Barcelona ace, Andres Iniesta, has surprised fans by naming former Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal as the ‘most important manager’ in his career.
The 34-year-old announced last month that he would leave the Catalan club at the end of the season after winning sixteen trophies at the Camp Nou.
Ahead of his departure, the midfield maestro was asked by Mundo Deportivo to describe a number of former Barcelona coaches and team-mates in a sentence.
Asked about Van Gaal, Iniesta replied: ‘My most important manager.’
Van Gaal, however, was responsible for handing Iniesta his professional debut back in 2002.
“I’m grateful to (Louis) van Gaal for his trust and to all the coaches that I had before that taught me and helped me to get the nicest moment that I’d been chasing up to that time,” Iniesta told Barcelona’s YouTube channel back in 2015.
“I think my first team debut was the most important day,” Iniesta said. “It was the most important because I’d been dreaming about it for so long.”
Asked for his thoughts on Frank Rijkaard, Iniesta replied: ‘The ideal coach for that period of my life.’
Rijkaard, however, was the coach in charge of Barcelona when Iniesta won his first Champions League title.
Also, asked for his thoughts on Pep Guardiola, Iniesta replied: ‘A master for me.’
Asked for his thoughts on the late Tito Vilanova, Iniesta replied: ‘exceptional manager and person.’
Meanwhile, when asked for his thoughts on some former teammates, Iniesta replied.
Carlos Puyol – ‘The captain.’
Lionel Messi – ‘unique’
Xavi – ‘a reference.’
Ronaldinho – ‘magical.’
Stay updated with the latest Nigerian news from Information Nigeria