Andres Iniesta says that Barcelona are the ideal club for him to continue to grow at as a player, even if opponents are increasingly prepared to face them.
The Barcelona midfielder spoke to the club’s official magazine this week and was asked first of how the team continue to deal with breaking down opponents whilst maintaining a particular playing identity.
“Teams are better prepared physically and technically. Football has changed tactically,” the 28-year-old mused.
“I wish it were not so, because now it’s more difficult to surprise our opponents. But we’ll never lose the talent in football, this is the essence of the sport.
“It’s important to believe in a style of play, in a player profile, but it always has to be married to success. We can’t forget that without succeeding, the story is different.”
The midfielder reflected that his brief spell under Louis van Gaal had an influence on his early development at the Camp Nou.
“I’m very grateful for what Van Gaal did for me. With him I played six games before he was sacked. I learned a lot during this period.
“Sometimes agitated situations, when you’re young, can leave you a bit lost and make you lose sight of the goal of reaching the first team, but it helped me continue my formation [as a player].”
It is a formation as a player that Iniesta also believes is down to the club that he is currently at.
“I don’t know if I would be the same player that I am today if I had played somewhere else, I don’t know if I would be better or worse. But I have been and continue to be in the ideal club to grow as a player – this is why I’m the player I am today. I have no doubt.
“When I stop, I can only think that my wildest dreams can’t measure up to what has happened to me. It’s impossible.
“My only dream was to play at the highest level, to play for the first team. What has happened to me simply brilliant.”