Sports Football 09 Apr 2016 Will complete my car ...

Will complete my career at Barca: Andres Iniesta

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | IRFAN HAJI
Published Apr 9, 2016, 1:15 am IST
Updated Apr 9, 2016, 2:07 am IST
Andres Iniesta
 Andres Iniesta

Mumbai: Many top European footballers have been attracted to India in recent times to create market for their clubs or due to their association with the Indian Super League.

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta Lujan has been latest addition to the list but due to his business interests. The Spanish star is expected in India later this year to promote his wine brand, Bodega Iniesta.

Iniesta is better-known world over for his winning goal in extra time, in 116 minutes, against favourites the Netherlands to take Spain to the World Cup title in 2010. He spoke about Barcelona, his team mates and future plans in an email interview with this newspaper. Excerpts:

On how difficult it is to lead a side with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar in the ranks:

They are great colleagues, and each one has to combine efforts to get the best results in our team, I work everyday to get the best for my team, and they are incredible players.

On whether he will be open to football related association with India in future:

Well, I don’t know yet what will happen, but I think I will complete my football career here in FC Barcelona. The Indian Super League is growing fast, it could be an option.

On Barcelona’s dominant, 39-match unbeaten run before the loss to Real Madrid:

The club’s philosophy from several years and decades is same game style, same philosophy, teaching it from new kids who want be part of our club, starting from young players, everything is easy. This is because everybody says “FC Barcelona is more than a football club.”

On the El Clasico and the Champions League quarter-finals:

Both matches are special, unfortunately. We lost to Real, but we can get the Spanish championship if we stay strong and concentrated. Regarding the Champions League, I think yesterday we got an interesting result against a very hard team like Atletico de Madrid. We hope to gain access to the semi-finals.

On whether Spain can regain glory in the Euro Cup this year and follow it up in the 2018 Fifa World Cup:

Nowadays, football teams in the world are very balanced, equilibrated. It will be a hard aim for us, but we hope to put up a good performance in both tournaments. Spain have a mix of young players with experienced ones, so we think it could be the perfect combination to get.

On Iniesta, the businessman:

The wine making tradition of the Iniesta-Luján’s family began in the 90’s when grandpa got around nine hectares of vineyards for local production. The dream come true start to my career as a footballer happened in 2002 after signing my first contract with FC Barcelona, and a suggestion to father to build his own winery purchasing 160 hectares for eight years long. Finally in 2010, the family built the winery.

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