New Dutch manager Guus Hiddink has said that he has not taken a decision on the captaincy of the national team. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager was appointed as the replacement for Louis van Gaal, who decided to opt for the Manchester United job after two years in charge of the national team. Hiddink is no stranger to the national team after having been in charge of the Dutch from 1994 to 1998. He has also been in charge of several international teams across the world. As a club manager, Hiddink has enjoyed undisputed success by winning trophies like the English FA Cup and the Champions League with clubs like Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively.
Much has been speculated about the team Hiddink will select for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifying matches. After finishing third in the World Cup 2014, Netherlands will be expected as one of the favourites for the Euro 2016. However, a number of crucial players are approaching the end of their international careers. This list includes the likes of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie. Both players were key towards Netherlands reaching the third place in Brazil, but they are above 30. Hiddink is expected to name his new captain with this in mind, but he says that no decision has been taken yet.
“It’s too early to talk about technical decisions. Robben and Van Persie were very important so I think that they will remain captains. I can’t say in what order yet,” said the 67-year-old. This is widely expected to be Hiddink last role as a manager. He has previously hinted at retiring after having been a manager since 1987. In order to assist him in his role, Hiddink has brought in former Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is one of the celebrated players in the nation’s history.
As soon as the campaign of Netherlands comes to an end in the 2014 World Cup, Louis van Gaal will be making his way to Old Trafford as he was the man chosen to replace and succeed David Moyes at Manchester United but even though his challenge at the Premier League has not even started he has received praised from managers and players all over the world.
One of the latest players who has recognized the work and respect that the Dutch managers deserves is Andres Iniesta as he worked and played close up and personal with Louis van Gaal from 1997 to 2000 when the Spanish midfielder used to play in the youth team of Barcelona during the same time that van Gaal was in charge of Barcelona.
Andres Iniesta praised Louis van Gaal as he said: ‘’He already commands respect when you are a veteran, so imagine when you have just entered the team and are young. But the truth is I have a special memory of him, because he is someone who is very important to me and if there was something he cared about, it was supporting the young players from the reserves.”
Even though Louis van Gaal is busy trying to push Netherlands to the next stages of the World Cup, he has still managed on signing a few players to Old Trafford with Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw costing a total of €50 million.
Barcelona has recently undergone a series of changes not only in the squad but also in the staff management of the club as well. Gerardo Martino was replaced by Luis Enrique after suffering a disastrous debut season where the club failed on securing any major trophies as well as seeing Victor Valdes and Xavi Hernandez leaving the squad.
Recently there has been a series of rumors which are linking Andres Iniesta with a move to Manchester United as he would be interested in working with Louis van Gaal but this seems highly unlikely that it’s going to happen considering that the Spanish midfielder has a contract with Barcelona that expires in 2018 and Iniesta still remains being an influential role in Camp Nou.
Andres Iniesta has played a pivotal role in Spain on several occasions in the past as the Barcelona midfielder scored the winning goal in the finals of the 2010 World Cup which gave his country the crucial win as Spain won their first World Cup in their history.
In the moment that the Barcelona midfielder scored against Netherlands in the finals of the 2010 World Cup, Iniesta joined a an elite list of 56 players who have managed to score in a final of a World Cup and now with the next edition taking place in Brazil, the Spanish attacker confessed the importance that goal represented for him.
‘’It was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Not only for me on a personal level but also for the Spanish team. There are not many other moments in life when you can feel any more overjoyed than that. When I scored, what was in my mind was that there wasn’t a lot of time left and I just really wanted the referee to blow the whistle!’
Spain was placed in Group B along with Holland, Chile and Australia, the team of Vicente del Bosque is not only expected to make it through the group stages of the 2014 World Cup but to reach the finals of this worldwide tournament that will be introducing video technology for the first time at such a big stage which is going to help the referees and proper authorities take a decision if the ball is unclear as to whether or not it certainly moved past the goal-line.
Iniesta is hoping that he can replicate the performances he displayed some years ago with Spain as his teammates and coach will be depending on Andres Iniesta as one of the main creative and attacking forces in the team of Vicente del Bosque.
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has claimed that the club will give everything they can in order to win the league title this season. The la Liga title will go to the wire after Atletico Madrid failed to grasp the opportunity during the weekend. Barcelona could only manage a 0-0 draw with Elche on Sunday. This gave the impetus to Atletico Madrid to go and win the title when they took on Malaga at home. However, Diego Simeone’s team, who have been suffering from a run of form in the last few matches, failed to win after they could only draw 1-1.
Star striker Diego Costa was missing from the team and this proved by the main undoing for Atletico. They will now be hoping to not suffer the embarrassment of throwing away the league title on the final day of the season. They will be travelling to the Camp Nou to take on Barcelona. They will be able to win the title if they avoid defeat whereas Barcelona need to win in order to retain the title. Ahead of this crucial match, Iniesta, who has been out of several great nights at the stadium, says that the club will be giving their 110% in order to win the match.
“For us this is our final. All the year is going to be decided in 90 minutes. The chance to win a Liga in the last game, in front of our fans, would be more celebrated than ever. This group of players have never experienced something like this. Even after all we achieved in recent years it would be great. For the importance it has, Saturday’s match is different, we hope we can beat them for first time. In games so balanced, the small details make the difference,” Iniesta said ahead of the match.
Barcelona has to travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on March 23 as they will face off against Real Madrid on a match that has the potential of deciding which team is going to win the Spanish League in this season.
Andres Iniesta has urged his teammates and insisted in saying that they must win the match against their rivals in order to keep the Spanish title hopes alive.
‘’The truth is that if we want to maximize our options of retaining the league title, we have to win at the Bernabeu. Madrid are leaders and have some of the best players, but form doesn’t always count in these games’’. Iniesta said.
During the last few ‘’El Clasico’’ matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona, it have been characterized by red cards, fighting and diving rather than actual football but Iniesta believes that this time around there is going to be less tension than previous years.
‘’They are always a difficult team to beat, but I don’t think that we’ll see the same tension of a few years back on the pitch. It’ll be a war, but a footballing war and we mustn’t step over that line’’. Iniesta added.
Andres Iniesta is going through a rather different season from the rest of his teammates as he recently had to cope with the misfortune of his wife, Anna suffering a miscarriage which even forced the Spanish of having to miss out from a few training sessions and matches for his club but Iniesta has thanked his fans from all the support they have given him in these tough times.
“When you’re having a hard time, feeling really down, you then realize all the affection that you get from people you don’t even know, and this gives you the strength to carry on. My wife, my family, we are all grateful for the affection we have received’’.
“Yes, I have received messages of support from the Real Madrid players; some things are more important than a football match.” Iniesta revealed.