Andrés Iniesta made football history when his goal broke a scoreless tie in overtime of the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, giving Spain its first-ever championship. In just a few weeks, when the humble midfielder will take the pitch in Brazil to defend his country’s title, he will serve as an ambassador for Powerade and its 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, “There’s Power in Every Game.”
The global campaign celebrates the notion that every game -- from epic clashes in the world’s biggest stadiums, to barefoot battles in dusty backyards -- has the potential to create a positive impact. Powerade is also featuring the remarkable stories of two amateur footballers, Nico Calabria and Marcelo Schmidt, who have used the sport to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and lift their teammates, rally supporters and inspire communities.
We caught up with Iniesta at the University of Barcelona to get his thoughts on his role in the Powerade campaign and the upcoming tournament.
You and your teammates are no strangers to overcoming challenges and realizing the importance of every game, having lost the opening match in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. What does the “Power in Every Game” message mean to you personally – both on and off the pitch?
To me, "Power in Every Game" means to play hard in every match. Since I was a child playing at the school playground, in the streets and on the ground fields of Fuentealbilla, I have always tried to enjoy each moment playing with a ball to the fullest. In life, every moment counts. You have to try to make the most from it.
How does this message apply to all footballers and fans – from world champions, to grassroots players, to everyday spectators?
After the final whistle or at the end of the day, the feeling of having put all possible effort is the best personal reward one can have, either on a field with cameras and lights in front of thousands of people, or at school or work.
The Powerade campaign also features Nico Calabria and Marcelo Schmidt. How have their stories inspired you?
Their stories should be an example for everyone. I admire their effort and will to overcome against the difficulties they found in their journeys. I have learned that football has no boundaries; it is a universal language. The three of us share the same passion for football… to play with a ball makes us happy. In different contexts Nico, Marcelo and myself have fought to achieve this dream.
Did you ever dream of scoring the winning goal in the World Cup? How did that shot change your life?
I never dreamed of making so many people happy with that goal… this is what I kept for me. My life has not changed. I am the same I have always been. What I perceive it changed is people’s feelings about Spanish football… and what this goal meant to its reputation.
Looking ahead to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, what are you most excited about? Do you have another tournament-winning goal in you?
To have the chance to play another World Cup and in Brasil is a dream come true for any player. If the moment comes, it doesn't matter who scores. My only wish is to be able to enjoy the tournament and fight until the end to repeat the success we had four years ago that made us and so many other people happy.
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