• Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:54 pm

Touching distance from Iniesta

  • Published at 07:44 pm June 15th, 2018
  • Last updated at 07:56 pm June 15th, 2018
Spanish footballer Andres Iniesta comes out of the team bus in Sochi Thursday Dhaka Tribune/Fazley Rabbi Moon

It was an official training and press conference day for Portugal and Spain Thursday before their meeting, probably the biggest match in the 2018 Fifa World Cup group stage.

Spain had a press conference at 7pm local time and the bus carrying the 2010 champion entered the stadium, just after the scheduled time. There was a queue of journalists who were waiting to go to the press conference room.  

This correspondent thought that most of the players got out of the bus and entered the ground. Suddenly, while this journalist was passing the bus, a bald-headed player emerged. He was in touching distance from this reporter.

This correspondent was speechless and forgot to react properly upon realising that it was none other than Andres Iniesta, the all-important goal-scorer of the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands.

Luckily, this journalist was ready enough to bring out the phone from his pocket, turn on the camera and click just when Iniesta exited the bus.

The picture was not very clear but the moment was unforgettbale. This reporter will cherish the moment for the rest of his life. 

With that said, amid all the hype surrounding Iniesta, this correspondent missed the chance to take a snap of left-back Jordi Alba, who was standing beside Iniesta. Both are teammates at Barcelona.

The nimble-footed Iniesta, who has just left Barca a few months ago for Japanese club Vissel Kobe after a prolific career at Camp Nou, will begin his last World Cup mission against neighbour Portugal Friday.

The Catalan legend will be at the centre of La Furia Roja’s midfield. He has two World Cup goals to his name, both coming in the 2010 edition. One of his two goals was scored in the final, which enabled the Spaniards to clinch the World Cup for the first time in history. 

Spain suffered a psychological setback 48 hours before the tournament when they sacked Julen Lopetegui, who recently became the manager of Real Madrid. However, his replacement, Fernando Hierro is no novice, having played four World Cups himself. Hierro and Spain captain Sergio Ramos appeared relaxed in the press conference but did focus their attention on Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo, Ramos’ teammate at Real.

With the 2018 World Cup all set to be Iniesta’s swansong in a Spain jersey, the La Furia Roja need to put on a worthy performance so that the Barca and Spainish legend can go out on a high.

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