There’s this silent scream inside of him, “I will do better than everybody else.”
We live in an era of football where if a footballer is seen angry in photographs following a game, he is labelled a ‘leader’. Screaming at teammates to do more and better is what defines these players as Spartans. In this age of shrewd perceptions and people falling for ‘passion’, ‘aggression’ on and off the field, there was always somebody, who for me is the greatest silent leader of this era. Andrés Iniesta.
With Don Andres, there were no lines on the forehead when the teammates fail, there’s no shouting, there was no drama, there was no hyped up news conferences or interviews, no ‘passion’ per the standards set by the media. But in Andrés, there is rather a person, inside that body is a will and a belief that he is the best of them all, it doesn’t come out that often but it can be seen by the way he approaches the games. Even Messi once revealed that when he would find himself in trouble, the man he would look for is Iniesta.
With Iniesta, there’s something on the pitch that always lights up. From the way he took the ball forward until his team-mates would find themselves in space, there was always this sense of Andrés being their guardian. There was this voice that’d tell him that he was above them all.
The finals that Andrés has played in speak for themselves. Whether it is the Champions League or the World Cup. With him, comes a drive. ‘I’ll take the hits for my teammates quietly.’, and that’s exactly what he does. Juventus’ physical midfield of Pogba and Vidal were heavily absorbed by that bald and short Iniesta. Even the great Zinedine Zidane couldn’t do it in 3 Champions League finals, as he won only 1 of the 3.
Andrés was somebody who was ready to take everything on for his team, all on him. The games that he has highlighted and changed would without a doubt, put somebody who speaks a bit more, in the debate of one of the greatest of all times. But it is how Iniesta is. There was no need for him to say that he was able to even outshine even Leo on his day. He did it, and he has done it, and he has done it when it was needed.
The will to not give up the ball in a team based on moving the ball around quickly and being permitted to do so, to think, to pick out the best move, that is Iniesta.
I’m glad he has won the World Cup. Not only won it, but scored the goal that won it. With a career he’s had, the player that he was and the challenges he had faced, he more than deserved to get a moment like that.
‘The pale baldish silent guy who made the greatest music for his teams in a frequency inaudible to human beings, only to be communicated through the wonderful feet of Andres Iniesta.’
You were absolutely impossible, Andrés.