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Top five moments of 2012 - Andres Iniesta

by Al 13. December 2012 05:01

With the festive season in full swing and the year drawing to a close, what better time to look back on what has been a fantastic 2012 for our Icons? In the run up to the new year we'll be picking our players' finest moments of the past 12 months, starting today with Barcelona's unbeatable Andres Iniesta...

Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may have claimed the lion's share of headlines in 2012 for their goalscoring histrionics in Spain's La Liga, but away from the newspaper backpages and tabloid fanfare Andres Iniesta is just as highly regarded. The genius presence at the heart of the Spanish midfield, Iniesta has continued to write himself into the history books this year with dazzling trophy-clinching performances. But what were his five finest moments of 2012?

Record breaker (vs. RCD Mallorca, 24 March)

A telling sign of his influence at Barcelona, Iniesta made his 51st consecutive unbeaten league appearance for the Catalan club in March, smashing the record set by Real Madrid legend Emillio Butragueno and engineering a crucial 2-0 win that helped close the gap on their rivals at the top of La Liga in the process. (Find on YouTube)

Champions League goal (vs. AC Milan, 3 April)

An expertly taken chip past keeper Christian Abbiati gave Barcelona a two goal cushion in their Champions League clash with AC Milan, booking the team a semi-final duel with Chelsea. Barcelona of course were beaten by the Blues in that tie but not before another brilliant strike by the 28-year-old, a cool finish to Peter Cech's right that drew gasps from the Stamford Bridge crowd. Iniesta was named UEFA Player of the Year for his performances throughout the tournament. (Find on YouTube)

Euro 2012 masterclass (vs. Italy, 2 July)

It was another star showing from Iniesta at Euro 2012, during which he propelled Spain to a 4-0 victory in the final over Italy. The star maintaining a stunning 75% passing accuracy across the 2 weeks while making more passes into the final third than any other player and was awarded the title of UEFA Player of the Tournament. (Find on YouTube)

"Football isn't a science..." (9 November)

It wasn't just on the pitch Iniesta showed his footballing intelligence in 2012. In a now iconic interview, he opened up to Guardian reporter Sid Lowe on the Barca philosophy with brilliant eloquence. Read it here.

Wonder strike (vs. Alaves, 30 October)

An amazing looped shot from distance helped Barcelona through to the next stages of the Copa Del Rey as the Catalan team look to follow the disappointment of last season's trophyless showing. They're on the right track, certainly - in part thanks to Iniesta, they're eleven points clear of 2011-12 winners Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, through to the next round of the Champions League and hot favourites to lift the domestic cup. Such has been Iniesta's form that he's in fact earned another FIFA Ballon d'Or nomination, up against Ronaldo and Messi for the most coveted individual prize in football. Can he win it? We'll find out in 2013... (Find on YouTube)

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Check out Icons' amazing range of signed Andres Iniesta memorabilia, available in time for Christmas - click here to buy!

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Christmas Gift Ideas for... Barcelona fans

by Al 23. November 2012 04:34

Top of Barcelona fans' Christmas wishlists this year will be a return to the top of La Liga after slipping to Real Madrid last season, but second on their letters to Santa might be a piece of stunning signed memorabilia from Icons. We have personally signed shirts, photos and boots from some of the Catalan team's stars guarenteed to make any Barca fanatic's festive season a special one. Here's just a taster of what we have to offer...

Leo Messi

With 80 goals already in 2012, Leo Messi just keeps getting better and better. The Barcelona star is the best player in the world and also its most popular - signed Messi memorabilia is Icons' biggest selling product and we're proud to have worked closely with the number 10 for the last six years, since he was 18 and still breaking into the Barca first team. Worshipped around the world, no other gift could light up a Barcelona fan's face on Christmas morning quite like a signed 2012-13 season shirt or perhaps a signed photo commemorating the moment he scored his record five goals in one game in the UEFA Champions League. We also have signed boots available in our innovative framing style and a number of other Messi products - click the link below to experience the entire range in all its glory and find yourself that perfect Christmas gift.

View our entire Leo Messi range


Official UEFA Champions League Messi & Guardiola Signed Photo

Andres Iniesta

Messi may take most of the plaudits but Iniesta is at the heart of Barcelona's every move and his spoken of as one of the greatest players of all time - and rightly so. An astonishingly gifted technical player, the number 8 is hugely popular and his collection of signed items, including signed shirts, boots and photos, continue to fly out of the doors here at Icons. Don't miss out - order now!

View the entire Andres Iniesta range

Andres Iniesta Signed Barcelona ShirtOfficial UEFA Champions League Andres Iniesta Signed and Framed Barcelona Photo: 2009 Final

There's plenty more in our Barcelona range including past legends like Pep Guardiola and Ronaldo - check out our entire Barca collection now.

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Pirlo, Iniesta, Ronaldo: The best of Euro 2012

by Al 25. June 2012 05:18

An Andrea Pirlo masterclass and another painful penalty shootout, and England are heading home early from Euro 2012. You might expect Icons' London HQ to be a sombre place today, but instead of wallowing in England-induced misery, we’re doing our best to look on the bright side...

While Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney may be packing their bags, we are delighted to have three international Icons competing in the semi-finals of Euro 2012. We're all about the world's best players at Icons, and these three are probably the best of the tournament so far.

Andrea Pirlo
“I always believed I was number one and I believe I have demonstrated it again this season,” so said Andrea Pirlo before he had even kicked a ball at the Euros. That self-confidence and class was all too evident for England last night, as his sublime 'Panenka' penalty rolled into the net past a helpless Joe Hart. Pirlo's form in Poland and Ukraine has been superb. As well as his stunning man-of-the-match performance in the quarter-final against England, he contributed two assists and a beautiful goal from a free-kick as Italy qualified from Group C along with Spain. We are delighted to have his signed Italy shirt available for pre-order HERE.

Andrés Iniesta
At Barcelona, a certain Leo Messi tends to grab the headlines, but for Spain at Euro 2012, there can be little doubt that Andrés Iniesta has been the main man. Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has been criticised for flooding his side with midfielders at the expense of an out-and-out striker, but with playmakers of Iniesta's quality at his disposal, who can blame him?! Iniesta has been the crucial difference for La Roja throughout the tournament. He is a player capable of unpicking even the most crowded defences, and was named man-of-the-match in their Group C games against both Italy and Croatia. Buy his signed shirt, boot or photo HERE.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Last but certainly not least is Cristiano Ronaldo. The irrepressible Portuguese has got people thinking he might just win Portugal the trophy on his own. After a superb brace against the Netherlands in Group B and a brilliant headed winner in Portugal’s quarter-final against the Czech Republic, the Portugal skipper finds himself as the tournament’s joint-top scorer with three goals, and faces a mouth-watering semi-final clash against Iniesta’s Spain. Never one to pass up an opportunity to score, Ronaldo has had more shots at Euro 2012 than the entire England squad combined. Get 1/3 off his signed Portugal photo HERE.

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View Icons' full range of signed Euro 2012 products HERE

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The world's best players attract a lot of attention...

by Al 11. June 2012 09:38

In Spain's 1-1 draw with Italy on Sunday, Andrés Iniesta found himself getting the Diego Maradona treatment...

This classic photo of Maradona was taken when Argentina played Belgium at the 1982 World Cup. 20 years later at Euro 2012, Spain's midfield master Iniesta found out that some things never change.

Keep an eye out for Icons' next signing with Iniesta, when we'll be sure to add this amazing photo to our collection.

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Buy a personally signed Maradona Takes On Belgium photo HERE

View Icons' full range of signed Iniesta shirts, boots and photos HERE

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Euro 2012 Predictions Competition: win a signed boot!

by Al 7. June 2012 06:35

Euro 2012 is almost upon us, and Icons are offering you the chance to win a fantastic signed prize from one of its biggest stars. All you have to do is predict the winner of Euro 2012. If your prediction is successful, you could be the proud owner of a signed boot from Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney or Andrés Iniesta.
To enter click HERE - it only takes 30 seconds!

So, will Iker Casillas and Spain retain their title? Or maybe you fancy France? Or Germany? Or England, Russia or Poland? Make your pick and enter the competition here.

Good luck! And make sure you follow Icons on Twitter @icons_football and 'like' us on Facebook for competition updates.

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Icons launch new Flickr page

by Al 19. March 2012 08:53

Have you ever wondered what happens when Icons meet the world’s best players? Or fancied an inside look at one of our private signings? Well good news! We're now offering you a sneak peek into our exciting football world...

Our shiny new Flickr page features exclusive, previously unseen photos from our recent signing sessions with superstars like Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin Van Persie. We travel all around the world to meet with our Icons, and now we want to show you the photos to prove it.

So if you want definitive proof of the authenticity of our signatures, or you just want to see Arsenal's Robin Van Persie wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, then head on over to Flickr now and have a look for yourself.

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Andrés Iniesta: The World's Best Midfielder

by Al 9. March 2012 09:34

This weekend Icons travel to Barcelona for an exclusive signing session with the wonderful Andrés Iniesta. It marks our second meeting with the little Spanish midfield master, having held our first signing together back in April 2011. Iniesta’s remarkable trophy haul for club and country makes him one of the most decorated players on the planet at the age of just 27. But how did a shy, homesick boy from the Spanish countryside blossom into the world’s best midfielder?

After years living in the shadow of his superstar Barcelona teammates, it is only in recent seasons that Iniesta’s understated brilliance has received the recognition it deserves. Unsurprisingly, Leo Messi is the man grabbing the headlines this week for his remarkable five goals against Bayer Leverkusen, but without Iniesta, neither Messi nor Barcelona would be where they are today.

Iniesta grew up in Fuentealbilla, a small village in the province of Albacete in south-eastern Spain. The precocious talent he demonstrated as a boy in Albacete’s youth teams brought him to the attention of scouts, and in 1996, a 12-year-old Iniesta was enrolled at Barcelona’s fabled La Masía youth academy. Leaving home was heart-breaking for ‘Andrésito’, and years later, the midfielder confessed he “cried rivers” the day he was separated from his parents.

Slight, unassuming and pale-skinned due to a pigmentation problem, Iniesta is not in the mould of most modern football stars. But in his formative years at La Masía, his outstanding natural ability quickly caught the attention of numerous senior figures at Barcelona, notably his current manager, Pep Guardiola, club captain at the time. After watching a 14-year-old Iniesta in action for the first time, Guardiola - another graduate of La Masía - famously remarked that he had finally found someone who “reads the game better than me”. Iniesta had won over his childhood hero, a full ten years before he became his coach in 2008.

Iniesta’s rapid development continued, and he was called to train with the first team aged 16. That day, Guardiola turned to his teammate Xavi Hernández - a first team fixture already - and said: “You’re going to retire me, but Iniesta will retire us both.” With outstanding pace, vision, skill, and the ability to use his 5’7 frame to outwit larger opponents, Iniesta has proved to be everything Guardiola predicted. And more.

But rather than ousting Xavi from the Barcelona midfield, it is in tandem that the pair have excelled, at the heart of arguably the greatest club side in history. This time, Guardiola leads from the sidelines. Under his stewardship, Iniesta has been the creative hub of a side that has won 14 trophies in under four seasons, including a historic ‘sextuple’ in 2008-09. For European and World Champions Spain, the Iniesta-Xavi axis has proved equally devastating.

Short, sharp tiki-taka and intelligent movement are the Barcelona way, and Iniesta is its greatest exponent. But it hasn’t always been easy for him to make his voice heard among Barça’s bigger names.  His versatility and willingness to play in any position for the team under former manager Frank Rijkaard meant he was often overlooked in favour of more extrovert personalities. Once a hindrance, however, his unassuming and humble character has now made him the best-liked player on the planet.

Iniesta’s career so far has not been short of highlights, but two moments in particular stand out. For Barcelona, there was his stunning stoppage time winner in the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea in 2009, an unforgettable effort which sent Guardiola’s side on their way to European glory. For Spain, meanwhile, he will never score a more important goal than his extra-time winner in the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands.

Iniesta’s brilliance lies in the apparent ease with which goes about his job. Everything he does on the pitch looks natural, and his virtuosity brings out the very best in his teammates (watch his best assists here). Barcelona manager Guardiola has handed him greater responsibility since taking charge in 2008. The unparalleled success that has followed is no coincidence.

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Pre-order personally signed Andrés Iniesta shirts, boots and photos here

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Leo Messi wins 2011 Ballon d'Or

by Al 10. January 2012 06:36

We are delighted to congratulate Icon Leo Messi on winning his third consecutive Ballon d'Or award. The 24-year-old Barcelona and Argentina superstar beat team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to land the prestigious title of world's best player. 

After legends Marco van Basten, Michel Platini and Johan Cruyff, Messi becomes the fourth player to win the award three times. And at such a young age, he is perfectly placed to smash the record set by his predeccesors in years to come. 

Messi played the starring role in Barcelona's Champions League triumph last season, and was named man of the match in the final against Manchester United. He also won the Primera División with Barcelona, as well as the the UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Spanish Super Cup. 

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Brazil legend Pele and UEFA president Michel Platini were among a host of leading football figures to lavish praise on Messi at the awards ceremony in Zurich. 

At Icons we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Leo, having conducted our first signing with him when he was just 18. We met up with him for our sixth signing session together in December 2011. You can see our full range of signed Messi products here.

We are also proud to say that six of the FIFA 2011 World XI are on the Icons roster. Iker Casillas; Xabi Alonso; Andres Iniesta; Wayne Rooney; Cristiano Ronaldo; Leo Messi - the world's best six-a-side team?!

The rest of the World XI is made up of Sergio Ramos; Gerard Pique; Dani Alves; Nemanja Vidic and Xavi. We are working on adding more of those names to our list, so sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter for the latest news!

Messi leads Icons named on Ballon d'Or shortlist

by Al 1. November 2011 08:28

We are delighted to see our Icons making up nine of the 23-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d'Or. Barcelona and Argentina's Leo Messi is the overwhelming favourite, and will match Michel Platini's record of three consecutive Ballon d'Ors if he is triumphant. Last year there were five Icons on the shortlist. This year we have grown. Let us know who you would like to see next on the site by getting in touch on Twitter or Facebook.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is the only Englishman to have been nominated, and is one of only five players connected to the Premier League on the shortlist. Of those five, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero only played half of 2011 in England, while ex-Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas now plays for Barcelona. In Spain, Barcelona lead the way with an incredible eight nominees, while rivals Real Madrid boast five.

Which Icon will be crowned World Player of the Year? Here is the complete shortlist:

Eric Abidal (France), Barcelona

Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Manchester City

Karim Benzema (France), Real Madrid

Iker Casillas (Spain), Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Real Madrid

Dani Alves (Brazil), Barcelona

Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Anzhi Makhachkala

Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Barcelona

Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Inter Milan

Andres Iniesta (Spain), Barcelona

Leo Messi (Argentina), Barcelona

Thomas Muller (Germany), Bayern Munich

Nani (Portugal), Manchester United

Neymar (Brazil), Santos

Mesut Ozil (Germany), Real Madrid

Gerard Pique (Spain), Barcelona

Wayne Rooney (England), Manchester United

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Bayern Munich

Wesley Sneijder (Holland), Inter Milan

Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Liverpool

David Villa (Spain), Barcelona

Xabi Alonso (Spain), Real Madrid

Xavi (Spain), Barcelona

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About Icons Memorabilia

Welcome to the icons blog, we'll be regularly posting here about what's going on with our star signings and what new products have arrived

We love what we do so we'll also be talking about what's going on in the world of football and sport in general.

We'd really appreciate your feedback and comments too.

Cheers - The icons.com team.

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