Andres Iniesta has played alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and Xavi at Barcelona, but has looked to the past for his ‘Top 4 Legends’.
The World Cup winner, who has committed to a new “lifetime” contract at Camp Nou, has overlooked stars of the present in his selection for Barca’s YouTube channel.
Instead, he has compiled a side of all-time greats, with Manchester United, AC Milan and Brazil icons among those to make the cut as he focuses on players that he would have liked to share a team with.
The former Manchester United and Denmark international goalkeeper enjoyed a glittering career which saw him land five Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one Champions League crown and a European Championship with his country.
Iniesta said of the legendary shot-stopper: “I think he’s one of the all-time great goalkeepers. When I was younger he always attracted my attention as a goalkeeper because of his saves, because of his strength, because of everything in general and he’s one of the great keepers that I would have liked to play with.”
An iconic figure for Italy and AC Milan, the classy defender spent his entire career at the San Siro, making 902 appearances for the Rossoneri, 126 for his country, while also collecting seven Serie A titles and winning the European Cup/Champions League five times.
Iniesta justified his selection by saying: “Because of everything he stood for as a player for his national team and the club he was with throughout his career. Because of the titles he won and because of the way he went about doing things.”
Another Dane to make the grade, and a man who graced the books of Barcelona and Real Madrid during a distinguished playing career which saw him forge a reputation as one of the finest creative forwards in the business.
He clearly made an impact on Iniesta, with the 33-year-old saying: “He was one of my idols and it would have been incredible to play with him, even though it probably would have been just for a short time. He was my idol because of his playing style, because of his way of doing things, his style and his class.”
The second player on the list to have represented Barca and Real, with the legendary Brazilian having spent one memorable season in Catalunya before returning to Spain at the Santiago Bernabeu as a World Cup winner and a man who would end his career with over 400 goals to his name.
Iniesta said: “I considered him one of the best players in the world, and one of the best forwards in the world. In 1996, which was the year he played for Barca, was also the year I arrived at the club. So, he made a great impression on me that year, a year he also made a great impression on everybody. He went on to win so many things and he was the difference-maker on every team he played for.”