Andres Iniesta revealed the influence his father has been on his incredible career, which has seen him everything in football for Barcelona and Spain.
Iniesta is regarded as a legend over at Barcelona following a trophy-laden 22-year career at Camp Nou.
The Spanish playmaker made 669 appearances and won 30 trophies before leaving his beloved Barcelona last summer for Japanese club Vissel Kobe. Among those pieces of silverware were nine La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.
Unlike many players, Iniesta even managed to carry over his strong club form over to the international stage. He formed part of Spain’s golden generation, which won the 2010 World Cup and back-to-back European Championships.
The 35-year-old also famously scored the match-winner in the World Cup final almost a decade ago against the Netherlands in South Africa.
It marked an incredible story for somebody, who had to leave his hometown of Fuentealbilla in Spain at 12 years old to pursue his football dreams by joining Barcelona’s La Masia academy.
But the now-Vissel Kobe player takes nothing for granted and explained the importance of his father.
“My father was the most important figure for my career,” said Iniesta on LaLiga icons.
“He was not my coach, not at all, but from very small I was always with him, he was the first who gave me a plastic football out on the patio of our house.
“I always listened to him. He has given me his advice. Above all, he would always tell me that the most important opinion was that of my coach. I had to do what the coach told me, and that has always been very important.”
He continued: “I’ve always been very clear about what I wanted to do, that has always been the most important for me. The principal objective has always been to learn things to become a better player, respect those around me always. That has been my path.
“Maybe I would have done some things differently, I don’t know. There are things I did well, others not so well, but that’s life. When you make mistakes, you can correct them, and move forward.”