Andres Iniesta under threat of losing place in Barcelona XI

Andres Iniesta under threat of losing place in Barcelona XI

Andres Iniesta is, for the first time in nearly a decade, under a real threat of losing his spot in Barcelona's starting XI. Despite being one of the most successful players in the Catalans' over 115 years of history, the truth is that past achievements count for nothing in the ever-changing world of modern football.

Considering Ivan Rakitic's incredible impact in first season at the Camp Nou, many expect the Croatian international to retain his place in Luis Enrique's preferred lineup. With that in mind, captain Iniesta will face fierce competition from former Atletico Madrid star Arda Turan, the much-improved Rafinha and even the emerging Sergi Roberto for the second interior spot.

Already 31 years of age, it is clear Iniesta will find it increasingly hard to compete with upcoming youngsters as time goes by. Having said that, it is also true that his game was never based on impeccable physicality in the first place, with skill, clever movement and exquisite technique always giving him the edge over rivals.

Far from obsessing over his upcoming challenges at personal level, Iniesta continues to use every opportunity to praise his teammates and, as always, keep a low personal profile:

"Lionel Messi and I have experienced all sorts of situations together and we know each other so well. We have lived alongside one another for such a long time. And to have experienced what we have together is to be very happy.

Andres Iniesta under threat of losing place in Barcelona XI

"The truth is that it is a privilege to play with him. I cannot say much more than that. Leo has always been unique for me and hopefully I get to play with him for a lot longer. That's what matters."

"Because of the times in which we live, when things go wrong, it's very difficult to cope. When you have harmony, it is much easier. Now that we are enjoying such a moment, we must seize it."

What a legend. Iniesta could have easily chosen to blow his own trumpet in front of the world's media and even taken advantage of his position as club captain to publicly demand more minutes for the season ahead.

Andres Iniesta under threat of losing place in Barcelona XI

Not Don Andres -- a true example of how the values youngsters learn at La Masia can influence not only the careers, but also the personalities of those privileged few who have the chance of developing at Barcelona's famous youth academy.

Whether such an admirable attitude can secure a place in Luis Enrique's lineup once crucial matches are to be played in the coming season remains to be seen, however.

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