Andres Iniesta today reiterated his desire to be reunited with Cesc Fabregas at Barcelona next season after the two players combined to win the World Cup for Spain on Sunday.
With just four minutes of extra time remaining in the final against Holland, substitute Fabregas picked out Iniesta in the area and the Barca midfielder slotted home to give Spain their first ever World Cup triumph.
The Catalan giants are keen to sign the Arsenal captain and have already had one bid turned down by the Gunners this summer, but Iniesta, who spent several years with Fabregas in Barca’s youth team, hopes to be able to link up with him at the Nou Camp next season.
“Let’s hope so. Everybody has come out and spoken of the desire we have for him to be with us next season. We would be delighted. Not just because he is a team-mate and a friend, but because it would be great for the club,” he said at a press conference organised by Nike in Barcelona on Tuesday.
“His arrival would give us a huge jump up in quality and he would play his part to help us stay up there competing in the big competitions. We would love him to be here.”
Fabregas was pictured in a Barcelona shirt following a practical joke by several of his team-mates at Spain’s celebrations in Madrid on Monday.
Barca defenders Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique were the instigators, forcing the shirt over their Spain team-mate’s head with the collaboration of Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
The mild-mannered Iniesta, though, says he had nothing to do with the prank.
“It wasn’t anything to do with me – it was the other two (Puyol and Pique) who carried out the joke,” he said.
“He is my team-mate and my friend and I wish him the best, and if he comes, we will all be delighted.”
Iniesta also relived the moment of the World Cup final when he received the ball from Fabregas to score the most important goal of his career to date.
“It is one of the most beautiful feelings that a person can experience,” he said.
“I was just waiting for the pass from Cesc, who was looking phenomenal. It came very quickly and I was so alone (in the area) that I thought I was offside.
“But I controlled it well and when I hit it I knew it had to go in because going to penalties would have been terrible.”