Review published on October 24, 2016.
Those expecting a full autobiography of Andrés Iniesta are going to be disappointed in this book, but those looking to see what has made Iniesta the player he is are going to love it. What you get from the beginning is how he had to overcome his own shyness while at Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy, the sacrifices he and his parents made, to become one of the world’s best ever midfield players.
The problem with modern footballers is we do not often get an insight in to what made them the player they are today, but this excellent book gives you an insight in to the psyche that has made Iniesta. What this book does do is challenge all your current thinking on modern players, as Iniesta shows a side to him that we never see.
He explains his homesickness that affected him in his early days at La Masia, how he eventually settled, and more importantly the respect of his colleagues and coaches. We also see how injury blighted the early stages of his career and throw in the death of his close friend, how that affected him psychologically, but how, through self-belief, he was able to overcome those difficulties. What it does show is that Iniesta is human and can be affected by the same problems as those not in the public eye, and how in 2009 he had to overcome anxiety, something you would not normally consider a problem for a professional football player.
We are given an insight into how, given his chance under Louis Van Gaal, he became an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s successful team. How from the successes of the Barcelona side he was able to play for Spain, and do what we all dream of, score the winning goal in the World Cup final in 2010, in a game in which he was outstanding.
This is a really enjoyable book for all football fans; do not expect the usual narrative of a footballer but something that is engaging and thought provoking. This is a really vivid picture of Iniesta not just in his own words but of those who know him best, and a rather enjoyable read.
Paul Diggett 5/1
The Artist: Being Iniesta by Andrés Iniesta
Headline 9781472232335 pbk Sep 2016
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