Iniesta was born in a small village in the province of Albacete , Spain. He began playing for Albacete juniors at age 8, and at age 12 he was spotted by leading club scouts while playing in the Brunete Tournament. During his third season playing for Barcelona B, Iniesta was introduced into the first team on December 21, , for a La Liga match at Mallorca. It was not until the —05 season, however, that he became a regular player. In international competition, Iniesta began playing for Spain as a youth, collecting Under and Under UEFA championship medals, and on May 27, , he came on as a substitute against Russia. He was not a prolific marksman—averaging one goal every 10 matches over more than club appearances—but instead preferred to function as the consummate team player, creating scoring opportunities for others. Iniesta was subsequently voted Man of the Match and Best Player of the Tournament at the European Championships; Spain became the first country to win two consecutive Euro titles.
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By Alistair Tweedale. Luis Suarez and Neymar were both on the scoresheet as they and partner-in-crime Leo Messi took their goal tally to an incredible 87 in 36 games this calendar year, but the Catalan victory was inspired by captain Andres Iniesta. Iniesta centre celebrates a fourth Champions League win. It was his cool head and presence of mind that saw Ivan Rakitic served a goal on a plate in the fourth minute of this Champions League final, and his passing, vision and brilliant ball retention that meant Juventus never truly got a foothold in the game. The assist was his 16th over the course of the last 5 Champions League seasons, leaving him second only to Mesut Ozil 17 in this regard. Man of the match Iniesta sets up Rakitic's fourth minute opening goal. A calf injury had threatened to derail his final plans, and he ended up only lasting 78 minutes, but by that point the damage was done.
Andres Iniesta has been at Barcelona since he arrived as a pale-faced year-old in but on Friday he confirmed it's time to leave. Despite signing a lifetime contract earlier this season, the midfielder, who turns 34 next month, revealed in a news conference that he will walk away from Camp Nou at the end of the current campaign. During his two decades in Catalonia, Iniesta has made appearances only Xavi Hernandez had made more and has won 31 trophies. That will rise to 32 by the time he leaves, too, with Barca just one point away from a seventh league title in 10 years. Iniesta still says the most important game of his career was his debut. It was the gateway to everything which followed. It's been 16 years now since Louis van Gaal handed the year-old Iniesta, still with a full head of hair at the time, his first Barca start in a Champions League game against Club Brugge. Barca won the game and Iniesta never looked back.
He spent most of his career at Barcelona , where he served as the captain for three seasons. Iniesta is widely considered to be one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest midfielders of all time. Iniesta came through La Masia , the Barcelona youth academy, after an early migration from his birthplace, and impressed from an early age. He made his first-team debut aged 18 in He began playing regularly during the —05 season and remained in the team until Iniesta was an integral part of the Barcelona sides that won two historic trebles in and , and his 35 trophies, which includes nine La Ligas and four UEFA Champions League titles, make him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time. Iniesta played for Spain at the Under, Under and Under levels before making his international debut in Iniesta was also a key member of the victorious Spanish team at the FIFA 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.