Barcelona icon Andres Iniesta reveals ex-Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was his most important manager — The Scottish Sun

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ANDRES INIESTA has revealed his most important manager during his time at Barcelona — and the answer will surprise many.

The midfield legend is leaving the club in the summer, more than two decades after graduating from the famous La Masia academy.

Andres Iniesta has described Louis van Gaal as his 'most important manager'
Andres Iniesta has described Louis van Gaal as his ‘most important manager’
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Andres Iniesta will leave Barcelona over 20 years since playing in La Masia
Andres Iniesta will leave Barcelona over 20 years since playing in La Masia
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Ahead of his departure, Iniesta, 34, was asked by Mundo Deportivo to describe various former team-mates and coaches in a sentence.

And “my most important manager” were words he used about former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.

The answer is surprising given he established himself as one of the world’s greatest midfielders, and enjoyed the most success, while working under Pep Guardiola.

However, it was Van Gaal who gave him his professional debut back in 2002, and that is clearly something he remembers fondly.

Andres Iniesta takes in the applause after last-ever Copa del Rey final
Andres Iniesta takes in the applause after last-ever Copa del Rey final
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Andres Iniesta has described Barcelona legend Lionel Messi as 'unique'
Andres Iniesta has described Barcelona legend Lionel Messi as ‘unique’
AP:Associated Press

Asked for his thoughts on Guardiola, Iniesta replied: “A master for me.”

He insisted Frank Rijkaard, under whom he won his first Champions League title, was “the ideal coach for that period of my life.” While he described Tito Vilanova as an “exceptional manager and person.”


ARD TIME Barcelona loanee Arda Turan slapped with record 16-game ban for shoving linesman


Iniesta also labelled Luis Enrique “a friend” and Ernesto Valverde “wise”.

He was also asked about his Spain bosses, insisting Luis Aragones was a “professor” and Vicente Del Bosque is “exemplary.”

via Barcelona icon Andres Iniesta reveals ex-Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was his most important manager — The Scottish Sun

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Lionel Messi ‘Didn’t Turn Up’ as Barcelona Exit Prompts Ernesto Valverde Apology

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Lionel Messi has been criticised in the wake of Barcelona’s shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of Roma on Tuesday, while Barca manager Ernesto Valverde and president Josep Maria Bartomeu have apologised to supporters.
The Giallorossi produced an outstanding performance at the Stadio Olimpico to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first leg, ensuring the Blaugrana’s exit at the quarter-final stage of the UEFA Champions League for the third season running.
Barca’s players have come in for a great deal of criticism for their showing in Rome, and Messi is no exception.
AS‘ Juan Jimenez described the Argentinian as being “anonymous” and said he had “gone out there to watch the time go by,” concluding that he “simply didn’t turn up.”

Messi and Luis Suarez were also singled out by BT Sport pundit Michael Owen, who believed they did not do enough to help out defensively.

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“I’m not sure you can not concede when you’ve got two strikers that don’t put anything into defending,” he said, per MailOnline’s Robert Summerscales. “They are basically defending with eight outfield players against 11, and I’m not sure you can do that at the highest level.”
Neither of the pair had a night to remember in a match in which a single Barcelona goal would have all-but guaranteed their progression, and with Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman often overwhelming the visitors’ midfield, the extra bodies could have lightened their team-mates’ load.
Jimenez’s criticism of Messi is perhaps a little unfair, though, as he was involved throughout—according to Summerscales he had 61 touches of the ball, just six fewer than the commanding De Rossi managed, per Squawka Football—and frequently had to drop deeper to create for the team with Andres Iniesta struggling to do so himself.
Grup 14’s Rafael Hernandez believes the Argentinian was let down by his team-mates, a sentiment echoed by ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117 The only thing holding back Lionel Messi is Barcelona. Unbelievable.
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan Point about Messi not scoring whenever Barca go out of CL not that he never does it on big occasion – more that if he doesnt step up then nobody else has.
Barcelona’s decline in recent years has often been masked by their impressive ability to continue to pick up silverware each season—something Messi should take plenty of credit for—but they’re perhaps no longer the force they once were on the pitch and rely too heavily on their talisman.

Their failure to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League since their win in 2015 demonstrates as much, and prompted apologies from both Bartomeu and Valverde.
Per Sport‘s Victor Vallespir, the former said it was a “sad day” for the club and added: “The message is that we’re sorry for all Barca fans around the world.”
According to Ivan San Antonio of the same outlet, Valverde had a similar message: “We’re sorry for them, for the disappointment.”
The coach also lay the failure at his own feet: “Absolutely. The coach is the one who has to take responsibility. [The coach] chooses the team, the changes, he plans the game, the season. So I am absolutely responsible for everything.”
ESPN’s David Cartlidge also believed Valverde made mistakes in his approach:
David Cartlidge @davidjaca Think Valverde is a magnificent coach and sacking him would be absurd, but he’s got caught in the headlights tonight. Had a panic. Or as it is sometimes known, an Emery, and resorted to negativity/caution over taking initiative.
He has done an excellent job overall at the Camp Nou; his side—despite being far from a vintage outfit—are in the Copa del Rey final and are seven matches away from going the season unbeaten in La Liga, which they’re set to win comfortably.
His lack of top-level experience showed on Tuesday, though, and the team’s European hopes will therefore have to be put on hold for another year at least.

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April 11, 2018 at 01:12AM

Deportivo 2 Barcelona 4: Lionel Messi’s glorious hat-trick seals Barca’s 25th La Liga crown in style

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Philippe Coutinho hits opener before Depor fight back from 2-0 down to level – but Messi hits two late goals to clinch title

LIONEL MESSI’S latest glorious hat-trick clinched Barcelona’s 25th La Liga crown in dramatic style.

Philippe Coutinho curled Barca in front early on before Deportivo fought back from 2-0 down to level – only for Messi to strike twice in the last eight minutes.

 Argentina skipper Lionel Messi points the way to more silverware as his remarkable career claimed another landmark

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Argentina skipper Lionel Messi points the way to more silverware as his remarkable career claimed another landmark

Meanwhile, traditional rivals Real Madrid, who have won La Liga 33 times, languish in third place, a humiliating 15 points adrift of Barca.

Former Liverpool playmaker Coutinho curled the visitors’ seventh minute opener.

Then Messi volleyed Barca 2-0 up at the backpost from a stunning cross by Luis Suarez.

 Lionel Messi bags the third goal for Barcelona - and his second - to put them back in front

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Lionel Messi bags the third goal for Barcelona – and his second – to put them back in front
 Lionel Messi celebrates with Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez on the night Barcelona won the title

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Lionel Messi celebrates with Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez on the night Barcelona won the title

But Deportivo, who are now definitely relegated, battled back well.

Arsenal loanee Lucas Perez fired home a first-time shot on 40 minutes.

Barca needed only a point to be guaranteed the crown.

But, as so often in the past, Messi delivered at the biggest moments to secure victory.

He pounced neatly from close range on 82 and 85 minutes to complete the 46th treble of his career for club and country.

Messi has now netted 13 times at the Riazor, making it his best hunting ground along with Real’s Bernabeu.

Inside Lionel Messi’s new £525-a-night Ibiza hotel including luxury pool, rooftop bar and boutique rooms
 Lionel Messi enjoys his hat-trick goal that rounded off a 4-2 win and the title

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Lionel Messi enjoys his hat-trick goal that rounded off a 4-2 win and the title
 Jordi Alba hails treble-shooter Lionel Messi on another special night for Barcelona

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Jordi Alba hails treble-shooter Lionel Messi on another special night for Barcelona

Gerard Pique showboats with kick-ups as Barcelona secure La Liga title with victory over Deportivo — Metro

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Gerard Pique was having fun as Barcelona secured the La Liga title (Picture: Sky Sports)Gerard Pique began showboating as Barcelona secured the La Liga title with a 4-2 victory over Deportivo La Coruna. The Catalan giants needed a point to be crowned champions and their night got off to the perfect start as Philippe Coutinho…

via Gerard Pique showboats with kick-ups as Barcelona secure La Liga title with victory over Deportivo — Metro   

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique was having fun as Barcelona secured the La Liga title (Picture: Sky Sports)

Gerard Pique began showboating as Barcelona secured the La Liga title with a 4-2 victory over Deportivo La Coruna.

The Catalan giants needed a point to be crowned champions and their night got off to the perfect start as Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring in the 7th minute.

Lionel Messi doubled Barca’s lead in the 38th minute before relegation strugglers Deportivo mounted a dramatic comeback in front of their home supporters on Sunday evening.

Everyone is heartbroken as Iniesta announces he’s leaving Barcelona

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End of an era

It’s now the end of an era for Barcelona, as Andres Iniesta has announced he will be leaving the club come the end of the season – and understandably, the fans are gutted.

It had been rumoured the player was set to leave, but seeing the news confirmed was obviously a different kettle of fish altogether, and it wasn’t just Barcelona fans who were upset at the prospect of a game without one of the best players to have the ball at his feet.

Even Real Madrid fans came out to praise the one man they actually liked or at least tolerated from the Barcelona side, and have given standing ovations to in the past as well.

The football world made sure to pay their respects to the outgoing player – who will be moving to China according to sources close to him – and will win one final La Liga title before that happens – and with both Xavi and Iniesta gone come next season, it’s a time of change for Barcelona.

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BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 14: Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates with Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez as he scores their first goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC at Camp Nou on March 14, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

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See also:Andres Iniesta admits he’s leaving Barcelona in tearful presser

Antoine Griezmann tells Arsenal exactly what kind of side Atletico Madrid are

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April 27, 2018 at 06:02AM

Barcelona star Andres Iniesta would have won Ballon d’Or if he were called Andresinho, claims Sergio Ramos — The Sun

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SERGIO RAMOS has claimed Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta would have won two Ballon d’Or awards — if he was called Andresinho. Spanish legend Iniesta, 33, is expected to leave the Nou Camp at the end of the season after 16 seasons with the La Liga giants. Andres Iniesta would have won two Ballon d’Or awards if he…

via Barcelona star Andres Iniesta would have won Ballon d’Or if he were called Andresinho, claims Sergio Ramos — The Sun

Despite being at the forefront of many of Barca’s 16 trophy wins in his time at the club, he has never been named the best player in the world.

Iniesta finished runner-up to Lionel Messi and third in 2012, but Real Madrid defender and Spain team-mate Ramos believes a different name would have seen him win.

Speaking after Real’s 2-1 win against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Ramos said: “If Andres was called Andresinho, he would have two Ballons d’Or.”

Iniesta’s haul includes eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns, as well as helping Spain to two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.

Andres Iniesta came second in 2010 and third in 2013 for the Balon d’Or

Sergio Ramos hinted that if Andres Iniesta was  aBrazilian he would have won the award

Some fans were baffled when Iniesta missed out to Barca team-mate Messi in 2010 despite scoring the winning goal for Spain in the World Cup final.

France Football, the magazine which conducts the award ceremony, even went as far as to apologise to Iniesta for never recognising him with the top gong.


REUNION Arsenal and Man City ‘trying to persuade Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta to join them instead of going to China’


Editor Pascal Ferre said: Forgive us, Andres.

“For us, he wasn’t just a player, he was the player.

“Of all the absences on the list of Ballon d’Or winners, his is particularly painful.

“We can only hope he has an special campaign at the World Cup in Russia and repair this democratic anomaly.”

Barcelona loanee Rafinha livid at Inter substitution: here’s Spalletti’s reaction

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Barcelona loanee Rafinha did not take very well Luciano Spalletti’s decision to replace him in the second half of yesterday’s Atalanta-Inter clash in Serie A.

Rafinha was replaced in the 71st minute of the game after that he had missed an easy goal chance from inside the danger area.

The Brazilian covered his mouth with the shirt on his way out to the pitch and seemed to be really disappointed when he sat on the bench.

Inter boss Luciano Spalletti commented on Sky Sports Rafinha’s reaction after the game: “Rafinha can do what he wants. He is a great professional and an amazing person. He can react any way he wants, there is no problem. He covered his mouth because he was disappointed. He missed a goal and had another goal chance after that. He was simply disappointed for some mistakes.”

​Rafinha joined Inter on loan in the January window and the Serie A giants can make his move permanent for € 35 million.

Valverde: ‘How Roma surprised Barcelona’

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romaErnesto Valverde commented Barcelona’s 3-0 defeat against Roma yesterday: “It’s a bad defeat and we are sorry for everybody, especially the fans. We have to react because we can still win two trophies and we want to turn things around as soon as possible. The defeat it’s my responsibility of course. It’s always the manager’s responsibility, either you win or lose. One week ago we scored four goals against the same opponents, we played well and we blocked them. This time we couldn’t.”“We were not surprised by Roma, they didn’t play as we expected but it was a possibility. The team has enough experience to take a good result home but we didn’t.”

“We started very well but we couldn’t do what we wanted because they forced us to play on the wings with their pressing. They created us troubles and we were unable to play the second ball at any time. We didn’t create any goal chances and they made the most of their enthusiasm scoring three.”

“They had planned a solid and aggressive game. The season is still very long and it’s hard to win this competition every year. It’s hard to accept it for our fans and our people. We all suffer tonight.”

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Umtiti Shot Down Man Utd transfer Deal, as star defender hints at Barcelona stay

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FC Barcelona v AS Roma - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg OneSamuel Umtiti  sent a clear message about where his future lies after his brilliant goal at Nou Camp Yesterday evening

The France international defender has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, but he has suggested that his long-term future lies at Camp Nou

Samuel Umtiti has expressed his “love” for Barcelona amid intense transfer talk linking him with an imminent move to Manchester United.

With the release clause in his current contract set at just €60 million, the France international is seeing his future at Camp Nou called into question on a regular basis.

Jose Mourinho is reported to be plotting a summer approach, as Barca desperately try to put fresh terms in place.