Andres Iniesta was himself a student at the old Masia and on the day that the new centre for youngsters at the Club was opened, he explained: “it’s a world recognised centre and I’m thrilled to be here for the opening”.
Iniesta’s goal against Viktoria came with a fantastic piece of skill and he explained:
“when that kind of thing works out, it leaves you with a great feeling. I don’t think I
invented that little piece of skill. It was a really quick move, you find yourself in a small space
and with a defender ahead of you. I knew the defender would stay on the ground. It was a nice move
with two or three one-twos with Messi. I’m very happy about how it turned out, because we
scored and it put us on the road to a win”.
The piece of skill he showed was a copy of the effort he made against Racing, though that
time his shot came off the woodwork for Leo Messi to put away, but he’s clear who is the
world number 1: “It’s Leo, let’s hope we can all enjoy him for many more
Andres Iniesta is just one of the many players who’ve come up through the academy and he came
in 1996 when he was just 12 years old. Now, 15 years later, he is in a
privileged position to judge the new facilities: “right now, and for some time, the
has been recognised throughout the world. The secret is doing things in the
right way from the very start and they try to improve you as a player and as a person too”.
For that reason, the inauguration has a special significance for ex-Masia residents such as
“It’s an emotional day. Important.
There’s a real change between
the old and new Masia, you can see how things have changed and I’m thrilled to be a part of
the first team and to be here for the opening”.
Asked to give some advice to the youngsters at the
, Iniesta recommended: “they have to be aware of what they have -
to value going to school and being able to train every day – because the time goes by really
quickly. It’s hard to leave your family and so you have to appreciate what you have here
–I’d tell them to enjoy themselves”.
Special thanks to Van Gaal
mentioned after the game against
, not all players coming out of the academy will become world stars
–it takes talent, sacrifice and lots of hard work to make it.
achieved his success in part thanks to the chance he was given when he was
just 18 by
Louis van Gaal
: “I’ll always be grateful to him because not only was
he the man who gave me my debut and also gave me a lot of confidence. I remember that the six games
I played for him before he left, I started all those games. There were some big names available and
I got the nod, even though I was only 18. He’s a coach who really values youngsters who are
coming through and there were a lot of us who started with him. I’ll always have good
memories of him”.
will be at the inauguration this evening to receive the plaudits of his