Iniesta: Barcelona the ideal club for me

The creative midfielder is very pleased with life at Camp Nou, and has hailed Dutch coach Louis van Gaal's influence on the early stages of his career
Andres Iniesta believes that Barcelona have made him into the player he currently is and that Camp Nou was the perfect place for him to grow as a player.

The Spain international came through the ranks of the Catalans' youth academy, and is thoroughly enjoying life with the Blaugrana.

"I don’t know if I would be the same player that I am today if I had played somewhere else, I don’t know if I would be better or worse," he told Barca Magazine.

"I have been and continue to be in the ideal club to grow as a player. Barcelona are the reason why I am the player that I am today. I have no doubt.

"It’s important to believe in a style of play, in a player profile, but it always has to be married to success. We can’t forget that without succeeding, the story is different.

"When I stop, I can only think that my wildest dreams can’t measure up to what has happened to me. It’s impossible. My only dream was to play at the highest level, to play for the first team. What has happened to me is simply brilliant."

The attacking midfielder then went on to discuss how the game has evolved, and rued the way football has changed tactically.

"Teams are better prepared physically and technically. Football has changed tactically. I wish it were not so, because now it’s more difficult to surprise our opponents."

Finally, Iniesta also took the time to thank current Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal for the positive influence he has had on his career.

"I’m very grateful for what Van Gaal did for me. with him I played six games before he was sacked. I learned a lot during this period.

"Sometimes agitated situations, when you’re young, can leave you a bit lost and make you lose sight of the goal of reaching the first team, but it helped me continue my formation [as a player]."