21 | JUN 2018
ECO SWITCH
28 APR | 2018
Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Revenant Iniesta, a tribute to the greatest hunter of his generation
I

niesta learned to be a short-distance solo hunter. Disguised as a prey, he got used to hunting in situations that most of his colleagues would avoid. Players want open spaces. Iniesta, on the other hand, is a master in reducing spaces. “You call it coincidence, I call it logic,” Johan Cruyff used to say. Iniesta’s images of being surrounded are nothing but a result of logic. In every of these pictures, there are no team-mates around. It means that three, four or five of his team-mates were cut free, waiting for that killer pass that defines him. As he prepares to [...]

Journalist. El Gráfico. Published articles in newspapers and magazines of 20 different countries. Travelling on a permanent basis, he's looking for a flat in Stockholm and dreams of running a hot-dog truck in Monaco. He hates fish, especially those who sell it smelly. MUNDBØL is his fault.
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[...] br /> As he prepares to give farewell to Barcelona and La Liga, his legacy will remain. So will his hunting pictures. Images that depict exaggeration, just as if he was a cartoon character. In a way, that is exactly what he has been. Resemblances with Captain Tsubasa, the Japanese football cartoon that he loved when he was a kid, are another logical coincidence. Oliver and Benji, are they were known in Spain, were specialists in passing through a herd of opposition players, as if they were cones.

“Iniesta surrounded” it is not just a popular google search. It actually became a website. Just a compilation, a beautiful catalogue, of these strange actions: www.iniestarodeado.com A perfect tribute to the greatest hunter of his generation. The real revenant. by opposition players. We’ve seen the picture too often. At different stadiums, in different seasons, under different circumstances, with different jerseys. Iniesta is surrounded when Barcelona are winning a Spanish League fixture. Iniesta is surrounded when Barcelona are losing a Champions League clash. Iniesta is surrounded at extra time during the Euro. Iniesta is surrounded by three, four, five and even six players. There are no team-mates around. It’s just him against half of a team. Photos could be taken from the stands or from pitch level, yet the situation is always the same: Iniesta is surrounded.

Not many footballers -none, really- can claim the quantity of similar pics that Iniesta has. When it happens once, the merit goes for the photographer. But what if it happens 10, 20, even 30 times?

Is it just a coincidence? A coincidence against Real Madrid, Italy, Czech Republic, Athletic Bilbao, Croatia, Atletico de Madrid, Villarreal, Uruguay, Juventus, Sevilla, Ajax and Milan?

True, Iniesta is one of the most gifted players from his generation, the one that helped Barcelona to achieve so many trophies, the one whose extra-time strike decided the World Cup 2010, first ever for Spain. But there are many other “talented” players and yet these kind of pictures are rarely seen once, let alone 20 times.

The first impression says that Iniesta, sometimes even surrounded in a circle, looks like the prey facing a pack of wolves. We’ve seen many images like this in wildlife documentaries. And we all know how it ends. When gazelles are surrounded by lions, jackals or hyenas, they are lost. However, the eyes in every Iniesta-surrounded picture tell a different story. Hunters are preys are quickly spotted by the eyes. And Iniesta is never the prey. His eyes are the eyes of a hunter. The opposition players that surround him are the ones preyed upon. You can see, even smell the panic as they surround him.

Iniesta learned to be a short-distance solo hunter. Disguised as a prey, he got used to hunting in situations that most of his colleagues would avoid. Players want open spaces. Iniesta, on the other hand, is a master in reducing spaces.

“You call it coincidence, I call it logic,” Johan Cruyff used to say. Iniesta’s images of being surrounded are nothing but a result of logic. In every of these pictures, there are no team-mates around. It means that three, four or five of his team-mates were cut free, waiting for that killer pass that defines him.

As he prepares to give farewell to Barcelona and La Liga, his legacy will remain. So will his hunting pictures. Images that depict exaggeration, just as if he was a cartoon character. In a way, that is exactly what he has been. Resemblances with Captain Tsubasa, the Japanese football cartoon that he loved when he was a kid, are another logical coincidence. Oliver and Benji, are they were known in Spain, were specialists in passing through a herd of opposition players, as if they were cones.

“Iniesta surrounded” it is not just a popular google search. It actually became a website. Just a compilation, a beautiful catalogue, of these strange actions: Iniesta Rodeado. A perfect tribute to the greatest hunter of his generation. The real revenant.


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