Review and Giveaway! The Artist: Being Iniesta

Andres Iniesta of Spain juggles the ball during a training session ahead of their UEFA Euro 2016 round of 16 match against Italy at Complexe Sportif Marcel Gaillard on June 26, 2016 in La Rochelle, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

To celebrate reaching 80K on Twitter, totalBarça is giving away a free copy of Iniesta’s new book, The Artist: Being Iniesta! Read on for our review of the book, and for details about how you can win a copy!

“The thinking fan’s footballer with a thinking fan’s football book,” is how Headline Publishing describes Andres Iniesta’s memoir, a joint effort from the midfielder and journalists Ramón Besa and Marcos López.

It would also appear to be the feeling fan’s book.

Photo © Jordi Cotrina

Photo © Jordi Cotrina

The Artist: Being Iniesta is both a biography about a talented footballer and a more personal account from the man behind the athlete.

The book is divided two halves: “On the Pitch” and “From the Touchline.” The two sections take the readers from Iniesta’s career at Barça to chapters about his family and friends, respectively.

In a digital age where fans have access to athlete’s Instagrams, Snapchats, and Twitter accounts, it’s easy to feel connected to people we don’t actually know at all. Iniesta’s long form reflection offers a much more nuanced insight that never feels contrived or melodramatic. The depth of honesty is at times almost painful- the book does not shy away from frankly discussing recovery from injuries and struggles with grief and mental health. The first chapter is especially heart-wrenching.

Besa and López are adept contributors, making the book stronger than a personal essay, but a well-constructed piece of journalism as well. The scope of their research and interviews highlight the respect and love held for Iniesta among the football community.

The result is that there is no shortage of praise in The Artist. Many people seemed eager to voice their affection for Iniesta, from colleagues to friends to people who are both. Current and former players for Barcelona and Spain are featured at length.

Some of the most touching remarks come from Samuel Eto’o.

“I love him to pieces. I have always seen him as like my own son, my own flesh and blood. And he is just an amazingly good person. […] There are some footballers who are ten out of ten; he is a twenty out of ten. And as a person he is a two thousand. I adore him, I adore him,” he says in chapter eleven.

And adore him we do.

To win a free copy of the book, here’s what you have to do: tune in to our live-tweet of the Espanyol match on Sunday. At the end of the derby, there will be a tweet asking for your 140 character review of the match. The most entertaining match review will win this contest!

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