Iniesta: Barcelona desperate to make Champions League history

The midfielder won his fourth medal in Europe's elite club competition last year and is hopeful that a fifth is a realistic prospect in 2015-16

Andres Iniesta is confident that Barcelona can make history by becoming the first team to defend the Champions League this season.

The Catalans enjoyed a brilliant first season under Luis Enrique, sealing a historic treble with the 3-1 win over Juventus in May’s Berlin final.

No side has ever successfully retained Europe’s elite club competition in its current form, although Barca did win two in the space of three years with their 2009 and 2011 successes.

Iniesta is aware that history suggests Barca will be unsuccessful in their bid to defend the crown, but hopes the quality of their squad will give them every chance in 2015-16.

“It is challenging and very difficult, but we have that goal in our mind,” the Camp Nou skipper, 31, told Sport.

“Retaining the Champions League has not been done by any club. But we have already been knocking on the door of reaching consecutive finals before and we will try again. Winning teams and players have to return to fight for everything.

“We always aspire to achieve the maximum and this year is no exception, although the difference between winning and losing is often very close. After what we put in last season and the whole experience, I think this has to be another great season.

“I think we should be always optimistic, believing in ourselves and our colleagues. For me, my team and my team-mates are the best and you have to fight for every title.”

In an incredible career, Iniesta has already won four Champions League titles and the midfielder says that tally has already surpassed his wildest expectations ahead of this campaign's group stage clashes with Roma, Bayer Leverkusen and BATE.

“On a personal level it is incredible,” he said. “Everything we have achieved is impossible to imagine, but now that is over, I want to keep adding more.

“I think the team should go from strength to strength. When things change, everything has a process and undoubtedly a few of the moments and actions we had last year were part of a progression.

“We must keep the good feelings from last year and work to be even better. The logical thing to expect having come from less is becoming more learned this year.”

Barcelona have made a mixed start to the new season. They narrowly edged their first two Primera Division matches and the Uefa Super Cup, but lost heavily to Athletic Bilbao over two legs in the Supercopa de Espana.

Iniesta, though, has been encouraged with the way 2015-16 has begun and urged the treble winners to push on despite the challenges faced by a transfer ban which means summer signings Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal will not join the first-team until January.

“We would have liked to win the Supercopa but we did not play well and in a tie or final that can be costly," continued the World Cup winner.

“But the two league games have been very good. They may not have been spectacular in terms of seeing two teams attacking and creating chances, though our level of play left us feeling very strengthened.

“We are very happy. Now comes a very tough game at Atletico and the first game in the Champions League at Roma. As with every year, we have to go step by step.

“We do not know what will happen during this time. We live the present and I cannot say whether or not the disadvantage of not being able to sign will affect us. True, it is not a normal situation, but what is beyond doubt is that we must pull forward with where we are.”

Iniesta is currently in Oviedo with the Spain national side as they prepare to face Slovakia in a Euro 2016 qualification clash on Saturday.