Andres Iniesta - FC Barcelona

About FC Barcelona

Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto "Més que un club" (More than a club). Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the second most valuable sports team in the world, worth $3.56 billion, and the world's second richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €560.8 million. The official Barcelona anthem is the "Cant del Barça", written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espinàs.

Domestically, Barcelona has won 24 La Liga, 28 Copa del Rey, 12 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies, as well as being the record holder for the latter four competitions. In international club football, Barcelona has won five UEFA Champions League titles, a record four UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, a shared record five UEFA Super Cup, a record three Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and a record three FIFA Club World Cup, a shared record two Latin Cup trophies. Barcelona was ranked first in the IFFHS Club World Ranking for 1997, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 and currently occupies the third position on the UEFA club rankings. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid; matches between the two teams are referred to as El Clásico.

Barcelona is one of the most supported teams in the world, and has the largest social media following in the world among sports teams. Barcelona's players have won a record number of Ballon d'Or awards, as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards. In 2010, three players who came through the club's youth academy (Messi, Iniesta and Xavi) were chosen as the three best players in the world in the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards, an unprecedented feat for players from the same football school.

Andres Iniesta in FC Barcelona

Andrés Iniesta is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team. He serves as the captain for Barcelona.

Iniesta came through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, after an early emigration from his birthplace, and impressed from an early age. He made his first-team debut aged 18 in 2002. He began playing regularly during the 2004–05 season and has remained in the team ever since. Iniesta was an integral part of the Barcelona sides that won two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015, and his 32 trophies make him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time.

Iniesta played for Spain at the Under-16, Under-19 and Under-21 levels before making his international debut in 2006. He helped Spain win Euro 2008, playing every game and being selected in the Team of the Tournament. Iniesta was also a key member of the victorious Spanish team at the 2010 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. At Euro 2012, Iniesta steered 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.

Iniesta is considered to be one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest midfielders of all time. Since 2009, he has been chosen in the UEFA Team of the Year five times and has been voted into the FIFA World XI on seven occasions. Iniesta won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2012 and was named the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker in 2012 and 2013. He was runner-up to Lionel Messi for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or and achieved third place in 2012. Iniesta comes from Fuentealbilla, a small village in the province of Albacete, Castile–La Mancha. His parents knew Barcelona's youth team coach, Enrique Orizaola, and he persuaded them to consider sending Iniesta to the Barcelona youth academy.

About Football

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, nicknamed The World Game or The Beautiful Game, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal.

The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play and only in their penalty area. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may also use their head or torso. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. The Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years.

The rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time, specifically rugby football. The term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford "-er" abbreviation of the word "association".

Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use "football" for the formal name. The Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence.

Iniesta's skills



Career

2008–09

At the start of the 2008–09 season, in September 2008, Iniesta was elected the fourth-choice captain behind, in order of preference, Carles Puyol, Xavi and Víctor Valdés; all four were products of the Barcelona youth system. His performances throughout the season were highly lauded, and he received standing ovations both in Barcelona at the Camp Nou, as well as from rival supporters in away matches. A leg injury sustained in mid-November 2008 left Iniesta sidelined until 3 January; initially expected to return to action in six weeks, he did not want to come back until he was 100 percent. Upon his return to action, as a 65th-minute substitute against Mallorca, he scored a crucial goal after just ten minutes on the pitch and completed a Barcelona comeback in front of the Camp Nou.

Iniesta sustained another injury during a home match against Málaga, but returned to action for the first leg Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich, which Barcelona won 4–0. He scored a vital equaliser in the final minute of stoppage time during the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, with a curling strike with the outside of his right foot 25 yards from goal, securing the tie on away goals as the match finished 1–1. In the season review, Un Any Al Paradis, Iniesta wrote, "I connected with that shot with the outside, not the inside or the tip of my boot, but right from my heart, with all my might."

Iniesta's goal against Chelsea sent Barcelona through to the final in Rome against defending champions Manchester United. Prior to the final, United manager Alex Ferguson identified Iniesta as Barça's biggest threat: "He's fantastic. He makes the team work. The way he finds passes, his movement and ability to create space is incredible. He's so important for Barcelona."Despite a thigh injury, Iniesta played and was influential in the game, providing the assist for the first goal scored by Samuel Eto'o as his team went on to win 2–0. In his analysis, David Pleat wrote, "In the end the midfield artistry of Iniesta and Xavi, helped by [Lionel] Messi, was the critical factor."After the game, United striker Wayne Rooney described Iniesta as the best player in the world.

Iniesta received plaudits for his performances that season; Don Balón rated him as the league's most consistent performer. Later that year, he placed fifth for the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year award, with 134 votes, and fourth for the prestigious Ballon d'Or, receiving 149 points. Barcelona extended his contract by one year, until 2015, and raised his buy-out clause to €200 million.

Honours:

Barcelona:

La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16.

Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16.

Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016.

UEFA Champions League: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15.

UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015.