With the exception of his first season with the senior Barcelona team, Andres Iniesta has been one of the best midfielders in the game or was at least working his way up to it. One of Barcelona’s most decorated players alongside Lionel Messi, the Spaniard has won it all including the European Championship and the World Cup.
Doing his work with quiet dignity and loyalty, his performances were never about himself but the entire team.
For a man who lives his life outside the glitter of the football world, there’s very little we know about the details of his personal life. While his feats on the pitch have been faithfully recorded, his life off it has gone easily unnoticed.
In an attempt to better get to know the man who has achieved so much, here are eight things you might not have known about Iniesta:
#8 Destined for Real Madrid
Like every other young football fan, Andres Iniesta supported his local club, Albacete and Barcelona was a close second because he absolutely worshipped Michael Laudrup. When he was just six, the Catalonian giants defeated his beloved side 7-1 and he developed a deep animosity for the side that could only be satisfied by shifting his allegiance to their most hated rivals Real Madrid.
His change in loyalties was further rewarded when Laudrup moved to Real Madrid in 1994. Two years later, his performance at a junior tournament for Albacete attracted the attention of many scouts but it was Real Madrid who caught Iniesta’s eye. Los Blancos were just as eager to sign him and Iniesta’s childhood dream was about to come true.
However, when his parents went to visit the academy, the close proximity of the red light district and the number of prostitutes that roamed there visibly worried them and refused to send their son to the Spanish capital.