In a conversation with the Guardian’s correspondent Sid Loew, veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta, who is now on the payroll of Vissel Kobe, shared very frankly. It is about life in isolation because of the pandemic in Japan, about the plan to hang shoes, rather the plan not to hang shoes, and the ability of Barca‘s golden generation to return to the club.
In a nostalgia football
“Once I saw a picture of a match or a stadium full of people, I was craving football to the point of madness,” Andres Iniesta said, after 54 days living with no football. The 2020/21 J-League season started on February 21, but only 4 days later was delayed because of the pandemic. The tournament is expected to return on March 15, then March 29, then May 6. Now people are hoping it can return on May 9. But do not know how. That is we are talking about a country that is considered a paragon of anti-epidemic!
On the day that the J-League (maybe) returns, Andres Iniesta most likely celebrated his 36th birthday (he was born on May 11). It could be a turning point for Iniesta to seriously think about the shoe hanging plan. The possibility of starting a career in coaching was also mentioned in the conversation, but Iniesta definitely didn’t want to discuss it more deeply. In fact, he thought, “this time without playing will give me more years to continue playing football.”
Of course, in the current unpredictable plague, Andres Iniesta may have to charge … too much energy. “Viruses, especially this virus, are very unpredictable,” he said. “I often wonder when I can return to my normal life? When can I leave home? Can we hug each other on the road? We do not know whether warming will make the virus weaken like other viruses. It is not known whether a vaccine will be found. Everything is very vague. ”
Football is always as vague as that. “Not having a specific goal is difficult. There were many times when we thought we might return to playing football one day or another, but then it was postponed. Normal activities – preparing, planning, increasing training to prepare for matches – are all impossible. I am fully prepared but have to wait another month, even more. It was really hard. ”
A golden generation back to Barcelona?
The economic crisis because of the pandemic may cause many teams to return to rely on their young training system. Barcelona may have to return to the identity built around La Masia. Back in their first-team days full of mature players ever since culminating in the image of Andres Iniesta standing on the podium at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony alongside Xavi and Lionel Messi. It’s been just a decade, it’s like a generation. Barca has now lost their religion, La Masia becomes more barren. In the golden generation of La Masia, only Messi, Gerard Piqué, and Sergio Busquets remain. But all three have come close to the end of the journey.
“There is never another generation like that,” Andres Iniesta said. “But things don’t necessarily get worse after that. I watched as Puyol was gone, Victor (Valdes) was gone, then Xavi was gone … but around me, I was still the top player. There is no need for tragedy. ” Iniesta also does not think that young players in Barca are being forgotten. What is happening is only a matter of time. “It all depends on who the coach of the team is, how the club is in the situation … but I always think a young player who is good enough will go to the first team, in some way.”
Andres Iniesta also believes that members of the golden generation are gone, such as Puyol, Valdes, Xavi … will soon return to Barcelona. “Then it will be time for everyone to come back,” he said, “people like Víctor, Xavi, and Puyol have to come back because if they don’t come back there is clearly something wrong.” What about Iniesta? “Currently, I just want to try to extend the player’s career as long as possible. As long as my health allows, I will continue to play football. Because playing football is my pleasure. ”
674. In 16 seasons with Barca‘s first team, Andres Iniesta has made 674 appearances, scored 57 goals and joined Barca with 9 La Liga titles, 4 Champions League titles, and many titles. other big and small brands.
A documentary about Iniesta broadcast
The first official documentary film about Andres Iniesta, Unexpected Hero (Spanish is “El Heroe Inesperado”, English is “The Unexpected Hero”), produced by Rakuten TV. premiered from April 17. The film depicts Iniesta’s journey from a shy boy in Fuentealbilla to a monument of world football. In the film, viewers will relive unbelievable moments like a swing to Chelsea, or a goal in injury time of the 2010 World Cup final …
Assistant to Xavi?
Iniesta’s former teammate, Xavi, is a good candidate for the Barca coach position after Setien. In fact, Xavi received an invitation in January 2020 but declined. If candidate Víctor Font wins the presidential election in 2021, Xavi is likely to return to take the first team. And also it is likely that he will “invite” Andres Iniesta to join BHL. It is an interesting prospect. But Andres Iniesta now doesn’t want to think too far. “I have no idea where Xavi is when I take a break from football and what to do,” Iniesta said.
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