Andres Iniesta's modified Nike CTR360 Maestri ii
Player name: Andres Iniesta Luhan
Clubs: FC Barcelona, Vissel Kobe
Position: Central midfield
Height: 5 ft 7 in
Andrés Iniesta Luján is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Japanese club Vissel Kobe. He spent most of his career at Barcelona, where he served as the captain for three seasons. Iniesta is widely considered to be one of the best players of his generation and one of the greatest midfielders of all time. Iniesta came through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, and impressed from an early age. He made his first-team debut aged 18 in 2002. He began playing regularly during the 2004–05 season and remained in the team until 2018. Iniesta was an integral part of the Barcelona sides that won two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015, and his 35 trophies, which includes nine La Ligas and four UEFA Champions League titles, make him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time. After 22 years at Barcelona, Iniesta signed for Japanese club Vissel Kobe in 2018. Iniesta played for Spain at the Under-16, Under-19 and Under-21 levels before making his international debut in 2006. He helped Spain win UEFA Euro 2008, playing every game and being selected in the Team of the Tournament. Iniesta was also a key member of the victorious Spanish team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup; he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands, for which he was named the Man of the Match, and was selected to the tournament's All-Star Team. At UEFA Euro 2012, Iniesta led Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, again being chosen as the Man of the Match of the final against Italy, and was named the Player of the Tournament.
Here we have a pair of Andres Iniesta's incredible Nike CTR360 Maestri ii boots which he wore during the 2011-12 season whilst playing for FC Barcelona. This one of a kind pair are a true masterpiece, bespoke made for one of the greatest midfield players of all time.
Iniesta has been named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI nine times and was chosen in the UEFA Team of the Year on six occasions. He was named in the All-time UEFA Euro XI. He won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in 2012 and was named the IFFHS World's Best Playmaker in 2012 and 2013. Iniesta was runner-up to Lionel Messi for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or and achieved third place in 2012.
This pair feature a unique soleplate made just for Iniesta, which has been lifted from the Nike T90 Laser 1 model which was released way back in 2007. The soleplate itself is completely transparent, with the paint job being in between that and the upper boot. Nike have cleverly applied the same paint job and visual design as the retail version CTR360 sole, so it appears on TV as though they are just a regular pair, hiding the fact that they are actually modified.
The soleplate was originally FG, however Nike's craftsmen inside their Montebelluna factory in Italy converted it to a mixed hybrid sole. As this soleplate was released back in 2007, there was no mixed stud option - only FG or traditional 6-stud SG. In between the FG studs on this particular soleplate, there are thick strengthening bars which had to be shaven down in order to fit the SG studs. Another interesting point is that the metal screw ins are not the usual aluminium ones you'll find on normal pairs, they are instead plastic with metal tips.
Nike have added some personalisation to the outstep of each boot for Iniesta by adding "A. Iniesta 8" on the left boot, with "PMMAA 8" on the right boot. Each boot has also been hand signed by Andres in black marker along each Nike swoosh. PMMAA is a reference to his family members. P - Paolo (son), M - Maria (mother), M - Maribel (sister), A - Anna (spouse), A - Jose Antonio (father).
Like fellow La Masia graduate Cesc Fàbregas, Iniesta originally started as a defensive midfielder, but his balance, ball control and agility allied with his skill and flair on the ball saw him make progress as an attacking midfielder. Beyond his raw talent that was spotted at a young age by Barcelona's scouts, it was his great versatility, work ethic and inventiveness that allowed him to stake a claim on a first-team place at the age of 18. Vicente del Bosque described him as "A complete footballer. He can attack and defend, he creates and scores," and Frank Rijkaard said, "I played him as a false winger, central midfielder, deep midfielder and just behind the striker and he was always excellent." He was used initially as a wide-forward in the absence of Juan Román Riquelme and Ronaldinho by Louis van Gaal and Rijkaard respectively, but made his name as a world-class player in central midfield alongside or in lieu of Xavi, at both club and international level.
Each instep has also been embroidered with "Valeria" which is the name of his first born daughter. A notable point from the shot above is how well the red sole disguising paint job lines up with the red design on the upper, considering the boots are hand made and not around a generic foot last.
As FIFA.com says, "It is in the central midfield position that his direct style and quick feet can be used to full effect, with the ball seeming glued to his toes as he races into threatening positions. A diminutive midfielder, Iniesta is a player known for his passing, dribbling, vision and movement." His signature move is La Croqueta – a move pioneered by Michael Laudrup and popularised by Iniesta – where he quickly pushes the ball from his right foot to his left which takes the ball away from an opponent, allowing him to get out of a tight situation.
Another interesting feature on Iniesta's CTR's is the addition of elasticated straps to either side of the tongue. These are thick and are attached underneath the sole board, with the main aim of keeping the tongue in one position, aiding the fit and feel of the boots.
Much like other Barcelona youth products such as Pep Guardiola, Xavi and Iván de la Peña, Iniesta is a playmaker who relies on his technique, exceptionally precise, creative, and intelligent passing, intuition, movement, and inventiveness to control the midfield, dictate the ebb and flow of play, and create chances or space for teammates Iniesta has been praised for his understanding and interplay with Xavi; former Barcelona teammate Giovanni van Bronckhorst said of the pair, "They have a special relationship, they always have, they just seem to know where the other one is." During his maturation as a player, he has gained a reputation for playing a part in important goals for club and country, specifically playing a leading role in the 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015 UEFA Champions League finals, as well as the 2010 World Cup Final, Euro 2012 final and Euro 2008 semi-final.
Whilst the upper of this pair features the same Kanga-Lite material as the retail versions, it is much thinner with there being a lot less internal padding - especially in the forefoot area. This will aid ball feel and provide a more glove like fit. The same rubber passing elements you find on retail versions are still present. With this pair being custom made to measure around a last of Iniesta's feet, there are no size labels present as they are not an exact size. Length wise they are measured to be around a UK7-7.5, which in US sizing is 8-8.5. It is also worth noting that the boots are considerably narrower than retail versions.