MX23RW : Wednesday, January 23 08:13:26

Zinedine Zidane: 'Andres Iniesta deserved to win Ballon d'Or'

Zidane: 'Iniesta deserved to win Ballon d'Or'
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Zinedine Zidane says that he 'only has good words' for Andres Iniesta, who he believes should have been crowned Ballon d'Or winner during his time at Barcelona.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has hailed Andres Iniesta following the iconic midfielder's announcement that he is to leave Barcelona next month.

The Spain international will bring down the curtain on a career at Camp Nou that spans 22 years to join an unnamed team in the Chinese Super League.

Zidane has admitted to being a fan of Iniesta's both on and off the field, and is adamant that the 33-year-old was deserving of at least one Ballon d'Or award during his hugely successful stint in Catalonia.

"It is difficult because if you like football, seeing a player like him leave is tough," he told reporters. "I don't think of him as a Barcelona player - I see him simply as a football player.

"I've come across him two or three times and he is a charming, very reserved man and I like players who can do everything on the field but are that calm off it.

"I only have good words for him, admiration for his football and I wish him the best as a player for the future but above all, as a person.

"We're talking about someone who made everyone dream and he deserved to win the Ballon d'Or, especially in the year he won the World Cup. It was clear then that he deserved it."

Iniesta, who lifted the World Cup with Spain in 2010, could rack up his 32nd major honour with Barcelona this weekend if they secure top spot in La Liga.


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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane at the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid on May 28,.2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona20144256213546
2Atletico MadridAtletico20118130131741
3Real Madrid2011363024636
4Sevilla209653122933
5AlavesAlaves209562223-132
6Getafe208752516931
7Real Betis208572525029
8Valencia2051141918126
9Real Sociedad207582524126
10Levante207583235-326
11EibarEibar206772428-425
12GironaGirona205962326-324
13Espanyol2073102130-924
14Athletic Bilbao2041152126-523
15Leganes205781824-622
16Real Valladolid205781723-622
17Celta Vigo205693234-221
18Rayo Vallecano2055102436-1220
19Villarreal203982126-518
20Huesca2025131739-2211

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