The midfield visionary was described by Wayne Rooney as “the best player in the world” after last year’s Champions League final when Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0 in Rome.
Iniesta’s 2009/10 campaign was book-ended by thigh injuries, restricting him to 20 league starts, but he returned as a late substitute in Barcelona’s title-clinching victory on the final day of the league season after a month out with a torn thigh muscle.
He has been with Barcelona since the age of 12 and made his top-flight debut in October 2002, aged 18. When asked if Iniesta was a born footballer, his club coach Pep Guardiola once replied: “No, he was already a good player in his mother’s womb”.
Iniesta’s 12 club honours include two Champions League crowns and he was the only player to start every game for Spain throughout their triumphant Euro 2008 campaign.
Shy and unassuming in public, he has a pigmentation disorder and is portrayed as a glow worm on a popular Catalan TV satire - his pale face lighting up in the dark.
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