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03.12.2007 10:55

Iniesta consolidates his position

Berta Brau

Andrés Iniesta has carved out a more or less permanent place in Barça’s starting line-up and has played more this season than any other outfield player in the squad.

Iniesta, who scored his second league goal of the season on Saturday, has made steady progress since his league debut on 21st December 2002. In his first season, he made just six appearances whereas right now he’s a regular in Frank Rijkaard’s preferred eleven.

A fixture in the starting line-up

Now, in his fifth season in the senior squad, Andrés Iniesta is seeing the reward for his years of sacrifice and dedication. Together with Xavi and Valdés, he has played in all fourteen league matches (13 from the kick-off) and has accumulated some 1,194 minutes on the pitch, scoring two goals. He has also demonstrated his versatility, playing in midfield and, especially in recent matches, on the left wing, where he has proved to be a nightmare for opposing defenders.

Steady progress

Alegrxa_luis_enrique_e_iniestax_Valladolid_-_FCB_10-4-04.jpgIniesta has shown great perseverance over the past five years and has worked hard to make himself indispensable to the team. In his first season, he played 447 minutes in six matches, in five of which he figured in the starting eleven.

In the following season (2003/2004), Iniesta scored his first senior goal (in the 32nd matchday against Valladolid) as well as receiving his first call-up for the Spanish senior international squad.

37 matches in his second season

In his second season as Barça coach, Rijkaard put his faith in Iniesta, who played a total of 1,677 minutes. Despite this relatively modest total, Iniesta appeared in 37 matches (12 of them in the starting line-up), a figure matched only by Samuel Eto'o. That season he scored twice and won his first league winner’s medal.

fcb-arsenal-iniesta.JPGHe maintained his contribution in the 2005/06 season and played in 33 league matches (1,649 minutes) though he failed to get on the score sheet. He picked up another league winner’s medal and a Champions League winner’s medal.


Last season, Andrés Iniesta really cemented his position in the team and played in more matches than any other outfield player. He played a total of 2,694 minutes and scored six goals, making him the fourth highest scorer in the team. He started 28 league matches, which clearly shows that Frank Rijkaard has great faith in him.
Iniesta consolidates his position
His statistics in Europe
Andrés Iniesta’s statistics in this season’s Champions League are equally positive. He’s taken part in all the group stage matches (365 minutes), scored one goal (away to Lyon) and has not received any yellow or red cards.

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