-Spain ( Memento from July 15, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  48. kicker online: Netherlands - Spain 0: 1, World Cup, 2010 season, 8th matchday - game analysis
  49. Netherlands-Spain
  50. a b Soccer star Iniesta got married
  51. "Saddest day of my career": Iniesta resigns , July 1, 2018, accessed on July 1, 2018.
  53. The quiet rulers of Barcelona
  54. 11 FRIENDS: Spain's Andres Iniesta - Der Sinnstifter ( Memento from June 19, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  55. a b kicker online: In profile: Andrés Iniesta , January 28, 2005
  56. Andrés Iniesta: The Angel Floats , October 2, 2007
  57. Christian Eichler: Masters on Space and Time , in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 3, 2018, page 31
  58. 2010 FIFA World Cup: Spain's Top WAGs
  59. Iniesta has become the father of a little girl
  60. Terrible drama about Andres Iniesta ( Memento from March 9, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  61. [1]
  62. Triumph and some sadness: Spain's hero Iniesta ( Memento from August 20, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  63. Un any al paradís. Andrés Iniesta
  64. World champion Iniesta buys his home club ( Memento from December 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive )