Andrés Iniesta / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Andrés Iniesta is clear that he wants to finish his career at the Camp Nou and he told the FIFA website: “my dream has always been to play out my whole career at the Club, ever since I came here when I was 12. The Club has given me everything. It’s the best place I could possibly be”. Iniesta was also adamant though, that: “how I am playing will decide how far I can continue. The day I feel I can’t give 100%, I’ll not short change this Club”.

“I’m better playing with Leo and he’s better with us”

Referring to last month’s FiIFA gala when Leo Messi won his fourth World Player of the Year Award, Iniesta explained: “we’re on the podium together, but we are never rivals – for me he is my team mate and colleague. Leo’s winning of the Ballon D’Or made me just as happy as it did him. Everyone’s individual potential reaches its maximum when you are part of a team. Barça are better with Leo and Leo is better with us. Football isn’t an individual game – it’s a team sport where by working together, all of our individual abilities have a better chance to shine. I’m better with Leo, Leo’s better with us – that’s the important thing: that we are all aware of our responsibility in making things work”.

Iniesta also believes that his own current good form is in large part down to the happiness he’s enjoying in his personal life: “I think the secret is in the stability you have off the pitch and in my case, both parts of my life, professional and personal, are closely connected”.

Model for youngsters

Iniesta has frequently mentioned that his models as a youngster were Pep Guardiola and Michael Laudrup. “they were the two players I most wanted to be like and who I tried to imitate. As the years go by, you see that things are going well and kids of the age you were then start to look up to you – I think that’s when you realise you are doing things right”.


After admitting that one of his best moments of 2012 was winning the European Championships with Spain, Iniesta revealed his hopes for 2013: “good health and being able to train and play well. Any other wishes are down to fate, but the important thing is to be fit and well enough to enjoy what you are doing on and off the pitch”.

 

Support for Abidal and Tito

Questioned about the illnesses that  Tito Vilanova and Éric Abidal have suffered, Iniesta explained: “they are hard moments to live through, particularly for them of course, and their families. We just try and make sure we are by their side, give them strength and support to help them get better and come back into the group. The vitality and desire to do the right thing at the Club is also thanks to these tough knocks which we have to overcome”.