Andres Iniesta is among the most successful players in the history of Spanish football. For his time with the national team and Barcelona. After 22 years in Barcelona, where he arrived at the age of 12, Iniesta is currently in Vissel Kobe, Japan.

SPORT had access to the deal Albacete proposed that could have changed the course of his life and of the world of football. His former club had given him a contract to stop him from leaving. We wondered just how successful he could be. There, Gines Melendez was the director of the youth academy and did his best to retain Iniesta.

The contract is dated June 6, 1996, a few days after the Brunete Alevin tournament had encouraged him. It was introduced by the club’s President Jose Ramon Remiro Brotons at that time. There was Jose Iniesta Lujan-The legal advisor and father of Andres.

The assumption was that the deal would expire on June 1, 96, with Iniesta receiving a monthly salary at the age of 12. He would move to Albacete from Fuentealvilla too. It was all in pesetas because Euro had not yet been invented.

It said that “if he plays at least 10 games of at least 45 minutes in the first team in any of the contractual seasons, from that date he will draw the minimum wage promised to the professionals in the first two leagues in Spain.” That showed that at 12, they knew he could do it.

Catalan media has access to the deal Albacete gave him when he was twelve.

The contract was never sealed. He went to Barcelona instead. The rest is history, then.


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