One of the greatest midfielders of all time, Andres Iniesta has drawn the curtains on the second chapter of his career after leaving Vissel Kobe in Japan. Now a free agent at 39 years old, it remains to be seen what path the Spanish legend takes next. The player himself has shown a desire to “retire and close my career on the pitch”, which means that he is not ready to hang up his boots yet.
Therefore, he will have some options with regard to choosing his next club. Here are the chief options among them-
A homecoming cannot be ruled out for Iniesta even though he left the club in 2018 when his game was already past its peak.
That is because, under Joan Laporta, legends have been installed in chief decision-making positions. Iniesta left the club when it was mired in mismanagement under previous President Josep Maria Bartomeu.
A player-coach role could benefit everyone involved. The likes of Gavi and Pedri will be able to learn from the very best. The experience void left by the departure of Sergio Busquets and potentially Jordi Alba will be filled. And the football romantics will get the ending storyline they want but could never get with Lionel Messi.
Talking of Lionel Messi…
Inter Miami has made it a mission to “get the gang back together” for Lionel Messi. Busquets has already followed the Argentinian to the South Beach and talks are ongoing with Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez.
In Andres Iniesta, they have the chance now to get the commander-in-chief of that gang and make the Inter Miami Stadium the place to be in the USA.
Iniesta commands a lot of respect from Messi and Co for his immeasurable contribution to the greatest Barcelona side of all time.
It would also provide a further boost to MLS’ appeal as the prospect of seeing Iniesta play with Messi was all but dismissed as unrealistic when the former left the club in 2018.
That link-up alone would be worth the transfer fee. Furthermore, Iniesta still retains the quality to play a squad role in MLS, where he can come off the bench and help in ball retention.
The stars could be aligning for this one at just the right time.
It is the destination in vogue for football players currently. So many top players have moved to the Saudi League that its quality cannot be doubted anymore.
Iniesta’s metronomic midfielder partner, Xavi had a short spell playing in Qatar after which he took over managerial duties.
Being a manager in a somewhat less stressful environment allowed him to hone his skills and come to Barcelona as a more polished manager.
If Iniesta fancies heading into the dugout in the future, a segue to Saudi Arabia is a good option.
It would promise another big paycheck while still playing in a league that is getting increasingly competitive.
Of all these options, a move to Inter Miami seems to make the most sense. The sporting angle is realised there, as Iniesta might not have the quality to make it at Barcelona anymore. The financial angle is realised there, as MLS can offer him a lucrative package. Finally, it fulfils the romantic angle, as the thought of seeing Busquets and Iniesta in midfield, supplying balls to Lionel Messi is enough to make the romantics drool.