Produced on May 11, 1984, in Fuentealbilla, Spain, Andrs Iniesta joined FC Barcelona’s youth football school at age 12. The quiet midfielder slowly assumed a starring role on the team, directing Barcelona to an amazing six titles in 2009. Iniesta also scored the winning goal in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was a principal force behind Spain’s successes in the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.
Andrs Iniesta Lujn was born on May 11, 1984, in Fuentealbilla, Albacete, Spain. After joining the Albacete youth squad at age 10, he got the focus of FC Barcelona direction in a tournament, and entered the team’s prestigious La Masia school at age 12. Iniesta loved an early taste of international success using the junior national team, leading Spain to successes in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in 2001 and the Under-19 Championship the next year.
A natural midfielder with brilliant passing and dribbling skills, Iniesta proved flexible enough to direct the offense from a forward function. Although his all around abilities were commended by teammates and competitors alike, the diminutive playmaker tended to recede in the background as stars like Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o stole the limelight for Barcelona.
Despite his quiet nature, Iniesta’s outstanding play made him impossible to miss for long. He starred in the 2008 European Championship, earning a position on the Team of the Tournament after Spain topped Germany in the final. Eleven months after, he netted a last minute goal vs. Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals, one of the highlights of a year in which Barcelona won a remarkable six prizes.
By the end of the entire year, he finished second to teammate Messi for football’s largest person prize, the Ballon d’Or. Spain made history as the very first team to win three consecutive major international tournaments using its Euro 2012 success, and Iniesta was named Player of the Tournament. An invaluable person in the Barcelona roll, Iniesta was likely to sign a contract expansion after the team’s La Liga and Spanish Super Cup achievement in 2013.