As Brian Glanville wrote, “he had developed into a player of glorious technical skill, great subtlety and considerable courage”.
Because, although he was so much more than a goalscorer, he certainly proved a very productive one at Cruzeiro.
But the full-back was without doubt “the keystone” to the system for club and country.
His pace, poise and technique allowed Inter to swiftly switch from rearguard to raid.
As Eto’o enthused, “whenever Iniesta is on the pitch, he creates a spectacle”. Except every team, no matter how talented the individuals, requires understanding and intelligence.
Ability 81 International 80 Club 80 Total 80.33 Career span 1962-73 Country Brazil: 54 caps, 32 goals Clubs America, Cruzeiro, Vasco da Gama Position forward Medals 1 World Cup, 1 Brazilian championship, 5 state championships Because of the apparent freedom the Brazil 1970 side played with, as well as the philosophy of their coach Mario Zagallo, an image has arisen that they were a team for which tactics were a secondary concern. And Tostao – perhaps fittingly given that he became a doctor – certainly provided the latter.
Although he was the same type of forward as Pele, he had the nous to know that he should drop back and allow the team’s number 10 to wreak havoc.
The result was that Tostao only scored two goals in the competition but set up many more.Indeed, it isn’t an exaggeration to argue that only Iniesta’s injury came between Barca and a historic three-in-a-row. Iniesta provided the perceptive through ball that opened – and eventually won – won the game, for Samuel Eto’o’s goal.Because, although he may not be quite as central to the team’s style as Xavi or as outrageously talented as Leo Messi, he is the crucial link between the two. On the eve of the 2009 Champions League final, the Manchester United manager claimed “I’m not obsessed with Messi. And it was only part of a continuum in terms of Iniesta’s influence on the elite level of the game.Because his vision had already helped him enjoy one of the most victorious.Ability 86 International 80 Club 75 Total 80.33 Career span 1960-78 Country Italy: 94 caps, 3 goals Clubs Inter Position left-back, centre-back Medals 1 European Championship, 2 European Cups, 4 Italian titles, 1 Italian cup Franz Beckenbauer was intrigued.It was Iniesta’s passes that allowed David Villa to score against Portugal and Paraguay and Spain as a whole to spin Germany around.