Andres Iniesta – The Missing Link

I have to admit that Andres Iniesta (pictured above with Lassana Diarra) has been a personal favourite of mine for a few years now and it appears it’s now almost a trendy aspect of modern football to like him.

I don’t mind, well I do, but it’s a sign of his importance in the game and more so, his importance to F.C. Barcelona.

2009 proved to be a fantastic year for the Catalonians and with the teams heartbeat consisting of home-grown Spanish talents with a predominant local feel to several of the players, it added an extra special touch.

The club amassed 6 trophies in the calendar year, winning all competitions that they entered and in the process winning fans worldwide with their beautiful football, pass and move of the highest order.

At the heartbeat of the team was a midfield pairing who could literally thread the eye of a needle. The paring was Xavi Hernandex and Andres Iniesta, had all the key ingredients to unlock even the meanest of defenses and provided Los Cules (Barcelona fans), with many magical moments along the way.

The most magical been the injury time winner he hit against Chelsea to put Barcelona into the final of the Champions League (pictured above celebrating with Samuel Eto’o) though many including Wayne Rooney say his finest performance came in the final itself, Rooney stated that Iniesta was the best player on the park. I agree, he was.

He has the ability to play in his own bubble and not be phased by players around him, taking the deft of touches and never losing the ball. A keen eye for goal and the ability to play in several midfield and attacking positions are key to his importance to the team.

This season and more so since the turn of the year has proven to be a tougher challenge for Barcelona and the inability to meet the heady heights of last season, has to be seen as more than coincidental with the regular absence of Iniesta.

He has started only 30 of Barcelona’s 52 games so far this season and following a thigh tear late last season and continued calf injuries, he has failed to maintain his high standards, hitting only one goal and supplying only 5 assists along the way.

This has seen Barcelona struggle and as the season draws to a finale in this coming fortnight, the question will be asked; Would it have been different with a fully fit Andres Iniesta?

I believe so, purely because of the partnership he and Xavi enjoy and although Xavi has been superb this season, he has played with injuries and almost without rest, whereas Leo Messi has taken the weight of the team on his shoulders, with some success I might add.

The finding of Pedro Rodriguez has softened the blow to the Barcelona starting XI in the absence of Iniesta, though the indifferent form of Messrs Imbrahimovic and Henry have left the team unable to defend three of their six trophy successes.

It may be deemed hypothetical that Barcelona would have achieved greater success this season with a fully fit Iniesta (pictured above), but the World Player Of The Year Nominee is a player of notable skill, ability and determination.

A miss to even the greatest teams of our generation?

It is often said that the greatest players in any sports team are only truly appreciated by their absence and this is definitely the case with Andres Iniesta. He is the link the team has desired so desperately of late!

I sincerely hope he will be fit for the World Cup in South Africa as talents like his need to be appreciated and not remembered as the 2009 vintage.

Iniesta has a lovely website and his family run a vineyard so check out more from him at and my man crush will continue.

Just remember I saw him first.

Cheers for reading as usual.



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