international football

‘I am realistic’: Iniesta hints at international retirement after 2018 World Cup

The Barcelona veteran has helped Spain lift back-to-back European championships, and also scored the winning goal in the 2010 final.

Spain’s World Cup winning hero in 2010 Andres Iniesta believes next year’s tournament in Russia is likely to be his swansong at international level. Barcelona midfielder Iniesta, 33, signed a first ever “contract for life” with the Catalan giants last week.

However, after a few injury-plagued seasons, he is hoping just to be fit in 2018 to top off a stunning international career. As well as scoring the winning goal in the 2010 final, Iniesta helped Spain win back-to-back European championships in 2008 and 2012.

“I am realistic. There is a great chance this World Cup will be my last event with the national team,” Iniesta told Barcelona-based Daily Sport on Friday. “I am aware of the moment, my age and everything it entails, but we will see how things develop. There are many months still to go until the World Cup and hopefully everything will go well so that I can be in Russia.”

Iniesta refused to rule out even retiring at club level at the end of the season when signing his new contract last week. And he insisted the idea of the lifetime contract is to give both him and the club freedom to decide when the time is right for his playing career to come to an end. “The idea of the contract is to evaluate every season how I can perform or what I can still mean as a player,” added Iniesta. “Right now I still feel like a footballer and I don’t have a vision of what I want to be in a few years.”

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.