Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta names former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal as his 'most important manager'
Andres Iniesta is leaving Barcelona after a glittering spell at the club
Andres Iniesta has described Louis van Gaal as the most important manager of his career.
The Spanish midfield maestro will leave Barcelona in the summer after 22 years at the club.
He has enjoyed incredible success under an array of different coaches, winning nine LaLiga titles, four Champions Leagues and six Copa del Rey crowns, while he has also lifted the World Cup with Spain.
Iniesta has prospered under the likes of Pep Guardiola, Frank Rijkaard, Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde – but it is the man who gave him his professional debut who he regards as the most important.
Asked in an interview by Mundo Deportivo to describe Van Gaal in one sentence, he replied: "My most important manager".
Former Manchester United manager boss Van Gaal had two spells in charge of Barcelona, winning LaLiga twice between 1997 and 2000 before returning for a brief period in 2002.
Iniesta was asked to describe all the men who have coached him throughout his career, with Barcelona and Spain.
Asked for his thoughts on current Manchester City boss Guardiola, Iniesta replied: "A master for me."
He insisted Frank Rijkaard, under whom he won his first Champions League title, was "the ideal coach for that period of my life", while he described Tito Vilanova as an "exceptional manager and person."
Iniesta also labelled Luis Enrique "a friend" and Ernesto Valverde "wise".
He was also asked about his Spain bosses, insisting Luis Aragones was a "professor" and Vicente Del Bosque is "exemplary."
Meanwhile, he was also asked to describe some of his current and former team-mates.
He simply labelled his former inspirational skipper Carles Puyol "the captain", while he claimed Lionel Messi is "unique".
He insists Xavi is a "reference" for him and described Ronaldinho as "magical."
Iniesta claimed his last-gasp equaliser at Stamford Bridge in the 2009 Champions League semi-final was his "most magical day at Barca" — and the 2010 World Cup final his greatest moment for Spain.