Monday, October 18, 2021

It is my ´wish´ to return to Barcelona one day, says Iniesta

SoccerNews in La Liga 1 Oct 2021

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Barcelona club legend Andres Iniesta says it is his ‘wish’ to return to Camp Nou at some point after he hangs his boots up.

The central midfielder made 674 appearances in Blaugrana colours across all competitions over 16 years in the senior squad, scoring 57 times.

At 37 years old, the Spain great is still playing for Vissel Kobe in Japan, having joined from Barcelona in 2018, and has won an Emperor’s Cup and a Japanese Super Cup since.

His contract with the J1 League club runs until January 2024, after which the veteran may decide to retire from playing and potentially return to Catalonia.

“Yes, [returning to Barcelona] is something I wish,” Iniesta told the BBC. “I would like it to happen because more than anything it is the club I spent so many years in.

“You don’t know what will happen in the future, you don’t know in what way I could return or who will be the people in charge at a certain moment.

“So there are many factors which make it hard to see what will really happen, but if you ask me if I would like to, the answer is yes.”

However, the scorer of the Spain’s World Cup-winning goal in 2010 has not yet decided what role he would like to pursue when he ends his playing career.

“Sometimes I would like to coach, sometimes I think my interests go into other directions,” Iniesta continued. “I know I want to stay in football and when I finish as a professional I would like to get a coaching licence, but I don’t know if I will use it in the future.

“There’s nothing where I wake up in the morning and think ‘I want to do this’, so for now I will enjoy playing, training and will see what happens in the future.”

Barcelona find themselves in a difficult position, with head coach Ronald Koeman under pressure after successive 3-0 Champions League defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica.

Iniesta reflected on the differences between the side he played in and the current team, reaffirming his affection for the club regardless of their circumstances.

“Barca has always been characterised by being a team that wants the ball and wants to keep the ball,” said Iniesta. “In the time of Guardiola, the football itself didn’t change but it was a time where teams were really looking at us and trying to learn.”

“I will always see Barcelona in a good way because I still see a different team. Many things have changed since then. Naturally the players are different but there is still an idea, a concept.

“Sometimes there will be good times and sometimes there will be worse times, like it has always been, but personally I don’t like comparing too much.”

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