France Football apologises to Andres Iniesta for never awarding Barcelona and Spain legend Ballon d’Or

Andres Iniesta is set to depart his boyhood club this summer to wind down in China after 16 years of spectacular success at the Camp Nou, and internationally with Spain

Lawrence Ostlere
Tuesday 24 April 2018 17:23
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Andres Iniesta scored in the weekend's Copa del Rey final
Andres Iniesta scored in the weekend's Copa del Rey final

France Football has apologised to Andres Iniesta for never awarding the Barcelona midfielder the Ballon d’Or during his career.

Iniesta is set to depart his boyhood club this summer to wind down in China after 16 years of spectacular success at the Camp Nou, and internationally with Spain, having long been considered one of the best players of his generation.

The 33-year-old came close to winning the prestigious award, which is voted by international coaches and captains and conducted by the French magazine, in 2010 after scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final, but finished runner-up to his club team-mate Lionel Messi, who along with Cristiano Ronaldo has dominated the award since 2008.

Iniesta finished third in the voting two years later, having been named player of the tournament in Euro 2012, which Spain also won.

“Forgive us, Andres,” wrote the magazine’s editor Pascal Ferre. “For us, he wasn’t just a player, he was the player. His sacrifices for the team ultimately deprived him of greater individual recognition.

“Of all the absences on the list of Ballon d’Or winners, his is particularly painful. We can only hope he has an special campaign at the World Cup in Russia and repair this democratic anomaly.”

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