Andrés Iniesta Luján (born 11 May 1984) is a Spanish associative footballer who plays in the Japanese J1 League for Vissel Kobe. One of the top European players to have graced the pitch, Iniesta’s success is unmatched.
He is widely known for his 16 years stint at Laliga club, Barcelona, where he won several individual laurels and trophies. Pundits regard Iniesta as one of the best midfielders of his time, and that is not unconnected to the fact that he has been European champion, on two occasions and crowned world champion, once in the international football scene.
Andres Iniesta biography facts, childhood, net worth and personal life take you on a rollercoaster journey into the life of one of football’s most decorated players.
Andres Iniesta Biography Facts
- Full Name: Andrés Iniesta Luján
- Nicknames: Don Andrés, El Caballero Pálido, El Cerebro, El Anti-Galáctico
- Date of Birth: 11 May 1984 (age 38 years)
- Place of Birth: Fuentealbilla, Spain
- Nationality: Spanish
- Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
- Weight: 68 kg
- Father: José Antonio Iniesta
- Mother: María Luján
- Siblings: Maribel Iniesta (sister)
- Wife: Anna Ortiz (married 2012)
- Children: Valeria Iniesta Ortiz (Daughter), Paolo Andrea Iniesta Ortiz (Son), Siena Iniesta Ortiz (Daughter)
- Occupation: Footballer
- Playing Position: Central midfielder
- Strong Foot: Right/Left
- Current Club: Vissel Kobe
- Jersey/Kit Number: 8
- Net Worth: $120 million
- Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Andres Iniesta Childhood Story
Andrés Iniesta Lujàn was born on May 11, 1984, to his parents in Fuentealbilla, located in the Albacete municipality, which has a reputation for producing fine wine.
His father, José Antonio Iniesta, was a well to do businessman, while his mother, María Luján, was a housekeeper. Iniesta was born into a family that was well to do. As a child, Iniesta loved football, and thus played the sport frequently.
At the age of 10, young Iniesta began playing for a youth academy in Albacete. At the academy, Iniesta improved his antics to the amazement of onlookers. He came on the radars of top Spanish clubs, two years after he started playing for the Albacete youth academy.
As a result of these interests, his father worked out a way for Iniesta to continue his career at Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia.
Iniesta who was a shy kid begged his father not to take him to Barcelona as he was scared of being separated from his parents. He eventually went into Barcelona and became part of the youth training system of the club, despite not being a teenager.
By the time he was 15, he had progressed up the ranks of the team, to become the U-15 side captain. In 1999, he participated in the Nike Premier Cup, where his late strike in the final helped his team lift the tournament trophy. He was honoured with the Player of the Tournament award.
Andres Iniesta Profile
Barcelona (2004 – 2018)
Iniesta first featured for the Barcelona senior side in the 2004/05 season, playing in 34 of 35 league games. In his first season with the team, he registered two goals and won the Laliga. The following season, he had more playing time and also played in the Champions League.
He was part of the squad that clinched the Laliga and the Champions League. Before the start of the 2006/07 regular season, Iniesta captained the Barcelona team to the Joan Gamper Trophy, which they won. In the season, he scored the highest goal he has ever scored in a season.
In the 2007/08 season, Iniesta switched jersey number from #24 to #8. He also signed a contract extension with Barcelona, which will see him stay at the club till 2014. The buyout clause in his contract was increased to €150 million. In the FIFA World Player of the Year voting in 2008, Iniesta came ninth.
As the 2008/09 season commenced, Iniesta was made the club’s fourth choice captain. He began his season on a high note as always but suffered an injury in November 2008. He returned to action in January 2009.
In the semifinal of the Champions League, his strike fired Barcelona to the final where they faced Manchester United. Although he was enduring a thigh injury, Iniesta provided an assist to set his side to win the tournament.
At the end of the season, he finished fifth in the FIFA World Player of the Year, and fourth in the Ballon d’Or. He further signed a contract extension with Barcelona which will see him stay at the club until 2015. His buyout clause was raised to €200 million.
In the 2009/10 season, he played well until injury ruled him out of action for the rest of the season in April. Following a spectacular 2010/11 season, Iniesta was one of the three finalists, all Barcelona players, in the Ballon d’Or award.
He emerged runner up as a wonder boy, Lionel Messi claimed the award. The 2011/12 season, didn’t bring much joy to Iniesta who was targeting another Champions league win. Barcelona lost to Chelsea in the final.
For his top form, he emerged third in the Ballon d’Or award in 2012. In December 2013, Iniesta penned a contract extension with Barcelona, which will last till 2018.
The 2014/15 season was one of the best for Iniesta who led Barcelona to claim the Laliga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. He was also made team captain after captain Puyol resigned and vice captain, Xavi left the club.
The treble made Barcelona the first club to win the domestic cup, the domestic league and the Champions League in a season, for the second time. This was the second time Iniesta had won the treble with Barcelona.
His 2015/16 season was also amazing for Iniesta, who was applauded by Madrid fans, in the El Clasico match in November 2015. In October 2017, Iniesta penned a lifetime contract with Barcelona.
Six months after, precisely April 2018, he announced that he’ll be departing from Barcelona at the conclusion of the 2018/19 season. He concluded his final season with Barcelona by winning the La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Vissel Kobe (2018-present)
In May 2018, he signed a three year deal with Vissel Kobe. In July 2018, he debuted for the club. In August 2018, he scored his first goal for the club. In January 2020, he won his first trophy in the J1 league, precisely the 2019 Emperor’s Cup.
Andres Iniesta International Career
Iniesta first began playing for the Spanish national football team, in the UEFA European Under-16 Championship in 2001. He then featured for the side in the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 2001. In 2002, he won the UEFA European Under-19 Championship with the Spanish team.
He also played in the FIFA World Cup held in 2006. In 2008, he won the UEFA Euros with Spain. He then went on to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where he scored the winning goal in a toughly contested final.
He went on to win the UEFA Euro 2012, where he was awarded the Player of the Tournament award. At the FIFA Confederation Cup in 2013, the team finished runner up, and he was awarded the Silver ball.
He also played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Iniesta was also part of the Spanish squad in the Euro 2016. Following the 2018 World Cup, Iniesta who had already played in 131 games for the Spanish national senior side, announced his retirement from international football.
Andres Iniesta Net Worth
Iniesta’s net worth is valued at $120 million. Annually he receives $30 million. He earns as much as $2.5 million from his sponsorship and endorsement deal with Asics. He is ranked as the 46th highest-paid athlete of 2019 by Forbes.
Andres Iniesta Personal Life
Iniesta got married to his beautiful wife Anna Ortiz in 2012. The couple who began courting in 2008, have three children. In 2014, his wife suffered a miscarriage. Before the 2010 World Cup, Iniesta revealed he suffered from depression. He is a major shareholder in the academy he first played in, Albacete football academy.