Retiring Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has revealed the influences of past managers and teammates, with his most important manager coming as a shock to many.
Iniesta was asked by Mundo Deportivo to describe various former managers in one sentence. When asked about Louis van Gaal, Iniesta described him as ‘my most important manager’. This will come as a surprise to fans of the Premier League, whose sole exposure to the Dutchman was his prosaic Manchester United side a couple of years ago, but the Dutchman gave Iniesta his debut in 2002, and the midfielder hasn’t forgotten it.
Iniesta also described other managers, labelling Pep Guardiola as a ‘master for me’, and Frank Rijkaard as ‘the ideal coach for that period in his life’, having won his first Champions League under the tutelage of the iconic Dutchman.
The Spaniard was also asked to describe some of his teammates from years gone by, and the midfielder was full of praise for Lionel Messi – obviously – calling the Argentine ‘unique’ and Brazilian legend Ronaldinho ‘magical’.
Iniesta also looked back fondly on his favourite moments in a Barcelona shirt, citing his last minute Champions League equaliser against Chelsea as his ‘most magical day at Barca’ and when asked about his best moment for Spain, the 2010 World Cup win was his obvious answer.