Andres Iniesta is one of those rare footballers who any fan enjoys watching.
The Barcelona legend has been playing for Japanese club Vissel Kobe for the past three years, captivating audiences with his unique ability to control the midfield with minimal effort.
Although his hair is a few shades greyer than when he was at his peak, the 35-year-old is still the same genius who can bypass any defence with an incisive pass or mesmeric dribble.
It’s this quality that has made Iniesta such an integral contributor to each and every one of the major honours he’s won.
With nine La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, two European Championships and a World Cup to his name, ‘illustrious’ falls short of doing Iniesta’s career justice.
However, football fans – perhaps with the exception of the Barcelona faithful – didn’t love the Spaniard for his skill in lifting trophies.
Iniesta won them over by finding a way out of seemingly inescapable situations where he was surrounded by a cluster of opponents looking to dispossess him.
He did this – almost effortlessly – time and time again during the 16 years he spent at Barcelona, and it remains incredibly satisfying to watch back some of his best work.
Every now and then, footage of a memorable Iniesta pass or dribble does the rounds on social media as football fans reminisce about one of the finest midfielders to ever grace the game.
One such video to surface recently beautifully encapsulates what made him so good: his phenomenal ball control.
Using only footwork and neat touches, few players can bewilder several markers at once like Iniesta.
Check out this clip of him calmly bossing three defenders during a Champions League between Barcelona and Spartak Moscow in 2013.
With virtually no space to work with, Iniesta evades the onrushing defenders as if he’s dribbling around cones on the training ground.
That’s precisely what separates him from others who specialise in beating their opponent; he does it by doing the basics perfectly.
- Three years ago, Lionel Messi scored a dramatic late winner vs Real Madrid
- Messi has a shrine dedicated to Muhammad Ali in his home
- Footage of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta shows they made tiki-taka unstoppable