Who Is Andres Iniesta?

He is the essence of the tiki-taki style that typifies Barcelona and Spain.

I reckon Iniesta first exploded on the scene on Wednesday 6 May 2009, when he smashed a 20-yard right-foot shot into the top corner of the Chelsea net to send Barcelona into the Champions League final.

He was then instrumental when Barcelona easily beat Manchester Utd in the Rome final Wayne Rooney told his team mates including Cristiano Ronaldo that Iniesta was the best player in the world.

If you want to play like Iniesta, check out the video on my Soccer Coaching Blog (see resource box for link).

Playing in a midfield three at Barcelona in tandem with Yaya Toure and Xavi, Iniestas is an outstanding player in a team of outstanding players. His lightning-quick feet and ability to dribble past people were at times similar to his team-mate further up the pitch, Lionel Messi.

His willingness to play anywhere on the pitch, coupled with a natural humility, has earned him the sobriquet El Ilusionista (The Illusionist), El Anti-Galctico (The Anti-Galctico), Cerebro (The Brain) and most recently Don Andrs from the Spanish press.

Like fellow Barca graduate Cesc Fbregas, Iniesta originally started as a defensive midfielder but his balance, close control and skill on the ball saw him make progress as an attacking midfielder.

He scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup Final against Holland in the 116th minute, removing his jersey during his celebration to reveal an inscription on his undershirt reading Dani Jarque Siempre con nosotros, which translates to Dani Jarque is always with us, in tribute to former Spain youth teammate and RCD Espanyol captain Daniel Jarque, who passed away in 2009.

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After the World Cup Final he was interviewed I simply made a small contribution to my team, he said.

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