Andres Iniesta has been one of the standout performers at Euro 2016.
Some would say he’s been the best. The Spain midfielder has been the orchestrator in both of La Roja’s wins, proving that he remains one of the finest players on the planet.
At 32, Iniesta is showing no signs of falling off. If anything, he’s playing even better in France than he has done in recent years.
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Vicente del Bosque has entrusted the Barcelona man to run the game from centre-midfield instead of an advanced position and the role is suiting Iniesta to perfection.
So enthralled is the Spanish media at Iniesta’s performances that they have taken to asking him what his secret it. According to the magician, it’s all in his head.
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“For a midfielder like me, the most important thing has been, is and will be to think fast,' Iniesta told El Mundo newspaper, per the Daily Mail.
“Certain things occur automatically, but to think fast is the only secret.”
Del Bosque: Iniesta has a lot of security
Del Bosque was clearly confident that Iniesta could meet the physical demands to make the adjustment to centre-midfield.
And the Spain boss, who has led his team to victories in the 2010 World Cup and at Euro 2012, is pleased with what he’s seen from the playmaker.
“Before he had a more attacking role and now he has taken a midfield position which suits him,” Del Bosque said.
“He has a lot of security and a good physical condition which makes it easier for him to have better coordination in what he does.”
Ballon d'Or injustice
Del Bosque is such a fan of Iniesta that he recently claimed that it would be an “injustice” if he never wins the Ballon d’Or.
The Barca star finished runner-up to teammate Lionel Messi in 2010 and was third in 2012 but has never got his hands on the coveted award.
But Iniesta insists that he isn’t fussed about the rejection, humbly admitting that Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - who have shared the award for the past eight years - have been deserving of the attention.
"It's not a thorn in my side. Nor do I think it is an injustice," Iniesta told Spanish TV channel Cuatro, per Goal.
"Both Leo and Cristiano [Ronaldo] have been deserving of the award. Everyone has their own opinion.
"But being surrounded by great players and to be competing with them is significant."