Confined to Kobe, he premieres a documentary about his life on RAKUTEN TV. Before, talk to EL MUNDO about everything but football.
Iniesta’s letter to Fernando Torres.
“It has been a wonderful trip”
On the other side of the phone,Andrs Iniestasounds like always. Or not. Not really. It actually sounds like a parent. He does not speak like a soccer star, one of the largest, perhaps the largest, who still is, in Spain. The voice, timbra, of the footballer, is no longer. Today is a deep voice, of father and husband. Along the path of this mutation, the automatic responses, so typical of the youth of the ball, have also disappeared. The man who scored the goal of an entire country pauses before beginning all answers and speaks slowly. It almost takes time to transcribe it in real time. They are 35 years old, four children and dark tunnels that throughout his life have taught him, he says, many things.
For example, that the impressive apartment on the 25th floor of a building on Rokko Island, an artificial island of Kobe, today its city, is useless if one is “empty inside”. This is stated in a documentary that Rakuten TV will premiere next week exclusively and for free. Before that, Andrs talks to EL MUNDO from one of the rooms in his home whileAnnaand the children (Valeria, Paolo Andrea, Sienaand the baby,Romeo) await you for dinner. As a reminder: Iniesta plays for the Japanese Vissel Kobe, but soccer is a supporting actor hereafter. Not there.
- What is confinement like these days in Japan?
- At first, with all the precautions, we can live a normal life. In fact, we were training. But since the beginning of April we are all at home. There were two cases of coronavirus in the team, one from a staff member and one fromSakai, a partner, so they sent us all home, also because the League has been delayed, for now, until June. The confinement is not as hard as in Spain, we can go for a walk, with many precautions, and the restaurants, although not all or all the time, are open. It’s getting tougher in Tokyo.
- What do yours tell about what happens in Spain?
- That they are at home, without leaving, that when they leave they do it one by one, well, the measures that are being taken and a little with the uncertainty that everyone is experiencing. I also follow the news and really live it with anguish and concern about being away.
- Why a documentary right now?
- The idea has been around for a long time. It was a bit of a book[La jugada de mi vida, publicado en 2016], it’s like it’s the next step. The idea has always been around my mind, and the opportunity occurred. After taking the step of coming here to Japan, of leaving Barcelona, after all the tour, I felt like doing something like that.
- The documentary starts with images of him as a family. He could have chosen a professional moment, which has many. Why the family? What is the family for Andrs Iniesta?
- It is the base that supports everything. You go out to work and play, but every day you come back from training, from playing, you have won or lost, you have done a good or bad training, you are good or you are bad, you come home. And at home you meet the most important people you have. They are the starting point of everything, they are above anything else in life.
- What does Anna, your wife, represent to you?
- He is the most important person that I have come across in life, with whom I share everything, my sorrows, my joys, his … We share the treasures of our lives. Anna appeared at a key moment in my life, I have always said it. We are two people with similar values, very strong, we understand each other quite well, and we have grown together as people. It is an honor to be with her. Happiness is hard to find and she makes me happy.
- He is seen, in the images, walking with the family, the children on the scooters, they sit in the middle of a square and nobody tells them anything. Is that image real?
- It’s real yes, also because Japanese culture is like that, very respectful. You can be with your family sitting on a bench, and have some people 10 meters away, and they do not come to tell you anything until you get up or you gesture to them to come. It is to be thankful.
“I am a person that I like to take care of”
- I will tell you three names:Ral Martnez[fisioterapeuta de la seleccin espaola en el Mundial 2010],Emili Ricart [ex fisioterapeuta del Bara, hoy con Andrs en Kobe] andHugo waiter[UtillerooftheSpanishteaminthe2010WorldCuppaintedtheshirtintributeto[utillerodelaseleccinespaolaenelMundial2010pintlacamisetaenhomenajeaDani JarqueAndrs showed after scoring the goal in the final].
- With two of them I have a relationship that transcends professionalism, such as Ral and Emili. They have long ceased to be only people in my professional field. And Hugo is an exceptional person, with whom we share difficult and happy moments, and whom I remember with great affection. It was an important link in that shirt.
- Especially Ral and Emili, are they like a crutch that has helped you walk in your worst days?
- Yes, without a doubt. I am a person who likes to take care of, give value to the people who take care of me, who love me, who care about me. These people are those kinds of people. So, in my life they are as important as anyone else.
- Are you aware that you had an enemy?
- Enemy is a very strong word, I would say no. Let me think … No, definitely not.
- Well, someone with whom I did not end well.
- Yes, yes, of course. Within that in the professional world, in that of the teams, we all respect each other and we have that regard for colleagues, obviously there are people with whom I have not empathized or who at a certain moment have realized that you do not want them close of t in any case.
“Barcelona? I missed certain things”
- There is a phrase in the documentary, referring to his departure from Barcelona, that attracts attention: In relationships, if you do not speak things, there comes a time when you have no turning back. What does it mean?
- I think it is very clear, don’t you think?
- Yes, but just in case.
- In the context of my departure from the Bara, I think the phrase is very explicit, very real. It is often said that you value things when you have lost them. Well, the important thing is to give value to things when you have them, and that this is reciprocal. But hey, those things happen, and they do it for various reasons. Not because one is better than the other, because one party is to blame or not.
- Did you miss some affection from the club?
- In my heart, I missed certain things, and in that phrase we are talking about a lot is said. Regardless of that, the decision I made was the one I felt I had to make.
- Pep Guardiola calls him a bullfighter and Luis Enrique, Harry Potter. Which of the two do you like best?
- Man, they are different things, but both have that part of art, of magic, of saying things with what you do. I’ll take two. They are two of the most important people in my career and I heard them say that’s the hell.
- Is it true that the goal of Stamford Bridge changed your life so much? He was already champion of the Champions, champion of Europe …
- It was one of the turning points of my life, but it is true that perhaps more externally, more meditatively, of consideration, to see that it was you who had that moment of taking that important step for your club . And that adds up to the recognition of people. It had been years, yes, but that goal gave me a boost.
“Money and fame are useless”
- You have been through personal difficulties throughout your life. What use is money, fame, when you put yourself in such difficult situations?
- Money and fame are useless, but … you know what happens? That it is difficult for someone who does not have all those things that I have, to understand that I say that money and fame are useless. But it is true that, even if you have everything in the world, if you are empty inside … People, no matter the money, we have the same feelings, the same fears, the same joy … And there we are all cut by the same pattern. Everything else is accessories. Obviously, those of us who have the privileges have to know how to take advantage of them, and be grateful to have them, but the drink he spent was spent as a person, he did not have a better or worse time because he had more or less money.
- Growing up away from family has negative aspects, but also positive ones. Or not?
- Yes, like everything, it has its good side and its bad side. The fact of separating from my family at 12 years old and the toll that I have paid has been brutal on a mental level, in the negative sense, but on the contrary it has made me mature by force, it has made me have goals and objectives to try to achieve as It was … That has been my life, although obviously, it was all worth it.
- What is your contact with the real world? The family? Friends? Newscasts? How do you know about things like unemployment, wages, what things cost …?
- It is what I tell you. I live a normal life, with my circumstances, but my relationship with the real world is total, because I try to stay up to date. You have family and friends who are having difficulties like any other person and from my place, I try to help and contribute my grain of sand to people or places that are vulnerable. You also become aware, you realize, of the privileges you have, which I have in this case. As we are seeing with this virus, the solidarity of the people is what in the end will mark everything.
According to the criteria of