qatar 2022

Iniesta’s hopes for Messi, Xavi, Barça and Qatar 2022

Andrés Iniesta hopes that Leo Messi will decide to stay at Camp Nou, is sure that Xavi and Barça will work together and says Qatar 2022 will be a great event.

Iniesta’s hopes for Messi, Xavi, Barça and Qatar 2022
KARIM JAAFAR AFP

Vissel Kobe midfielder Andrés Iniesta is still going strong and remains active in the game at 36 years old. The Spanish player says that things are now going well for his team, and hopes to continue helping the side he joined when he moved out to Japan in 2018.

Iniesta was a special guest on Al Kaas sports programme Daifa and gave his thoughts on the current state of affairs at his old club Barcelona and how he sees the future for his old team mate Lionel Messi, as well as the possibility of another ex-team mate Xavi Hernández taking over the Barcelona coaching job.

The Spanish football star also spoke at length about preparations for World Cup Qatar 2022, taking the opportunity to shed light on the progress achieved in the first World Cup to be staged in the Middle East, host city Doha as well as other topics including the AFC Champions League competitions for the eastern part of the continent of Asia.

Iniesta impressed with Qatar

“Before I came to Qatar with my club Vissel Kobe for the AFC Champions League, I spoke to my ex-team mate Xavi Hernández, who is now coach at Al Sadd, and he told me that everything in Qatar was perfect and distinctive, and frankly it is. I would like to congratulate the organisers of the AFC Champions League for the special work they are doing because the organisation is perfect. As we are in very unusual circumstances at the moment, they ensured that a lot of preventative measures were taken at the hotel and in the stadiums – we were prohibited from doing quite a lot of things but the most important is making sure that we are all safe ad enjoying the facilities, training grounds and the matches," he explained.

“I feel very comfortable at Vissel Kobe – I’m 36 and quite an old player now. I don’t know what will happen to me in the future but I am very happy in Japan,” Iniesta continued.

As for his chances of playing in Qatar one day before he retires from playing altogether, Iniesta is quite clear: “I am really good friends with Xavi Hernández, Al Sadd SC’s coach, I have spoken to him a lot since he called time on his playing career. He has told me a lot about Qatar, and we have spoken about the possibility of coming over to play in Qatar but he knows that things are going well for me in Japan. Until that moment arrives, I don’t know what decision I will take. Right now I just want to enjoy myself and we will see what happens in the next few years. For now, I want to continue playing football, I feel good and I’m happy in Japan. We’ll see what happens – I’ll wait until the moment arrives when I decide to stop playing”.

FUTBOL 13/14Xavi, during his playing days with Barcelona.

Xavi will return to Barcelona someday

When asked about the possibility that Xavi could take up the Barcelona coaching post in the future, Iniesta replied: ”That’s a matter for Xavi and Barcelona; one day Xavi and Barcelona will work together, I don’t know when but I am sure it will happen. Xavi has got what it takes to coach Barcelona, he wants to return them to their glory days, and I hope that everything improves so that they can recover some stability at the club with the upcoming elections. Let’s hope we can get back to normality because things aren’t too good at the moment at the club”.

He continued, “Barcelona are always among the favourites to win silverware – this season just like previous ones. I’m in no doubt that they can win a trophy because we have been through difficult times before and managed to win”.

He added: “The club members will elect who they think will be the best president for the club. Whoever that might be, I hope that everything at Barcelona can return to normal so that the club can be stable, that is what every barcelonista wants”.

As for Qatar 2022, Iniesta said: “The stadiums where we played in Qatar are fantastic and ideal to host an unprecedented World Cup. I’m sure that Qatar 2022 will be a wonderful event; it will be great – just like the climate is in Doha at this time of year. Ad obviously I would love Spain to lift the trophy in Qatar although I am sure we will be up against some very tough rivals in the competition”.