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03.02.2010 10:47

Iniesta ready for 200th league appearance

Jesús Carrillo

If Andrés Iniesta plays against Getafe at the weekend it will be his 200th league match for FC Barcelona. And it will be exactly half a season since he came back from injury.

Iniesta made his first team debut in Barça’s 0-4 demolition of Mallorca in Palma’s Son Moix stadium on 22nd December 2002. Just over seven years later he is on the verge of playing his 200th First Division match and has established himself as one of the leading lights of the treble-winning side.

Two leagues and a Champions League

13-01-05_Web_Iniesta_01.jpgThe season after he made his first team debut (Frank Rijkaard’s first as manager), Iniesta scored his first goal away to Valladolid. In his debut season he played 6 matches and then in his second season 11. He gradually consolidated his place in a side that won two league titles and a Champions League. In the 2004/05 season he took part in 37 matches and the following season in 33.


chelsea-fcb_x12x.jpgHe formed part of the Spain international squad in the 2006 World Cup and in the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons he played 37 and 31 league matches respectively, his versatility permitting to appear in midfield and on the wings. In the summer of 2008 he won EURO2008 with Spain, starting five of the six matches. He was a finalist in the Golden Ball and in the FIFA World Player 2009.

Treble and injury

2009-08-05_INIESTA_07.jpgLast season, Iniesta was one of the most important elements in Guardiola’s side. He was a fixture in the treble-winning team although he picked up an injury against Villarreal in the Camp Nou that kept him out of the Cup final and almost sidelined him for the final of the Champions League.

Stronger than ever

As a result of the aggravation of his injury in the Rome final he missed the first few games of the current season, including the two Super Cups, and had to endure a four-month layoff before he was fit for action. He made his comeback against Getafe in the second round of the league programme, replacing Jeffren in the second half. Since then the 25-year-old has played 18 league matches and is now on the point of reaching the magical figure of 200 league appearances for the Club.
Iniesta ready for 200th league appearance
The same as Julio Alberto
Andrés Iniesta will join former Barça defender Julio Alberto Moreno on 200 games and become the 37th player to reach this total. The ranking of league appearances is headed by Migueli with 391.

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