Football

Andres Iniesta is a better midfielder than Zinedine Zidane

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There's a phrase that fits perfectly with every walk of life; "you don't know what you've got until it is gone."

It is my personal belief that until the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and of course Andres Iniesta retire, no one will ever truly appreciate just how good they really were - George Best was exactly the same.

While you might feel the Spaniard may not be up there with Zinedine Zidane already, the fact that we can debate this issue now, whilst Iniesta is still the right side of 30, seems to me to suggest that he will be when he hangs up his boots.

The international record of both is astonishing, Zidane played 108 times for France scoring 31 times, while Iniesta has played 90 times for La Roja netting eleven.

Both players have a World Cup winners medal, Zidane won in 1998, scoring twice in the final, and Iniesta scored the winner against the Netherlands for Spain in South Africa 2010.

When Spain retained the European Championship they became the only side ever to accomplish such a feat, winning in 2008 and 2012. Zidane won the tournament with France in 2000.

Zidane's club accomplishments though, are overshadowed by the little Spaniard's.

The Frenchman played for Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus and Real Madrid, and won two Serie A league titles, one La Liga and a Champions League with Real Madrid.

Iniesta? He is a one club man. Since appearing for the first time for Barcelona in 2002, he has won six La Liga titles, all have been in the last nine seasons, and the 29-year-old has won the biggest club competition in the world, the Champions League, three times.

In a world of phenomenon's like Messi and Ronaldo it has become almost impossible for anyone else to shine; when you think of Barcelona you think Messi, not Iniesta.

Zidane won the FIFA world Player of the Year three times, in 1998, 2000 and 2003, and the Ballon D'Or in 1998 - the awards were put together in 2010. That is far greater than Iniesta, who won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in 2012.

Even after running the rule over honours both personal and with their respective clubs there is something missing. Stats don't mean everything as it is hard to find a statistic that shows how classy and accomplished both players look when they have the ball at their feet.

Iniesta is the man for the big occasion. The little genius stood up when Barcelona needed him in the famous Champions League semi-final for example, scoring the goal that sent them through, where they went on to beat Manchester United in the final.

After Barcelona had beat United in that Champions League final, Wayne Rooney said: "Forget Messi, Iniesta is the best player in the world."

He's even drawn praise from one his greatest domestic rivals. Real Madrid defender and international teammate Sergio Ramos said: "He is the enlightened one. Someone touched by a magic wand. He commands so much respect on the pitch. As a football lover I am proud to have played with him. He makes the difference and does things that no one else can do."

The Spaniard has stood out in arguably the greatest footballing team to ever play the game in Barcelona, and stood head and shoulders above the rest in a golden generation of supremely talented footballers for Spain.

It is to Zidane's credit that France looked half the side when he wasn't involved for his country in the 2002 World Cup.

I am fully aware I am probably in the minority in my opinion here, even if you disagree with me and believe Zidane is better, I hope people don't wait until Iniesta is gone until he is appreciated.

Would love to here you opinions on why I am wrong or, if you feel dangerous, why you agree with me. Comment in the box below. Zidane or Iniesta? 

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Topics:
La Liga
Real Madrid
Football
Barcelona

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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