Andrés Iniesta Luján is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for FC Barcelona and the Spain national team. He serves as the captain for Barcelona.
Iniesta came through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, after an early emigration from his birthplace, and impressed from an early age. He made his first-team debut in 2002, aged 18. He began playing regularly during the 2004–05 season and has remained in the team ever since. He was an integral part of the Barcelona team that won a historic six trophies in 2009, and his 30 trophies make him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time. Iniesta is considered to be one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest midfielders of all time.
Iniesta played for Spain at the Under-16, Under-19 and Under-21 levels before making his international debut in 2006. He was selected in the team for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He helped Spain win UEFA Euro 2008, playing every game and being selected in the UEFA Team of the Tournament. Iniesta was also chosen for the 2010 World Cup and was a key member of the victorious Spanish team; he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands and was named the Man of the Match, and was also selected to the tournament’s All-Star Team. At Euro 2012, Iniesta steered Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, being chosen as the Best Player of the Tournament and winning three Man of the Match awards (including in the final against Italy). Andres Iniesta also represented Spain at the Euro 2016 and were eliminated at the knockout stage by Italy.
Iniesta won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2012, and was also chosen as the Best Player of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League. He was runner-up to Lionel Messi for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or and achieved third place in 2012. He was named by IFFHS as the World’s Best Playmaker in 2012 and 2013, and won the La Liga Spanish Player of the Year award in 2009. Iniesta has been chosen in the UEFA Team of the Year five times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015), and has been voted into the FIFA World XI on seven occasions: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. In recognition of his outstanding performances with club and country, as well as his individual and team achievements, Iniesta received the Marca Legend Award in 2011. In 2014, he received the Golden Foot Award.