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How to Play Like Iniesta

Is Iniesta one of the greatest players in the world? He certainly is. Will he go down in history as one of the greats? I think he will. Iniesta was key to Spain's victory over Holland in the 2010 World Cup and, he has been a key figure in the success of Barcelona ever since he started playing there. Since his star with Barcelona they have collected La Liga trophies and won the Champions League twice.

Iniesta Shielding the Ball

So, it's no wonder you want to emulate Iniesta's style of play and learn how to play like he does.

Iniesta is an understated type of soccer player. He's not flashy let's say like Cristiano Ronaldo. Iniesta moves, dribbles and passes the ball with an ease and grace. He plays smart and simple soccer. He knows what he wants to do with the ball before he gets it, but can make adjustments if he's pressure. He doesn't panic on the ball but will use his body to sheld it or spin away from pressure. He makes it all look very easy, as most of the greats in the game of soccer do. Although small in stature, he uses his body excpetional well to shield the ball. You rarely see him lose possession of the ball.

But underneath this smooth, calm and understated style of play is a maestro, a genius, and a deadly player on the ball. He is a player who makes that killer pass and scores that game winning goal whether it's in the Champions League versus Chelsea or the World Cup final.

To play like Iniesta you'll need to develop these qualites:

  • Vision - always knowing where you teammates are on the field and what players are making runs
  • Change of pace - the ability to cut the ball past someone and then explode into space
  • Close control - dribbling the ball with each step you take so the ball stays close to you and you can cut away from defenders
  • Shielding - use your body to protect the ball
  • First touch - don't kill the ball dead right in front of you but control it out of your feet and away from pressure
  • Signature move - what move or skill make you a unique player; develop a set of moves and feints that are all your own
  • Seek out the ball - Iniesta is always looking to get the ball, if you watch him he's contantly checking back to receive the ball with an idea in his head of what he wants to do
  • Check out this amazing video of Xavi, Iniesta & Busquets juggling the ball with both feet
  • Iniesta Shielding Skills

Man of the Match Versus Real Madrid

Iniesta missed the first leg of the Champions League match versus Real Madrid and returned to the pitch as the man of the match for Barcelona, as he not only controlled the game, dictated the pace and the attack, but he delivered the killer pass to Pedro for the goal.


The Evolution

The modern game moves at a brutal pace. To create, awareness is key.

Always thinking. Always moving. For Andres Iniesta, without dedication, there is no evolution.

Nike -- Inside the Pro - Andres Iniesta: The Evolution


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