Andres Iniesta's incredible career is laid bare in new film

From an emotional tribute to his late friend in the World Cup final, to that goal against Chelsea, almost being taken out of La Masia by his dad and a battle with depression… the incredible life and career of Andres Iniesta is laid bare in new film

  • Andres Iniesta opens up on his amazing career in new film The Unexpected Hero
  • The Barcelona legend discusses his winner for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final
  • The loss of his friend, Dani Jarque, and a battle with depression are also covered
  • Iniesta’s wonderful Champions League goal against Chelsea in 2009 features
  • Star’s dad reveals he almost pulled him out of Barca’s academy after just a day

From the highs of scoring the goal that won Spain the World Cup final, and winning the Treble with Barcelona; to the lows of losing one of his closest friends in football, and dealing with depression, Andres Iniesta opens up on his 24 years in football in a new film ‘The Unexpected Hero’.

Iniesta spoke extensively to Sportsmail in an interview to be published at midnight tonight [Thursday]. And producer Rakuten have released an exclusive clip of the biopic as well as a trailer of the film based on the autobiography Iniesta penned with journalists Marcos Lopez and Ramon Besa.

The film includes a dramatic retelling of his World Cup final wining goal in 2010 when he rips his shirt off to reveal the message: ‘Dani Jarque, always with us’ for his friend, the Espanyol captain, who had died of a heart attack during pre-season the previous year.

Andres Iniesta paid tribute to his late friend Dani Jarque after scoring in the World Cup final

The midfielder’s extra-time strike earned Spain a narrow victory in the 2010 final with Holland

Andres Iniesta – The Unexpected Hero is available on 23 April for free on Rakuten TV

Iniesta’s father Jose tells how he knew he would never see the final in person because of his fear of flying, and how, despite the best efforts of friend and former Barcelona youth team coordinator Albert Benaiges, who tried to plan a 42-hour road-trip to Johannesburg to get him there, he ended up watching the game in Iniesta’s empty house back in Spain.

Jose tells how he watched the biggest goal in Spain’s history without knowing who had scored it and how he could not bear to watch the remaining minutes of the match instead putting music in his headphones and going upstairs until he heard the celebratory fireworks in the street and was able to see from the replay that his son had scored the winner.

Iniesta’s second most famous goal also features in the film. Scored in May 2009 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge it put Barcelona through to the Champions League final with practically the last kick of the game.

Chelsea were 1-0 up and dominating when Iniesta’s shot from the edge of the area put them out on away goals.

Didier Drogba led the protest against Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo on the final whistle and incurred a six-game ban for screaming ‘it’s a f***ing disgrace’ down a camera lens.

In the film Iniesta’s team-mate Xavi admits: ‘My feeling in the last 20 minutes was that they were going to go 2-0 up. They could have had two or three, plus a penalty or two that the referee could have awarded. We have to be honest.’

But Iniesta got the winner creating a spike in the birth-rate back in Barcelona nine months later. The goal still haunts Chelsea keeper Petr Cech.

‘Iniesta shot, I dived but my hand missed the ball by 18mm,’ he says. ‘Now whenever there is a match between Barcelona and Chelsea they always show that goal. Every time I see it I feel just as sad about it as in 2009.’

The film looks beyond the big games to key moments and people that shaped Iniesta’s career.

Iniesta’s mum Mari retells how she told Iniesta’s dad to pull himself together and leave Andres be, when he was contemplating marching across from the hotel where the family were staying having dropped their 12-year-old boy off for his first day at La Masia, to take him home after only one night.

Iniesta’s dad speaks about leaving him at La Masia in a new film called ‘The Unexpected Hero’

Iniesta discusses a variety of topics, including how his dad almost removed him from La Masia

Both mum, dad and wife Anna also tell how Iniesta was struck down with a depression in 2009, described as a ‘bottomless pit’ by his mum.

‘This is a very human thing which befalls millions around the world. They just have to know that we are there for them,’ says Pep Guardiola who was Barcelona coach at the time and whose help the family sought.

The psychologist who treated Iniesta, Inma Puig, says: ‘Making something as personal as a depression public displays Andres’ courage and his generosity.’

But Iniesta says: ‘When I explain it all it’s not to say: I’m Andres Iniesta and I’m going to give you a lesson in how to overcome depression and anxiety or whatever you want to call it. But many people have said to me: ‘because you’ve talked about this, many other people have talked about it too’.’

Andres Iniesta – The Unexpected Hero is available on 23 April for free on Rakuten TV


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