Last Update 0:5
Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Real Madrid coach Zidane and Lopetegui praise "football man" Iniesta

Reuters , Friday 27 Apr 2018
Football Soccer - Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg - Vicente Calderon Stadium, Madrid, Spain - 10/5/17 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane Reuters
Views: 1428
Views: 1428

Barcelona's departing captain Andres Iniesta was hailed as a "real football man" by Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane after the Spain international announced he is leaving the La Liga club after 16 years at the heart of the team's midfield.

"It's difficult for me and for anyone who likes football. I don't see him as a Barcelona player but a football man," Zidane told a news conference on Friday.

"He is charming, very reserved and I like people like that. I don't know him well but I only have good words for him and I wish him all the best as a player and as a person."

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui said Iniesta was still one of the best players around and added not many footballers receive the adoration that the Barca veteran does.

The midfielder was given a standing ovation by both sets of supporters in last week's King's Cup final against Sevilla in which he delivered a virtuoso display and scored in Barca's 5-0 win.

"He is a player who first of all is still at the top of his game. He has been a regular starter for us in every game and I don't speak about him in the past but in the present," Lopetegui told reporters.

"Obviously the path that he has had and the recognition he has received on an international level is no coincidence, he has earned it for everything he has achieved and for his personality."

Iniesta is one of the most loved footballers in Spain after he scored the only goal in the 2010 World Cup final when they beat the Netherlands to lift the trophy for the first time.

He also played a key role in Spain winning the 2008 European Championship to snap a 44-year trophy drought and he was named player of the tournament when they defended the title in 2012.

He is set to retire from international football after the World Cup in Russia.

"The manner in which he has won everything and his behaviour after winning has meant that he is given standing ovations in stadiums across Spain and abroad," added Lopetegui.

"That is something which very few other footballers in history have had."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook atAhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.