Andres Iniesta is one of the most decorated footballers of his generation and has enjoyed many more highs than lows during his illustrious career.
However, it seems Wednesday night’s defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals hit the Barcelona midfielder hard.
Catalan newspaper Sport report the Spain international “cried” on the team bus as Barcelona’s squad prepared for the journey home from Madrid - and video footage appears to back up that claim. (Scroll down this page to see Iniesta wipe away a few tears).
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Iniesta is seen looking pensive on the bus, before wiping both of his eyes.
Of course, it’s inconclusive from this video to categorically state that the 31-year-old was crying - but Sport claim he “dried his tears repeatedly” as he sat waiting for his teammates.
Video: Iniesta wipes away 'tears' on team bus
Iniesta conceded penalty after a handball
Iniesta conceded the penalty which led to Antoine Griezmann scoring his second goal of the night at the Vicente Calderon.
Barcelona led 2-1 after the first leg but were unable to find a way past Diego Simeone’s side in Madrid.
Griezmann put Atletico 1-0 up in the second leg with a brilliant header following a magnificent cross from Saul Niguez, and the France international doubled his tally after Iniesta handled inside the penalty area.
Barcelona should have had a penalty
Barcelona felt they should have had a penalty of their own at the death when Iniesta’s pass hit the hand of Gabi inside the Atletico penalty area.
However, referee Nicola Rizzoli deemed the handball was committed outside the box and only awarded a free-kick as a result.
Iniesta speaks out
"It's not a question of whether the referee was right or wrong. That would solve nothing," Iniesta was quoted as saying by ESPN after the match. "It is difficult to take in because we're out of such a nice tournament."
The World Cup winner also admitted doubts were normal after such a defeat, but is keen to focus on La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
"Difficult times like this always generate doubts but we have to turn the page and focus on what we have left,” Iniesta added.
Barcelona have to beat Valencia this weekend
For Barcelona, it’s now imperative that they secure maximum points from Sunday night’s league match against Valencia at the Camp Nou.
Back-to-back defeats against Real Madrid and Real Sociedad have blown the title race wide open in Spain, but Atletico can keep their three-point lead intact by beating Los Che.
Will Barcelona win La Liga - or are they on the verge of an epic capitulation? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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