Former Barcelona playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme in awe of 'amazing' Andres Iniesta

The 33-year-old Boca Juniors ace believes the Catalans make for mandatory viewing and that Spain's World Cup final hero has redefined what constitutes good midfield play
Former Barcelona playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme has admitted that he is in awe of current Camp Nou favourite Andres Iniesta.

The 33-year-old Boca Juniors star also expressed his admiration for a number of Iniesta's team-mates, including Lionel Messi and Xavi, but he feels that Spain's World Cup final hero has effectively redefined what constitutes effective midfield play.

“To do what Iniesta does is amazing,” Riquelme is quoted as saying by SPORT. "Playing well is to play as he plays for Barcelona."

Riquelme, who made just 30 appearances for the Catalans before being loaned and then sold to Villarreal, also believes that "watching Barcelona is mandatory" for any fan of the game.

Meanwhile, Riquelme's fellow Argentine Martin Demichelis, who will face Barca in the colours of Malaga this weekend, believes that Pep Guardiola's side are currently in a league of their own.

"Barcelona are one of the best teams in history, because they are analysed every weekend by coaches, journalists and players - and nobody finds a way to beat them," he reasoned.

"Playing against them is the one game that every player wants to be involved in."

It has been suggested that Barca might be vulnerable after their midweek exploits at the Santiago Bernabeu, where they defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie.

However, Demichelis does not believe that fatigue will be an issue for the world champions, arguing that "the victory at the Bernabeu will have reinvigorated them."

Barcelona, who currently trail Madrid by five points in La Liga, will welcome their great rivals to Camp Nou next Wednesday for the return leg of their Copa del Rey tie.

Starting in November and continuing through January, is publishing exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. The latest extract takes a closer look at the exciting emergence of Fifa Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi at Camp Nou: Don't miss it!