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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Andres Iniesta

Anyone else watch the two legs of Barcelona against AC Milan and leave as impressed with Barca’s Andres Iniesta as me? Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has a tough choice to make ahead of the Champions League final against Arsenal since the 5 month injury layoff to usual starter Xavi is set to end this weekend.

Iniesta was instrumental against AC. How often can you say a player makes Ronaldinho look good? That’s just what he did, linking up effortlessly with the World Player of the Year in attack and providing needed cover in defense throughout the 180 minutes.

The 22 year old Spanish international has good skills on the ball and I don’t recall seeing him miss a pass in the second leg. I was also impressed with his field generalship and intelligence as a co-orchestrator. In an attacking team like Barca, it would be easy to become washed out with Deco, Ronaldinho and Ludovic Guily all demanding a role in midfield but he wasn’t. He popped in as needed and matched the flow. Recall that 20-something pass buildup in the first leg in which he was the central orchestrator and forced a great save from Dida when he shot low and to the right? That was impressive.

Iniesta has been a Barcelona player since age 12. Louis van Gaal was the first coach to give him a start during a 2002 Champions League game. For the next 2 seasons he played a peripheral role but managed to break thru in 2005 with 35 appearances during the season.

Iniesta has a long history as a junior international and has been on the shortlist of players for the World Cup in Germany. His impressive performances this year have probably earned him a place on the team but we’ll have to see if Xavi again proves the talented players spoiler.

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Anonymous Pratyush said...

I have seen Iniesta growing from the past 2 years almost. He has been a superb talent. You notice it whenever he plays.

Rijkaard plays with a settled line up usually. So with Xavi back, he would be likely to take the first XI again. I would be very surprised if Iniesta doesn't come off the bench though.

I think next season will be the time Iniesta really starts to shine.

4/29/2006 9:49 PM  
Anonymous atikan camara said...

let barca play iniesta because he play a very good role for barca through out the absent of xavi since last december and he is showing up his best and infact he is the barca lpoayer of the last three months...xavi is agood and creative footballer and can win for ateam he can come on the like of the second half of the game and show a good performance...

4/30/2006 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing for sure...he needs a bloody tan...that kid looks so pale!

4/30/2006 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavi to be offloaded in the summer? Messi and Iniesta will need BIG roles next year to real start blossoming. They do have the potential though, and I really hope that Barcelona doesn't make a mistake and keep their role peripheral..

5/01/2006 4:42 AM  
Blogger Jaume Rivera said...

He is just incredible, but it will be hard for him to get nito te 11 of Frank RIjkaard. Xavi, Deco and Iniesta are just spectacular but too small for a midfield don't you think?

5/01/2006 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAYBE- BUT ATTACKING SKILLS AT DEFENSIVE SKILLS THEY WOULD HAVE IN ABUNDENCE IT WOULD BE FANTASTIC TO SEE THEM IN THE MIDFIELD TOGETHER!!

XAVI

DECO INIESTA

5/06/2006 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeh, iniesta is a legend. he is instrumental in the midfield and controls the game. plays the holding role picking out the passes for the forward players. easy meat for the big man

5/28/2006 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

iniesta is a great player, i have seen him play for years now on and off and it has been in the last couple of years hes been given his chance and he has took it, last year with the absence of xavi people were like what they going to do, but iniesta took it in his stride and showed everyone he is capable of being one of the best midefielders and as hes only 22, i can see a barca captain in the making!!!

8/25/2006 9:34 AM  
Anonymous  said...

well i think iniesta is one of the best midfielders in the world he scored like 6 goals this season (06/07) and i think he'll do much better in the next season.he is now one of barcelona's key players and he makes wonderful passes =].

i love iniestaaaaa <3

8/09/2007 2:34 PM  
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