Barcelona: Andres Iniesta could carry on Pep Guardiola’s legacy

Barcelona's manager Josep Guardiola shakes the hand of Andreas Iniesta (left) (Photo by Mike Egerton - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)
Barcelona's manager Josep Guardiola shakes the hand of Andreas Iniesta (left) (Photo by Mike Egerton - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images) /

Andres Iniesta is in the latter stages of his career and the fans would love to see him return as a manager to Barcelona.

It has been just six months since the departure of the Barcelona legend to Japan, but a return to the club as manager sometime in the near future would be a welcome sight for fans. The 34-year-old who plays for Vissel Kobe club in the J1 League has left innumerable memories at Camp Nou for his fans to cherish.

Andres Iniesta won nine La Liga trophies, four Champions League trophies, six Copa Del Rey titles, seven Spanish Super Cups, three FIFA Club World cups and three UEFA Super cups while playing for Barcelona. The experience and respect that he has earned at Barcelona make him one of the most ideal candidates for the managerial position. Pep Guardiola, Xavi, Carles Puyol, and Lionel Messi are the only other players who recognise the culture of the club better than anyone else.

Moreover, the former number eight was part of the dream team of Barcelona during the Pep era when the club was at the pinnacle of glory. Iniesta performed a leading role in implementing the positional play style, formulated by Pep Guardiola during the 2008-2012 period. The midfielder’s return to Catalonia will inevitably provide a connection back to the intensive passing culture, existent in the system for a decade.

As a player, Iniesta graduated from La Masia, so his return as a manager would likely reflect an emphasis on bringing more youth players to the first team. The midfielder would also have options whether to coach the first team or go for coaching youth players in La Masia first. Similar to Guardiola under Johan Cruyff, Iniesta could build on his former manager’s ideas, although the obvious candidate in this regard is Xavi due to how he controlled games.

Iniesta calmed down the rumours in an interview with Mundo Deportivo back in May, but he did not fail to mention that Barcelona has always been his home and he inevitably recognises a managerial position as a probable option for his future career.

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The fact being Iniesta is presently in Japan and there might be some three to four years before he makes a final decision on his future. But when he returns home, Barcelona will be welcoming him with open arms and he will always be an integral figure in the history of the club due to the titles he won as well as the aesthetically pleasing style he was a part of. Besides, other candidates like Xavi, Messi, Puyol only promises us that the next generation of Barcelona is in safe hands.