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26.01.2008 11:10

Highlights of a great career

Berta Brau

On Friday, Andrés Iniesta extended his contract with Barça until 2014. The player that grew up through the club’s youth ranks has now been established as one of the key components of the FC Barcelona squad.

Andrés Iniesta is into his sixth season as part of the Barça first team. Here we look back at some of the most important moments in his career, which have culminated in him becoming a regular member of Frank Rijkaard’s first eleven.

21 December 2002: official debut

Louis Van Gaal gifted Andrés Iniesta his debut in the fifth game of the Champions League group stage. The opponents that day were Belgian outfit Club Brugge.

14 January 2004: first goal for Barça

It was the round of sixteen in the Copa del Rey, and Barça welcomed Levante to the Camp Nou. Andrés Iniesta scored the opening goal of a 3-1 win for the Catalan side.

10 April 2004: first league goal

Alegrxa_luis_enrique_e_iniestax_Valladolid_-_FCB_10-4-04.jpgThe midfielder from La Mancha scored his first league goal in game 32 against Valladolid. He was starting to become the star he is today and shortly after got his first call up for the senior Spain squad.

19 November 2004: first new contract

Although he was already tied to the club until 2006, FC Barcelona offered Andrés Iniesta a contract until 2010. In the 2004-2005 season he really was becoming an ever-present in the first team, playing 37 league games that year, a total only matched by Samuel Eto'o.

15 May 2005: first title

iniesta_titol_llevant.jpgBarça beat Levante to end a great season as champions. It was the first major title Andrés Iniesta celebrated at Barça, and he himself has made a huge contribution to that success.

3 June 2006: second league

Rijkaard and Barça de Rijkaard retained the title against Celta Vigo. The Dutchman had once again made regular use of Iniesta, who was becoming an established star both in Spain and abroad.

17 May 2006: historic final

fcb-arsenal-iniesta.JPGThe Champions League Final in Paris, where Barça went a goal down to Arsenal. Iniesta came on in the second half and was one of the players that changed the game as his side came from behind to become European champions.

2006/07 season: most games

Andrés Iniesta became more and more important for Barça and made more appearances than any other player. Frank Rijkaard clearly now has every confidence in a midfielder that still has many, many years of football ahead of him.
Highlights of a great career
This season
15 December 2007: 200 games for Barcelona

At Mestalla Andrés Iniesta made his 200th appearance, and is the fourth member of the current squad to have reached that figure. And that was also the day when Barça put an end to their poor away form with a 3-0 win in Valencia.

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