#7 Fast-tracked to Barcelona
Even though he lost out on such a great opportunity, an even bigger one was just around the corner. Iniesta’s mother and father were acquainted with Enrique Orizaola, a youth coach with Barcelona who convinced them to send him to the famed La Masia Academy.
The Blaugrana had seen much they liked in the young Spaniard and were willing to overlook some of their own practices to sign him.
Unlike many academies, La Masia houses all their players from out of town in their own hostel from the age of 13 or 14. However, Iniesta was just 12 and it was highly unusual for the club to sign someone that young. Despite some objections, the club went forward with recruiting him and can rest assured it was one of the best decisions they could have taken for themselves and the player.
His parents just had to visit the facilities in Barcelona to make their decision and Iniesta was well on his way to making some spectacular history.Published 23 Feb 2017, 22:47 IST