Stop fooling yourself: Iniesta is irreplaceable at Barcelona

Not all magicians use wands. One of the best midfielders of all time, if not the best, Andrés Iniesta has announced that he will be leaving FC Barcelona this summer. His impact on world football has been second to none. What does he leave behind? Let's find out.

Andrés Iniesta Luján, a shy kid, joined the prestigious La Masia academy after an early emigration from his hometown Albacete. He made his first team debut aged 18 in 2002. Since then, he has scored 75 goals for his club and country and provided his teammates with 65 assists. He has been an integral part of the team with his key traits being vision, skill, technique, intellect and professionalism.

Even though being merely 5 feet 7 inches tall, Iniesta's athleticism is commendable. His movement on the ball, the accuracy of his passes and his unmatchable vision make him a perfect playmaker. His presence of mind is one of the greatest in the footballing world, with telepathic abilities with his teammates can produce unthinkable moments of magic. Not being one of the fastest players on the planet, his precision in dribbling makes up for it. Once the ball touches his feet, there is an unpredictable and unthinkable dimension that opens up; his Magistas become his wand of magic. His work on the ball leaves the fans, the opponents and his own teammates spellbound.

El Ilusionista is also one of the most decorated players of all time. He has won eight La Liga trophies (9th inbound), six Copa del Rey trophies, seven Copa de España titles, four Champions Leagues, three European Supercups, three Club World Cups, four European championships (one u-19 and one u-17) and one FIFA World Cup trophy. Individually, he has won many laurels, being the only player to win a Man of The Match trophy in the World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League finals.

With such legacy, Don Andrés is irreplaceable. Even though the club is investing a lot on talented midfielders, finding somebody with the talent and capability of Iniesta is close to impossible.

With him leaving at the end of the season, Philippe Coutinho only seems to be the person to take his position. This super talented Brazilian maestro is the closest in terms of creating an impact like Iniesta, but to even suggest that the void left by Iniesta could remotely be filled is simply delusional, as we described in depth in The Barcelona Podcast 82:

We wish the best to our Don Andres for his next chapter in life and hope he gets involved with the club in some way or the other in the near future.

Gracias Capitan!

By Soham Banerjee