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The famous Barcelona motto has always been ‘mas que un club’ (more than a club) and one that can be associated for Andres Iniesta, who at the age of 32 is still more than a player for that club. For so many years he has been one of the central figures of the club and promotes all the hallmarks of that Barcelona DNA, a high intensity possession style of football. It was compliment to his class on Wednesday night that he could still adapt to a different formation and still play the same way.
Those who watch Barcelona week in and week out will know that Luis Enrique is not afraid to be more direct then previous predecessors, who were always willing to stick to the Barcelona way of playing. He is willing to mix it up to get results and in recent weeks this has had a profound effect on their form, enabling the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar to create more chances and score goals. At the same time, it has shown the class and quality of Andres Iniesta, who has played a central role in this upturn in form with a new forward role and instruction to play more passes out wide.
This is exactly how it was planned on Wednesday night. Andres Iniesta could push up in a more forward midfield role and allow his industry to spray passes out wide to open space for more direct passes into the box. This opened a PSG defence that were probably expecting a typical Barcelona display that usually persists of a style to open teams through the middle of midfield.
Andres Iniesta, drive and determination made this all possible and his role in the second and third Barcelona goals were examples of the permanent class he offers to the side. The way he could improvise with a back-heel at the far post for the second goal was a tribute to the ability he still brings. He can bring a calmness to a side when on the night the pressure was huge and the atmosphere was intense.
The third goal was a typical Iniesta pass of years gone by. In the way he would find a tiny amount of space and look for the oncoming movement of a forward. In this case, it was Neymar who could get on to his pass and win a penalty from the defender who was unable to keep up with the pace of the pass.
Lastly, all things come in cycles and one day Barcelona fans must make do without one of their greatest playmakers but for now he remains an influential figure in that midfield. Who knows, maybe one day he may follow in the footsteps of ex-players such as Pep Guardiola and current boss Luis Enrique, who have won multiple titles for the club.
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