Andrés Iniesta: The Unexpected Hero (2020) - full transcript

The story of a normal person, Andrés Iniesta, once F.C. Barcelona and now Vissel Kobe player, who does extraordinary things.

PeG@SuS
Urang Sunda Asli

RAKUTEN TV PRESENTS

When they say, "Where are you from?"
I say, "From where Iniesta's from."



-He was always playing.
-He'd go behind that table with the ball.

See how far he's come!

Now he's in Japan somewhere?

THE UNEXPECTED HERO

ANDRÉS INIESTA, THE UNEXPECTED HERO

We knew that after the stint at Barcelona

we'd go somewhere else,
but frankly, Japan,

I wasn't expecting.

It's sad to leave
family and friends behind

and being here has brought us together
even more

as a couple and as a family.

You get here and you're practically...



ANDRÉS' WIFE

...alone because you don't know anyone.

That's brought us closer together

as partners and as a family.

My childhood was what it was.
It made me really happy.

My childhood was football,

my childhood was going to school

in the morning
and training in the afternoon.

The only thing I can say
I've missed all this time

has been not having family close by.

The rest of it doesn't matter.

It's just the two of us here,

with our tribe of four little ones,

enjoying the peace,
and, well, getting to know new people

and this new culture.

She's always been important to me.

We get along really well.

I love spending nearly all my time
with her, sharing everything with her.

We've built a wonderful family

with the little ones,

and it's been a gift
that our paths crossed.

Thanks! A little gift!

-Why did you make them?
-Thanks, a little gift!

We're on the go all day like
any other family with a lot of children.

The complexity
with four little rascals at home,

well, sometimes you need
to get away from it a bit.

Many words come to mind.

But if... I think that

one that sums him up really well,

as a person and as a footballer,

is "immense."

-"Unique."
-"Class."

-"Fantastic."
-"Balance."

-"Exemplary."
-"Phenomenon."

-"Special."
-"A legend."

A word to sum up Andrés...

"Andrés is Andrés."

A wonderful person.

-I'd say "wizard."
-He's a unique player, magical.

-A genuine player.
-An "illusionist", right?

"Team spirit."

"God."

In a word, I'd say "humanity."

I like you as a football player,

but also as a human being.

-"Honesty."
-We're different.

He's very white and I'm very black,
but we love each other to bits.

-"Pure talent."
-"Magic."

"Special."
I think Andrés is a special person,

as a player and as a person, too.

For me he was a dancer, the best dancer
with a football I've seen.

Dancing round the pitch.

It's such a pleasure to watch him play.

It has the same effect as watching
somebody dance.

With Andrés you get the feeling
he's dancing with the ball.

Tap dance and modern dance.

Dancing finely and dancing hard.

He and the ball were like one
at all times.

He seemed to ski as a player.

The way he moved was very aesthetic,
and how he played with it and used it.

He didn't touch it, he just followed it.

That feeling is unique.

Suddenly he'd slow down, and then do
that burst you weren't expecting.

Then he'd slam the brakes on,
and that's what made

it impossible to get the ball off him.

He's the greatest talent
in Spanish football that I've ever seen.

That time-space relationship,
when a player's expecting him to come

and at just the right moment he dribbles

where the opponent isn't covering...

That's just wonderful, and he even waits
for you until the end.

He waits for you and says,
"I'm going to get you", and then he does.

Those are the players
who can make the difference

and you say,
"Watch out or he'll do his jink."

And he does it again.

It's a bit like bullfighters,

the way they wait till the bull's
getting really close,

the opponent's getting really close,
and then take the decision.

And very few have been able to do that.

For me, his great trick
was not having two eyes, but four,

two in front and two behind.

He didn't need...

He always knew who was behind,
but what side they'd come from.

He'd get out of spaces and places
that were impossible.

You can give him the ball
any way you want.

He'll control it however he wants.

It was incredible.

Even Ronaldinho... the great Ronaldinho.

Sometimes you'd give him the ball
and he'd fail.

But Andrés, play him any ball,

and the bugger will control it.

I asked him, "Mate, how do you do it?"

He seemed to be trapped and you'd say,
"Okay, he's lost it"

and he'd get past you.

When he takes on two players,
he's like rubber.

He controls it, moves, two touches,
and bye-bye Andrés.

It was easy for me having Andrés there,

because I knew I could pass him any ball

and he could move towards the goal
because he'd get it, you know?

He's the player that best
understood me on the pitch

and beyond that, as a person,

I admire him hugely.
He's a very laid-back person.

Just the opposite of me,
but I think we complement each other well.

We share a special feeling

where we can connect just with a look.

We knew what we wanted from ourselves
and from the other,

in this case, Andrés.

You see the opposition sweating,
struggling, trying to get the ball...

and he was always calm and you'd say,
"Look, stop! This isn't fair."

It really seemed like you were seeing

two players

who weren't playing the same match.

It seemed like he was playing
in a different match than the others.

That's his specialty.

He was decisive,

and there's the ability he had to lose
his marker in tight spaces.

I used to say he was like Harry Potter
with his magic wand.

You can do whatever you want,
whenever you want.

He did magic and different things.

Maybe there will never be another Iniesta.

And leg up.

One, two, three, four...

Hands down. Four.

The brain is the centre
of everything, of course.

And he has organised

that brain-body relationship
in a special way

to move in whatever way he wanted.

He did unbelievably complex moves

in a simple, graceful way,
and that conveys harmony.

I don't think he should ever stop
playing sports

because that's his way
of expressing himself.

Being such a...

let's say a reserved person,
or closed off,

his way of expressing himself
is clearly football.

Yeah, easy.

Iniesta, easy.

I often put that down to

the hours and hours he played

when training as a youngster

on his famous village pitch.

He was there all day playing
in the street,

and for me that's fundamental

for developing
that specific quality he has.

Think about when you have to come get it.

If you don't use it, we'll leave it here.
You want to sit here?

We'll leave them here and get them later.
Pao will leave it here.

-I want the ball.
-Will you leave it here?

Try not to fall in the water, okay?

I'll park this here like a bike. You know?

Let's go.

We'll remember to come back for it.

Come on, Sienita, darling.

For the scooter.

Ready?

I'm at a different stage of my life.

Leaving Barcelona and coming here
has given me

a lot of freedom in many ways.

Just sitting on a bench
and watching people

is something we've never been able to do,

and going for a walk with your kids

brings a lot of peace
you haven't had for many years.

Nutmeg! Siena nutmegged you!

We have eyes, don't we?

Say sorry, at least?

-Mummy!
-Do you want to take off your jacket?

Daddy, you're playing too, okay? Daddy!

Daddy!

-I didn't take it. Don't be upset.
-Here.

-It's not that one.
-Here.

-Pretty bad, but I scored three or four.
-Daddy.

-Daddy, you're playing, okay?
-Am I playing now?

There!

The ball almost hit you
in the face again, Siena.

-Close. Do you want ice cream, Siena?
-Siena too.

Chocolate or tutti-frutti?

Chocolate, like Daddy.

Look, Daddy's going to catch a fish.

Look, Daddy's going to...

-He hasn't caught anything.
-I have, look.

Look!

Hurray!

Did you see that?

Look, Siena.

-Pretty big.
-Wow.

Thanks.

Look, what a fish!

-Did you see it?
-Daddy!

Did Mummy get a shark?

No, sharks are very heavy.

Wait there with mummy.

Three, two, one.

Stop there, there are cars passing.

The summer we met,

he went on tour with Barcelona to Japan,

and when he got back, he said,
"I've brought you something.

Can I see you so I can give it to you?"

I met Anna

on St. John's Eve in 2007.

I'd arranged to go to Mataró
with Jordi Mesalles.

We went and we had a drink on the beach.

Then we went to the beach bar,
the place where the pubs are.

She was working as a waitress.

As soon as we went in he goes,

"Have you seen the brunette at the bar?"

I was bowled over as soon as I saw her.

I say, "Well, Andrés,
we've just come in the door,

I've not looked
around the place yet, basically."

He was there a while,

patiently waiting for his chance.

You have to be pretty patient.

The next day he says,
"I have to get that girl's number."

He was a bit of a drag.

Andrés is someone,
when he gets an idea in his head,

he gets there in the end.

After a while he says, "I've got it."

I say, "I don't even want to know how."

He called me every day
to bother me with it

and I couldn't get rid of him.

He had me an hour and a half on the phone

wondering if he sent her a message

if I thought she'd respond to it.

He didn't know how to act.

Andrés did lots of little things for Anna,

and one day they got together,
kind of by surprise,

when Andrés got back
from a tour in Asia with Barcelona.

Here in Japan, at all the airports,

the company or brand you see the most
is ANA.

It reminded me of her a lot.

We met at a petrol station near Mataró,
where I lived,

and I remember
he was stuck in traffic for two hours.

I was stuck on the bypass
for an hour or so,

sending messages to say,
"Wait, I'm on my way."

We spent a short time together
and I gave her the gift...

He gave me a little gift,
an aeroplane called ANA.

It was the kind of gift you give
when you're in love.

When I got that gift and read the letter,

I can say I fell in love at that moment.

I said to my sister,
"Marta, I think I'm in love."

I fell in love with her at first sight
and she fell in love gradually.

The same night he met his wife,

he met me a few hours before and I know

that's a special moment for him.

Careful.

-Oh no, what a shot.
-Come here, you...

-We'll tell your brother off.
-Put your trainers on, young man.

-Naughty!
-Who's naughty?

-Pao.
-Why? What did he do?

Because Pao hit me with the ball, hard.

Hard? But he didn't mean to.

Poor thing.

Did he say sorry?

-No?
-No.

Oh dear. Have you said sorry
to your sister?

For the rocket shot.

Sorry.

See what he said? "Sorry."

Oh, a back rub!

-What'd he do to you?
-A back rub.

-Did you get a back rub?
-Yes.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT
APRIL 9, 2018

I remember we were playing Ludo
with some friends

and he sent me a message saying

I should go to his room,
he had to talk to me.

He wrote to me, too, saying,
"Can you come to my room a minute?"

You put yourself in his shoes
and you think,

"Gosh, what must he be thinking
and feeling right now?"

He comes to Leo and me

to tell us his decision.

Andrés was waiting in his room
and he made us sit down

and told us he'd decided to leave.

This press conference
is to announce publicly...

my decision...

that this will be my last season.

I never thought he'd leave Barcelona

and it's something I always said to him

and he's thrown back at me, saying,
"You didn't trust me,

you said I'd always stay, didn't you?"

Complicated.

To my teammates and all those
I've been with on a daily basis

over all these years, this season,

they're the ones who've made me
get better each day.

It's not that you can't imagine
Barça without Andrés.

I can't imagine daily life
without my friend.

We started missing Andrés
from that moment,

but we still had a few weeks left
with him.

Of course, they become even more special.

The fact that the year before Xavi left,

and this year, Andrés,
and little by little, everyone,

and there were fewer and fewer of us left

from this wonderful and important period
for us and for the club,

and seeing that
the time was approaching for all of us...

I couldn't stay at a place where I felt
I couldn't give everything I had to give.

The people in the club

never imagined I could decide to leave.

It's like everything,

in relationships, if you don't discuss
things at the right time

there comes a time
when there's no way back.

It's very simple.

His wish, above all,
is to leave well at a time

when he's an active member
of the first team,

contributing to the game, and when thinks,

"I'm leaving with my head held high,
when the team's winning."

Since he's strict with himself,

and always wants to give 100%,

he was gradually noticing
he couldn't give 100%. That was it.

I think it was for the best.

It's the last big day,
the last title, let's say,

-for Andrés Iniesta.
-A piece of the soul

of Barça is leaving,

part of the shield, part of its history.

This is a Barcelona legend.

Andrés' last big game with Barcelona
had to be a good one.

He could make it his game,
like he imagined it.

I don't think he could have done better.

Suárez to Iniesta, in the defensive zone,
looks to shoot, one-two with Messi,

Messi in the zone, finds Iniesta...

Unmarked, the captain sees his chance,
shoots and it's there!

Iniesta! Iniesta! Iniesta!

We can join in the Barcelona fans' song,

which is the song of all football fans,

about the universal Manchegan.

It still gives me goose pimples
to hear it.

I felt like I was flying,

gliding round the pitch,

that it all went my way from the whistle.

A grand finale.

Even now, when I play
that farewell moment,

when I get subbed off,

I'd be lying
if I said I haven't shed a few tears

over that moment,

with the whole crowd

singing your name,
with all the Sevilla fans

mostly standing up and clapping.

This is not the sound of the Wanda,
it's the sound of the world of football.

Winning that title, winning La Liga...

I think that's a priceless way

to leave the club
where you've spent your life.

He decides to leave Barça in his own way.

First he leaves Barcelona
and then we'll see where next.

When he leaves, Andrés' wish
is to not play against Barça.

That suggests a move far away.

So, "Andrés, this decision means
you're leaving Europe, right?"

Hence not the big leagues,
or the well-known leagues

and that means

either the USA or Asia.

In fact, it looked like China,
until Mikitani appeared.

Mikitani San is the founder
and chairman of Rakuten,

which is the main sponsor of Barcelona FC

and is the owner of Vissel Kobe.

And he's a sports lover in general

and a fan of Andrés as well,

and I think he sees in Andrés

a driving force
for future sports projects.

Mickey was one of few people

who could have convinced him
to go to Japan.

He went to his house, explained
and sold him the project,

which wasn't just playing football,
but him as a brand...

We needed to have a meeting

with Andrés as soon as possible.

So I said,
"I'm going to Barcelona tomorrow."

So I flew over.

And then the next day

I had a very good meeting
with Andrés and his team.

A colleague at work

prepared a video to really describe
what Andrés was all about.

I think it impacted him and excited him.

It was one of the decisive factors.

What he wants, what he sees going forward,

is to grow the club and raise its level,

and all the goals he might have...

For me it would be a dream,

it would be ideal to be part

of such an exciting project

together with him and grow the club.

They instilled in me

so many positive things and such a desire

to be part of the project
that in the end I was convinced.

His thinking is very different

from the way Japanese culture is,

and how Japanese players think.

And so this is very important,

and Andrés is going to be...

you know, keeping making an impact.

Not only for JD,
but the entire football community.

Or maybe society in general in Japan.

This step I'm taking now

is as big a step as I took
from Albacete to Barcelona.

-Cheers!
-Cheers!

Congratulations.

-Congratulations.
-Thank you.

We spent weeks at the hospital

trying everything we could

so that things would turn out well,

but in the end, after seven months,
we lost him.

No-one is ready for something like that.

When he was bad, I was beside him.

When I was worse, he was beside me.

I will always remember the image

of the moment in which, as a parent,

one of the parents has to announce

that the child you're expecting

well has died.

And she bore the brunt of it,
of the whole process,

and all the tense hours we went through.

In those tough times we had to endure,

Andrés, despite being with me
and talking a lot,

decided to write me

that lovely, emotional letter

which I try to remember every day.

We live in the same block,

we see each other daily,
especially the kids.

The kids see each other
every day at school,

they get together at Andrés' house,
sometimes my house,

above all Valeria and Olaya
and Paolo Andrea and Luca,

since they have a lot in common

because of their age,

and they're together almost every day.

My kids are having a childhood
quite unlike before.

It's a childhood way beyond
the one I had in my village, right?

I didn't need my Dad
to go outside and play.

My son won't grow up the way I did.

Distances aside, I'll try to ensure
that the important things

that were instilled in me,
passed on to me,

I shall try to instill in them.

Goal by Iniesta!

SECOND LEG - CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS
MAY 5, 2009

Barcelona arrived
at Stamford Bridge worried.

Worried after a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou.

It was a very rough match.

That match was tough.

Very tough, very physical.

Bad, bad. It started badly.

We didn't get a shot on goal
in 90 minutes.

Blimey.

Destiny took us to the final.

Essien scored a belter with his left,

which kind of summed up the game.

My feeling in the last 20 minutes was,

"They're going to go two up."

The feeling really was

"They're going to get a second",
two or three,

plus a penalty or two the ref
could have given, let's be honest.

Above all, the feeling.
We were a man down.

It upset me,
but surely more so my teammates,

who had to play
this tough game with ten men.

The feeling is the game's ending,

there's not much time left,

and it pushes you,
and your body pushes you to go for it.

I was booked.

I remember being in the stand

with Manel Estiarte and feeling dreadful,

like most Barcelona fans.

But with the confidence
that we'd get a chance

and that we'd score,
because I kept saying to Manel,

"We'll get a chance and we must take it."

I don't know if it was the 92nd minute,

but that's when Iniesta came up
with a blinder.

The cross from Dani Alves.

It was the only shot on goal we took.

Eto'o controls it.

Then I think, "I'm in control,
I'll play off Andrés and shoot."

I wanted to have control,
but when I lost the ball...

Essien lost it, the ball runs to Messi.

The ball comes to me
and I'm about to lose it, practically...

Of course, he looks for the shot,

but he gets closed down,
closing the space.

-Falling over...
-The ball comes to me sideways.

You realise it's the last shot.

It's very hard when the ball comes
to you with opposite spin.

It's part of the Iniesta arsenal.

At the right moment,

he pulls off moves no-one was expecting,

but that were totally game-changing.

Eto'o traps the ball,
Essien goes for it and misses,

Messi sends it to Iniesta.

Iniesta shoots... Goal!

He pulls off a wonderful goal
that slips through by this much.

Andrés saved us all.

The thing with karma is it always leaves
the good things to the good guys.

Andrés pulled off that shot

and it was a turning point for all of us.

Just at the right time,
Andrés Iniesta shone.

It was very quick.

I was upset that Pinto got past me.

I know we all ran to the corner,

and we hugged,

the whole team
fell in a pile in the corner

celebrating with the fans, with Andrés.

I spent a week watching all that.

Gives it away to Messi, Messi to Iniesta,
Iniesta shoots... goal!

It's bloody magic!

Goal for Barça! Iniesta scores!

That goal made Andrés the player he was,

that everyone could see
for the talent he had

and what he did on the pitch.

I am sure that Petr Čech
will never forget that.

Iniesta shot, I dived,

but my hand missed the ball by 18 mm.

When I saw the ball go to him

I thought he was going to control it.

And when I saw the shot

I knew straight away
it was going to be hard to stop.

And when I saw the trajectory of the ball,

I knew it was well-struck, very hard,

and at the time I thought

it would hit the bar and go high,
but it went in.

Now, whenever there's a match
between Barcelona and Chelsea,

they always show that goal
on TV as a reminder.

So I only watched it two or three times,

and every time I see it I'm sad,
just like I was in 2009.

Well, the study began
in a hospital corridor.

A colleague came to me saying,

"My son is asking
if what this sticker says is true."

He showed me and the sticker said:

"Nine months after Barça's glorious May,

the birth rate in Barcelona jumped by 50%.

According to Guardiola,

it's because of Iniesta's goal
against Chelsea."

So, we looked at births.
11,000 births over five years.

We noticed it was stable,

except for the month of February 2010,

nine months after the "May of Cups",

which featured a 16% increase in births.

I'm glad I could contribute
to such important work.

I encouraged him a lot.
I wanted him to be a footballer.

Not to get as far as he has,
but to play, that was my hope.

Back then, the village didn't have
a football team.

He could only play in the school yard.

The school pitch was concrete
with indoor goal posts, without nets.

I'd spend six hours playing there,

till nightfall when they came to get me.

You'd have to call him to come and eat.

He'd eat, and be back at school,
back on the pitch.

We spent the whole day
doing what we wanted.

I'd spend all day with the ball.

When he was five or six,

he was already
at the level of a 12 or 14-year-old.

I looked into taking him to Albacete
because clearly Andrés

was up to the level
of his age group, at least in Albacete.

He came for trials.

He scored two goals,
made two or three other goals,

stole the ball three or four times.

I was surprised by what he did
and how small he was.

I'd collect him at midday.

We managed to get the P.E. class
at school moved to the end of the day,

so he didn't do P.E., and we were in time

for him to train at Albacete
with his pals.

He would make me look bad,
because I'd say,

"let's dribble, cut back,

and let's aim for the closest top corner."

So if we did five shots with the right,

he would put them in,
very close to the corner,

but then he'd do the same with his left.

And I'd say,
"Andresito, I told you, it's really hard."

"Okay, I'll bear it in mind."

Training ended at 2:30.

Back at home,

I'd eat a chorizo sandwich
or a tortilla sandwich,

whatever, with my juice.

I often said, "You should come over

to do that in the village."

But no, over there was the ideal thing.

I don't know what they call this.

Some say a "museum", others a "sanctuary."

It was very hard for me,

since I had a huge pile of newspapers
I didn't know what to do with.

It seemed like a shame to get rid of them.

And one day I came out and saw a bag.

I took the bag and brought it inside

and tried it with one of the papers,

the Deportivo or the Sport,
and it just fit.

And that gave me an idea,
and that's how it started,

with a bag I found outside my house.

The bar is still open

and my mother was there working.

When I wasn't in trouble,
we played matches

with the tables and the chairs
and invented games there.

The football pitch clearly
wasn't enough for him,

and he kept playing among the tables.

The tournament that changed my life
was the Brunete tournament,

and that was
the springboard for what followed.

He won the best young player award
in Spain at the championship,

and I grabbed him in the dressing room

and said, "Let's take a picture, Andrés,

our paths are going to separate.

I think you'll do great things."

All the big clubs,
Barça, Madrid, Atlético,

turn around and say,
"Where'd he come from?"

When I saw him play, he really stood out.

So, seeing the amount of clubs there,

I sent Mr. Zaragoza,
one of our representatives,

to speak to the father

so that the father would get in touch
with me and bring him to Barcelona.

I said I'd talk to him,
but we'd do whatever he decided.

Andrés replied that he wasn't sure

and he wanted
to stay at Albacete that year.

He was also listening to his father.

I don't know.
It's what your parents tell you,

that the train only comes by
once in a lifetime.

The train, that famous train.

Every day he'd feed me
a bit more encouragement.

And from one day to the next, he changed.

He said, "I want to go
because it's what you want,

and I can't just let you down.

I want to stay here,

but I can see
how much you've fought for me

and now I don't think I can shrug off

what you've struggled hard for."

All that sacrifice I paid back.

Leaving at 12 years of age,

to go through difficult times.

Never stopping. Always moving forwards.

Holding the line, always trying
to overcome obstacles.

Many circumstances
which I paid for years later.

There's a kid who travels 500 km
to come and train.

A lot of kilometres.

And a father's sacrifice
that maybe we would make.

The sacrifices of fathers.

Quite a thing.
You used to travel kilometres, too.

And you went
to the Masía academy, besides.

Well, I didn't go 500 km to go training.

It was about 40 to Albacete.

No, the kid does it with huge enthusiasm.

I can't imagine it
because I always lived with my parents.

My dad would take me training with him,

but I never lived apart
from them for training.

But it must be hard

and at the same time a good experience,

to prepare you for life,
not just for football.

The most traumatic part, let's say,

is to be separated from your family
when you're young,

and in the end you're "alone."

You have to keep going forward

and maturing at a kind of forced march.

These are things you achieve with time.

-Dad, we're going to the changing room.
-Yes, but quickly, okay?

You're about to start.

Now they treat you better,
but when Andrés and I played...

-Yeah?
-...and were naughty,

do you know what they did to us?

They took the ball and made us run.

We had to run around the field.

Oh no! Why were you naughty?

Just like you sometimes.
But we were only naughty once.

After they made us run,
we weren't naughty.

I think you're the last ones today.

-We'll cheer for you.
-It doesn't matter.

This methodology is a way to understand

or interpret football
from when you're a child

until you pass through certain stages.

Of course, we'd both like our kids

to be footballers one day,

to at least have a shot at it
and enjoy giving it a go.

We look at our kids with affection,

sort of a reflection
of what we were years ago

with our parents, too.

PeG@SuS
Urang Sunda Asli

I was very happy in the times
I spent alone with my father.

I try to do the same for Luca.

Which is the 500 km kid?

I don't know if he's at this session.

What time does it finish, at seven?

500 km will take four hours by car.

He'll get home late.

The return trip must be a killer.

Plus, they must bring the family.

And the next day you've got school.

I think the kid must eat his dinner
and sleep in the car.

Iniesta always says that playing
for Barça was his dream come true,

but very seldom does he admit

that that dream started very badly.

It started as a real nightmare.

THE LONGEST NIGHT
SEPTEMBER 17, 1996

Iniesta comes from Fuentealbilla,
from this village,

from his house, he comes from...

Well, he lived within those 100 metres.

He didn't need more.
That was his world, his universe.

And they take you to Barcelona,

where you spend your time
playing football.

He was literally alone at La Masía.

We got to La Masía.

We thought
he wouldn't stay there that night.

We thought another day.

But no, Juan Faré told us
he was at La Masía,

he had to stay there that night.

And so he stayed.

The rest of us went to the hotel.

That's how it started.

That was tremendous.

When I locked myself into that room,

after leaving Andrés at La Masía,

I said, "Oh dear, this is impossible.
I can't live here."

I fell to the floor like a 10-year-old.

I couldn't breathe.
I couldn't do anything.

Everything was lost.

My father, at the moment of truth,
had the heart.

His father said he was going back
to get him,

because he was going to die,
he couldn't be without him.

If that day they'd said "go back",

I probably would have.

It was thanks to my mother,

because my father is weaker

than my brother and my mother.

So, if it hadn't been for her,

I don't think my brother

would have made it at Barcelona.

I don't want to say what she said
because, truth be told,

she was right about it all.

I said, "Give him a chance.
You've brought him

and now you're going to drag him away.
What have we done?

We don't know if he can make it or not.

Give him a chance, and if it's no good,

we'll bring him back."

If not for her, I don't know
what would have happened to me.

The first weeks were very tough for him.

He missed his family a lot,

the people from his village,
and he hated it.

The experience at La Masía started out
very tough for Iniesta, very tough,

but after a while,

he got into it, into the swing of it,

basically because he was playing football.

We know he wept, but he wept silently.

Hardly anyone saw the anguish
he went through

to be able to become

not just what he wanted to be,
a footballer,

but also to live up
to his family's expectations.

I think they brought him up
with a large dose of added tension,

and his way of rebelling
was to express himself with the ball.

That's why he's a different player,

because he does
unconventional things with the ball.

We started to train and we finished,
as always, with a match.

And seeing how he came on, I thought,

"Well, I don't need
an instruction booklet,

he does it on his own."

He exemplified what La Masía
was about more than anyone,

the fact that people came

from outside Barcelona
or Catalonia and tried it.

And they don't just come out players,
but they come out as people,

and I think Andrés has all that.

If one day someone decides

to change the name
of La Masía or add something,

they have to put
"Andrés Iniesta" in big letters.

From the first day, the first game,
word gets around to the trainers.

He's different. Iniesta is something new.

When we were on Barcelona's first team,

dipping in and out of the reserves,
at that time,

I don't know, it was very close,

with people in common that we knew,
and we always asked:

Who's coming up, which kid is good,

which winger or central player
is up and coming on the pitch?

One day he goes, "Who's taken my place?"

And I say, "Look, there's
a certain Xavi behind you,

who's really good, but behind him
there's another one,

who I think is even better than Xavi,
called Iniesta."

I remember calling Santiago Segurola

and saying "I've just seen someone
who's good,

I mean really good,
and he's going to make it."

I think all he said was,

"I've seen a player
who's better than we are."

And I said, "Better than whom?"

"Better than everyone we've seen

in midfield at Barça,
better than Xavi, better than me."

I was stunned and I said,
"Who are you talking about?"

And he said, "His name's Iniesta."

He says, "Look, you're taking my place",

and then added,
"but this kid's taking your place."

Luckily, I was right
in the first instance, but not the second.

And they played together for years.

The "guv'nor", Guardiola,
was like an idol.

I had huge regard for him.

Barcelona, in 1999, plays host
to the Nike Cup.

They organise the Nike Cup
and participate as guests

in the tournament for the best
young players in the world.

And they hold it at the Camp Nou.

It's the first time that Andrés Iniesta
discovers the Camp Nou.

THE FIRST TIME
NIKE CUP - JULY 22, 1999

It was a big event,
and honestly really nice,

because there were big clubs
from all over the world,

and it was exciting.

I think we had a really great team.

A foretaste of what Andrés
was going to be,

making a difference,
and I think it was in extra time,

in the last minute, they pass it back

and he slams it away in the top corner.

I think it was the golden goal.

It was the golden goal and they celebrate.

And Pep presented the trophy.

And just when Pep Guardiola's presenting
the trophy to Andrés Iniesta,

he says something truly prophetic.

-That in a few years...
-...I'm going to retire.

He'd be sitting in the stands...

...and I'd be watching him
play for Barcelona.

But the most impactful thing was...

I was his coach.

Since I was 12 all I wanted
was to make it with Barça.

There was a kid from the juniors
outside the Camp Nou.

In those days we trained at the ground

next to the Camp Nou and I was driving by.

Someone said, "Hey, there's one
of the juniors, give him a lift."

"Sure."

I was lucky. I gave a lift

to one of the greatest players
of all time in my car.

For me, as a coach,

I saw that he could play
on the first team.

That is why I gave him a chance.

I let him make his debut
in the Champions League

because I had a lot of confidence in him.

THE BEST BARÇA IN HISTORY
2008-2012

We lost the first game with Numancia, 1-0,

and in the next we drew with Racing.

If we didn't win the next game,

that would have looked pretty grim.

We started with 86% or 87%

not wanting us as coaches at that time,

and that was a tough start.

I remember I knocked on his door and...

...he came in and said everything
would be great.

That it would all go well,
we were starting well,

we were playing well
and it would work out.

The team was able and willing...

And I left.

I don't know if he said something,
or thanked me or not,

but anyway, I wanted to let him know

we were all confident it would go well.

Normally, it's the coaches
who say these things to the players.

That's the routine,
the one higher up the hierarchy

has to tell the players
how it's going to be,

not the player, and in this case, Andrés.

It was a surprise, and a moment to say,

"Okay, if these guys are like this,
it can't go badly, we won't abandon you."

Such a good, positive atmosphere developed

that it just had to go well.

We won the next one 1-6,
I think against Gijón.

And we were unstoppable.

It was like we were playing
on the PlayStation.

It was spectacular. The high point
of our careers, of our lives.

We weren't a team, we were a family.

We were all for one and one for all.

That kept us going so many years.

Joy, a joy in my heart...

I'm at a different stage in life.

Leaving Barcelona and coming here, well,

in many ways, it's given me
a lot of freedom.

Playing for Barça is not just
playing a football match,

it's massive pressure, constant tension.

It's training perfectly every day,

it's being the best in every match,

and that's very stressful
and mentally very exhausting.

Joy, a joy in my heart...

I enjoyed it at Barcelona,
but there was something here

that didn't let you enjoy it 100%.

So this something here,
which represented being at Barça

and the institution it is,

and what that means,

that doesn't exist here.

So that missing part
frees you from a lot of other things.

I've really noticed that here.

That might be the biggest difference.

The stadium is close by here,

as well as the Fan Club,

so this is a big boost for the area.

And since I love football,

we always go to watch the matches.

I'm in Japan now and I feel like I belong

because the people are wonderful to me,

because I'm loving it,
and that's how I feel.

Super happy, really...

If he could only see.

I'd die of excitement.

In the end, it's not where you were born,

it's where you feel right
and how they treat you

that makes you feel at home.

2009 is the Stamford Bridge goal,

it's the Rome final and Iniesta
began a journey into darkness.

INIESTA'S INJURY, A BIG BLOW

It was a complicated year, a hard year

after Stamford Bridge.

INIESTA RELIVES HIS NIGHTMARE

BARÇA CRIES FOR INIESTA

The days pass and you realise

you're not improving, you don't feel good,

you're not on form.

Everything clouds over or goes dark.

Then I start to train,
but I don't feel good.

The injury isn't improving.

With the therapy of his teammates,

and physiotherapists,
and other kinds of help,

because he's a very special body and soul.

There are many clouds ahead, many demons,

and they have to be overcome.

We were shocked at the news
of his death before ten last night.

Jarque was alone in his room,
talking to his girlfriend

when he lost consciousness.

His girlfriend informed his teammates.

That was like a bodily wound.

Something powerful
that knocked me down again,

and I was pretty low,

clearly because I wasn't very well.

It was the start of summer

and we went with Ceci
for a few days by the seaside.

We went out to eat,

and when we sat down at the table,
I looked at him,

and he just looked gone.

It wasn't him.

We ordered, and I looked
and I could see he wasn't there.

I noticed Anna looking at him, too.

And she says, "Are you okay, love?"

He wasn't well.

"Maybe it's my stomach,
or I'm just tired."

I remember going on holiday
with my partner and Anna

and seeing it wasn't my brother.

It was someone else,
not wanting to go out, not feeling well.

He was concerned

that we were have a good time,
but he was having a bad time.

And then you stop
and realise something's the matter.

His mother realised he wasn't well.

She said, "I don't know, he seems odd.
He's not eating. He just wants to sleep."

I noticed he wasn't well the night

we were sleeping downstairs,

and he came down and said
"Mum, can I sleep here with you?"

Then the world came down on my head.

Your 25-year-old son
coming down at midnight,

wanting to sleep with his parents,
he can't be well.

And he said, "I'm not well, Dad."

I said, "What's wrong?"

"I don't know, I don't feel well."

I get a call from José Antonio.

I thought it was for Andrés
and José Antonio said,

"Is Andrés nearby?"
I say, "No, he's training."

"Don't tell him I called,
I want to speak to you

because I know Andrés trusts you.

With everything that's going on,

it can't be that Andrés has made

his family and friends happy
and the only one not happy is him."

Imagine my face when he tells me

a guy who's got it all, or nearly all,

is really not happy at that moment.

It's not unusual that after a period
of brilliance or intensity,

one feels a moment of emptiness,

a comedown, to put it in layman's terms.

We could compare it
to post-partum depression.

There are times you live
with great intensity.

You prepare a long time for it,
and when you get it,

you feel a certain emptiness.

Then I began some treatment.

It was hard at the beginning.

And at the same time I contacted Inma

and we began a relationship

lasting many days,
many weeks, many months.

It's like everyone understands

if you have health problems,
work problems, money problems,

or if a loved one is seriously ill,

they can understand you being depressed.

It's as if depression
needed a justification.

Anna never left him
during those moments, ever.

At that time she came every night
to sleep at his place.

To stand beside him, was the most
important thing, I think,

because at that time,
he needed to feel his people close to him.

Andrés' recovery was entirely
a team effort, because, as I said,

from the doctor, Andrés,
Anna, his then girlfriend and now wife,

his mother Mari and father José Antonio,

his sister Maribel,
his brother-in-law Juanmi,

all said at the same time,

"Inma, tell us what each of us can do
to help Andrés recover."

We lived for him at that time
so that he would feel well.

If we had a dinner and he felt unwell

and wanted to go,
he left and no-one asked why.

I remember going to his house to see him,

and he'd go training, come back,
and flop onto the bed.

He'd be there hours and hours.

At one stage I thought
this would have to stop,

because the most important thing was him.

He seemed sad, sadder when he arrived.

The year ended and we came back
from the pre-season

and he seemed sadder,
but players can have rough times,

maybe at home, whatever.
You'd speak to him.

"How are you, Andrés? You look sadder."
"No, I'm fine."

But I didn't know, of course.

I told Guardiola's brother.

I said, "Andrés isn't well."

His dad talked to them, too.

Then Guardiola tried to get him

out of that bottomless pit he was in.

He'd say to the guv'nor, "I'm going"

and he'd say, "you can leave any time."

Pep played an important part for him,

he was very attentive to him.

He was a very supportive coach

through those times with Andrés,
which is what I think he needed.

They're people and this very human thing,

which befalls millions around the world,

they have to know we're there for them.

I'm not a doctor, no idea how to treat it.
No idea.

But the club was of course there
to lend a hand.

I think it's the same at all clubs,
to stand beside him

and have him treated
by a specialist to try and help him.

He said, "Inma, this is the first time

I've been in a situation like this
as a coach.

I don't really know what I should do.

You, as a professional, let us know

what we ought to do
to try and help Andrés."

I remember he said,

"The most important thing now
is Andrés, not the player.

For me, the person comes before football."

Living at La Masía
makes you close up a little,

maybe to be a little more...

in these more personal matters,
to discuss things less,

to close up and keep it inside.

Then there's a moment when,
for whatever reason, you decide to say it.

Speaking to him, he said he felt like

he'd forgotten how to play football,
he couldn't do what he used to do.

Maybe because of how Andrés is,

we didn't appreciate the severity
of the situation.

It was later on, as I've said,

perhaps we could have helped more
in that process

if we'd had more information.

But that's the way he is.

And he wanted to keep it quiet.

Andrés is very reserved and quiet.

Everyone communicates it differently

and that was his way.
You have to respect it.

And the truth is the game went on.

When we found out,
he told us many more details.

I remember a story he told

about going to the cinema
with Anna one day,

and how bad it was,
and it gives you goose pimples.

Little by little he accepted

it was a problem he had,

and he had to solve it

with the help of the psychologist,

and little by little he came around.

“But can I really be like I used to be?"

And I remember they'd say to Andrés,

"Well, maybe not, probably much better."

They've helped me massively
to be myself again,

to be better than myself.

He realised there was more to life

than playing football
and being a "yes man",

and being there for everyone.

It helped him to be with himself more,

to know himself better

and to enjoy those little things

that when you're so high up
sometimes you can't see.

He never missed a session,

he never cancelled a session,
he never came late to a session.

It's very telling that he arrived

10 to 15 minutes
before his appointments and waited.

He waited in the entrance
until it was time,

because he didn't want to miss a minute
and could better prepare himself.

Seeing him back in the changing room

and being with us a while on the field

we could see that he was doing better.

Making public something
as personal as depression

displays two character traits of Andrés,

which are courage and generosity.

When I explain this it's not to say,

"Look, I'm Andrés Iniesta, a footballer,

I'm a celebrity and I'm going to tell you

how to overcome depression and anxiety",

or whatever you call it.

Am I a celebrity?

Of course, but many people,
or in this case, some people,

have said to me,
"Because you talked about this,

many people have talked about it",

or "People have come
for treatment and said,

'we heard Andrés Iniesta

talking about it and it encouraged us'."

It's welcome, I'm glad, but...

but I've always tried to be
a normal person,

within what is
a special world that I live in.

Please give Romeo one of his toys.

Not this one. It's mine.

Come on, put it there.
Very good washing, well done.

Look!

-Very good.
-It's this one.

-Me!
-You!

Yes?

Your shoes... Miss...

Do you need help, little lady?

Can you put this on?

-Come on, guys.
-Let's go. School time.

We're trying to enjoy them to the max,

because we love being
with them anyway, all the time,

doing everything with them,
taking care of everything.

What you try to teach your kids

or pass on to them

is to know how to value things,

to respect their parents' opinions,

to pay attention to many situations

which, when you're a child,
you don't grasp or get.

Let's go.

ALWAYS WITH US
SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 11, 2010

Before, in June, he said to me,

"On Sunday, or Saturday..."
I can't remember,

"..I'd like you to be at the final."

And I said, "Look, the plane tickets
cost a fortune

for the 16 hours that I'll be there.
Impossible."

And he says, "No, I want you all to come

because it'll be historic.
We're going to win the World Cup."

I knew I wouldn't see it,
because I can't get on a plane.

I can't because I'm really afraid of it
and so I can't fly.

So I asked José if he wanted to go
to the World Cup by car.

It sounds crazy.

I thought, 21 days to get there

and 21 days to get back, we could do it,

but I realised it would be impossible.

All paths went
through some warzone or other.

I can believe anything of Albert.

The legend of Iniesta's
World Cup goal begins

three hours before kick-off.

A lot of things happen before a final.

I remember it was
a pretty big changing room.

It was very easy to work.

At that time you're trying to see
if you should bring Raúl out,

if Andrés wants to do some exercises,

depending on his form,

and he just says,

"Hey Hugo, can you make me a tee-shirt

that says Dani Jarque?"

It came to my mind...

there and then,

and I asked Hugo.

I said, "Don't worry,
when you get back from the warm-up,

the tee-shirt will be waiting for you."

Writing it, you don't realise

the significance it's going to have,

and what it's going to mean,

and everything else that happened
after that goal.

DANI JARQUE, ALWAYS WITH US

116th minute.

Penalties seemed like an inevitability.

In the final stages, everyone thinking
more about penalties

than the final victory.

I think I'm the only player

that didn't touch
the ball before Andrés' goal,

and I remember he did it with his heel.

Imagine what Andrés is like,
we're playing for our lives

and he back heels it
in the 116th minute. Gosh.

His heel. He's like that.

I receive the ball on the left side,

and when I trap it inside

to bring the ball to my good foot,

I see Andrés kind of slip his marker
at the far post,

and I try to cross straight to him,

over Van der Vaart,

but the pass is short
and the clearance reaches Cesc.

Fàbregas makes a pass
which looks like it won't make it,

that they'll clear it,
and it falls to Andrés.

It falls to Andrés Iniesta in the zone,

and I say "blimey" and enjoy the moment.

It's as if the world stood still
when that ball bounced.

It's like slow motion
when he controls the ball,

it hangs in the air for a few seconds...

And then time stood still.

It's me and the ball.

I'm not aware of anything,

and in those one, two, three seconds

from dribbling the ball till I shoot,

it's like a time warp.

You need that cool head that Andrés has.

That pause, that calm he's always had

and which makes the difference.

The ball that rises, and when it rises,

you know if you don't connect properly
it can go anywhere.

Hit it however you want, but get it in.

We're all on our feet.

We're saying, "goal, goal, goal."

We were lucky
that the ball fell to Harry Potter.

Once again, Andrés Iniesta.

We thought Navas had scored,
so he passes, he shoots.

We start screaming, "Navas!"

And two people turn round
and say, "Iniesta."

Imagine our faces when they said
"Iniesta", the seven of us,

wearing Iniesta shirts.

Well, Maribel gets very worked up.
I don't like to watch.

My partner was very nervous.

When Spain scored I said,
"Calm down, or you'll hurt yourself."

And he's staring at me, saying,

"Don't you know who scored the goal?"

So then I was the one
that nearly hurt myself.

He scored and we were hysterical.
Karlitos grabbed me, you know?

It was a moment of pure joy.

I was watching alone at home...
downstairs at Andrés's house.

I think my dad hasn't seen

many big moments like that live.

Mari went to the club to watch it.
But the club was full of people,

and I like to watch alone
and I watched at Andrés' house.

I saw that they'd scored a goal
but I didn't know it was him.

When they were screaming "goal!"

and everyone was hugging,

"It was Andrés, it was the boy!"
"It was your son!"

Then I just couldn't believe it.

"But how can he score this goal, too?"

But I didn't realise it was Andrés.
I swear, I didn't know.

I didn't even know it was him up there.

When I saw everyone celebrating I left,

put some music on upstairs
and plugged my ears,

because that way I controlled time
and didn't worry for those four minutes.

So, the five, six minutes passed
and the referee whistled.

Then I heard the fireworks, the bangs,

and from the time I could see
it didn't go to penalties.

Spain won, didn't they?
So I went downstairs.

I hurried there to Andrés' house nearby,

and I said, "the boy's scored!"

"What do you mean, the boy scored?"
And I said, "yes!"

I went to the TV
and I saw the replay and saw it was him.

That's how I do football.

It was a fantastic moment,

for football and for everything it meant.

All the youngsters that could see

we were a modern country, too,

and were able to play
as a team and we could be winners.

So may years, so many disappointments,

and for the first time,
Spain didn't just win the World Cup,

they won it with a goal
from their best player.

It's no surprise to me
that he scored at Stamford Bridge

and Johannesburg, because he carries
the faith, hope, expectations

of many people with him.

Iniesta was like a "chosen one."

In everything.
When tough times came along,

I think he was the national player

you could most depend on,

and I think
the players believed that, too.

In the final reckoning,
you had to pass the ball to Iniesta.

How lucky Andrés is
that he gets to score those goals

at the most crucial, unique moments.

All players would like to score
the goals he does.

He scores, let's say,
the most important goal of his career.

And he dedicates the goal to his friend,

which sums up very well the person he is.

Remembering that at such
an important moment

for Spain, for our country,

it was something that spoke for itself.

I didn't see that he'd painted
a tee-shirt saying "For Dani."

We didn't see it, but after he scored

we all saw it and it was a lovely gesture.

They were great friends,

and it'll be there
for the rest of history.

He didn't remember his Dad, his Mum,
his girlfriend or Jesus Christ.

He remembered a moment

that he believed
that person should have been at.

What one takes out of football,

beyond the success and the goals,

and the great moments, are friends.

Friendships, sensations, feelings,

and that's what Andrés showed

when he scored
the goal making us World Champions.

He remembered a friend.
And that's football.

That gesture, for me,
is bigger than the goal,

bigger than the World Cup,
bigger than anything.

That tee-shirt had to be
at Cornellà-El Prat,

at his stadium,

with his people, and also the dedication,

because it was an image of that goal,

and it's an image
that makes me proud as a person.

I can't remember a player who had
a better send-off than Iniesta,

in the sense of footballing grandeur.

I remember leaving the Cornellà one day,

after Barcelona won 1-5,

which was painful

for the Espanyol fans to lose 1-5
to their arch-rivals,

and everyone was giving
a standing ovation to Iniesta.

I think that perfectly reflects
the feeling throughout all of Spain.

Very proud...

to see someone go to out on a pitch,

be it in Madrid, in Sevilla,

in Valencia, and get such an applause,

as a player from Barcelona,

that they applaud him everywhere.
He got an ovation.

We should draw a lot of lessons,

not just players, from him,

but supporters too,
how they've treated Andrés,

how to treat people, right?

How to treat football legends,
above all in recent years.

A player like Andrés Iniesta,

who makes people fall
in love with football,

just because he plays good football.

Only a talent like him has the chance,

the honour of having other great stadiums

and other great fan bases
admire him so much.

But when you lost against him,
you couldn't get upset,

because he won with such style,

with such normality and simplicity

that it seemed fair that he won,

that he should win every game
because he deserved it.

When you finish like he's finished
his career with Barça,

with the whole stadium
on their feet like that,

I think that means you're a great person.

Of course you can't lose players
like Andrés,

who we'll bore our grandchildren with,

that there was this player
that did extraordinary things.

Players you can see that, as youngsters,
they're a cut above.

I think there have been
very special players

in the history of this sport,
but there aren't many

who've been able to not only be good,

but make those around them good, too.

When he has to say something
you won't like,

he'll say it and that's very important.

You need your friends most
in the bad times.

I sat down next to him
at the entrance to the training ground.

He had asked me to and said,
"You'll be fine."

A very normal person who perseveres,

and that's why he's so loved.

You have an image of an idol

and then you speak to him,
and he's totally different, you know?

I try to treat others the way
he's treated me.

THANK YOU, INIESTA

"Dear Anna, it's very hard for me

to put into words everything

that you mean to me as a partner,
as a woman,

and as the mother of our children.

The first dates, the trips,

the family get-togethers,
the birth of our "earthquake",

our magical wedding day...

But it's most of all in the bitter times

that you've shown me
you are special, Anna.

You are unique.

You're brave, you have a big heart.

I thank you for the integrity
you've always had,

how strong you were
when they told us we'd lost our child.

Not everyone manages to come through
such difficulties, Anna, but you did.

It made us better,

and since then
I feel like an angel is with us.

It's only the start, because with you,
the best is always yet to come."

JANUARY 1, 2020

VISSEL KOBE, WITH ANDRÉS AS CAPTAIN,
WINS ITS FIRST-EVER TITLE:

JAPAN'S EMPEROR'S CUP

Mate, what I can say?

You know how much I love you.

Never change, you're a lovely person,

a great person and it's been an honour

and a pleasure knowing you

and sharing all those moments with you.

Andrés, I love you to bits.
You're very dear to me.

I follow you closely,

and I'm now a fan of the Japanese League
because of you.

Sometimes it keeps me up late.

I hope to see you as Barcelona coach,
or manager of Cameroon.

Then we'd win the World Cup for sure.

It's been wonderful, Andrés.

Having you close by, playing off you,

speaking in "footballese"
without speaking to you.

It's been spectacular. Thanks a lot, man.

I'll put up my own money to pay you

because I'm sure we'd win
the World Cup with you.

I like you, but I love you, too.

It's over.

PeG@SuS
Urang Sunda Asli

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