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The human side of Andrés Iniesta

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The human side of Andrés Iniesta

One of Barcelona’s virtuosos, Andrés Iniesta, took part today in an interview called #UnaEstrellaAmbIniesta for the Estrella Damm beer company where he answered questions sent by the fans.

Iniesta was very pleased about having won his seventh league championship, a title that he and the team celebrated “as it deserved since winning La Liga is very important to us and to our people,” he said.

“We have gone from less to more during the season because everything has a process and its times. The important thing is that we believe in a philosophy and remain on that path. In that sense, the team has grown and overcome itself. We are in very good form, with the treble within our grasp,” added Iniesta.

The Blaugrana midfielder believes that the key is “the mutual respect and cooperation among all the squad members. And also, the effort and hard work, there’s not much secret about it. Even though later on, a small detail can decide a title. The essence is to keep going even if you have failed many times to achieve your dreams.”

Iniesta also spoke about Xavi Hernández, who on Thursday will announce his departure at the end of the season. “I’m out of compliments. I can’t find a single one to describe what he represents as a person and footballer. The records, the years, the feelings, his way of doing things is beyond any words. He is one-of-a-kind player, unrepeatable, who has been essential at the club and national team. For me, it has been a true pleasure to play alongside him during my entire career.”

With respect to jersey numbers that Iniesta shares with Xavi, the 6 and 8, which are interchanged at Barça and the national team level, Iniesta said, “I can’t choose just one of them. I’m very fond of both numbers because with them I have lived the most magical times a footballer can ask for.”

The Spaniard has had an outstanding career but he has had to give up many things, like his family, when he left Fuentealbilla when he was just 12 years old. All the same, he got his reward the day he made his first-team debut, which is also his best memory. “I have had many important moments in my career: my debut with the first team, after all those years watching the Camp Nou through La Masia window, all the titles, that goal at Stamford Bridge…”

Now, Iniesta has the opportunity to keep living fantastic moments with the two upcoming finals, the Spanish Cup Final at Camp Nou and the Champions League Final at Berlin. How does he prepare for matches like these? His response was, “I try to keep the same routine, to do the same activities. Having some experience also gives you calmness in the hours leading to the final. What doesn’t change is the tension right before coming on to the pitch. It’s beautiful to live this and play. I wish we could repeat this in Berlin.”

The Manchego also explained that his most important influence in football has been his father. “He has supported me since I was a child and we have always talked about things. Then, I have been lucky enough to have had great coaches and all of them have contributed to my career. I feel fortunate. I’m very thankful from the first one to the last one of them.”

Speaking of coaches, Iniesta doesn’t rule out to be a manager when he retires: “Three or four years ago I didn’t think about it, but now as my career progresses, it’s a circumstance I’m keen on. We’ll see what the future holds; right now let’s just enjoy my years left as player.”

During the gathering at Antiga Fàbrica de Estrella Damm, Iniesta further revealed some details about his personal life: “I always try to show myself like I am, in any situation. I feel proud about this without pretending to be different from anyone else.”

He defines himself as an intimate family man, who would rather be with close friends, travel on holidays to Sardinia’s beaches and loves to spend time with his daughter. Besides that, he is currently studying Sport and Physical Activity Science. “I’m on the third course and I hope to finish someday.”

Andrés is a TV series fan, the last one of his favorite was “Breaking Bad”, and also loves Denzel Washington’s movies while spending his summers reading Carlos Ruiz Afón’s “The Shadow of the Wind”, his favorite book.

When he finishes his football career, he will live in Catalunya, he said, a land he always will be grateful to.

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