The Barça number eight thanked the Agrupació Barça Jugadors for the prize they gave him as the most sportsmanlike player in the 2010/11 season and stressed the importance of transmitting to young people the values the Club stands for.
President Sandro Rosell called Iniesta a great example of “the values we want at this Club”, whilst stressing the role of his family in forming the player’s character.
At the presentation of the award, Andrés Iniesta explained it was "a privilege" to be so recognised and praised the work of the veterans in "passing on the Club's values to youngsters coming up. When I retire I'd like people to remember me as somebody who gave everything for his club and was also full of respect for his teammates and his opponents alike. In the end, what is left of your reputation is the values you have expressed as a human being".
Iniesta reckons "I'm a grateful person and I have a lot to be grateful for – I'm clear that Barça and Catalonia have given me everything, both to me and my family". It was the family which President Rosell stressed as vital, when after having first praised Iniesta as "representing the values which we want here at the Club", he insisted: "all he's done wouldn't be possible without the great family structure that he has enjoyed. Turning to Iniesta's parents who were attending the event he reiterated "thanks to everything he has learnt from his parents – he is the way he is. God might have given him his talent, but the rest has come from his home background".
The President of the Agrupació Barça Jugadors, Ramon Alfonseda, told Iniesta: "never stop being a person who is close to their family and their values", before defining him as: "someone who never says no, he's a friend to his friends, a leader and a reference point, with more character than many realise and with an enormously competitive spirit". Echoing Rosell, Alfonseda referred to Iniesta as "an authentic representative of Barça's values".
When the questions began, Iniesta refused to compare Guardiola with Mourinho: "I don't know Mourinho to judge what he is like. I know my coach and I have known him for a long time and I think it's generally accepted that it's a privilege to be working alongside him. All of us want home to stay for many more years at the Club. Iniesta then explained that incidents on the pitch which the ref didn't see, weren't worth worrying about: "the ref is the judge and we have to trust his work and his criteria. If everybody calmed down, we'd all enjoy the game more".
Iniesta also insisted that the squad were: "focussed on winning our games and seeing if the leader slips up. We are aiming to take all the points we can every game and not waste any chance that might come up if Madrid slip up. It's a big gap, but we are going to fight till the end and we hope we can get back into the race. At the end of the season, it's the best team who have done things best that will win".
Posthumous recognition for Eduard Manchón
At the start of the event, hosted by the Nou Camp announcer Manel Vich, a posthumous mention was made of the ex-Barça player Eduard Manchón (1930-2010), a player who would undoubtedly have won the award had it been held in his time. According to Vich: "Eduard is another player in Barça's history who left his mark on a human level", explaining to Manchon's family who were at the event: "he was a person who carried the values of Barça with him throughout his life".
The most moving part of the event was when Manchón's widow Roser Marigó, explained that all his family had been waiting for this award and were thrilled for it to be bestowed at the same time as Iniesta: "my husband used to say that Iniesta is a player who always knows where he should be". (via FCBarcelona.com)