Spain and Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta makes his UAE football debut

Andres Iniesta, now aged 39 but still fresh to UAE football, began what was to be his much-anticipated Adnoc Pro League debut on the bench. The former Barcelona and Spain midfielder, introduced as Emirates Club’s shock signing only 10 days previously, was at first provided a watching brief for his new side’s season opener against Al Wasl at Zabeel Stadium on Saturday. The most decorated star to grace the Emirati top-flight and all its previous iterations, initially Iniesta sat stationed in the Emirates dugout, sleeveless club training top increasingly damp in the late-evening cloying Dubai weather, his trademark No 8 shirt draped over the back of his chair. He gulped on water, remained relatively alone in his thoughts, presumably busy picking apart the encounter unspooling in front on him. Most plausibly, Iniesta reckoned he would be introduced before long to snatch back the match in Emirates’ favour.

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