Another remarkable record for Iniesta

He is, and will forever be, a Barcelona icon and a man whose achievements will be discussed long after the day comes to finally hang up his boots.

He is not the headline maker, the Lionel Messi or Neymar, and for a long time he was not even the Camp Nou stalwart, the skipper and on-field leader, with the presence of Carles Puyol and Xavi casting sizeable shadows.

Andres Iniesta is, however, one of the finest players to have graced this or any other generation. He is widely acknowledged as such, with his game – a relentless drive to retain possession and pick out a teammate - the epitome of tiki-taka and the sporting philosophies which continue to direct proceedings at Calalunya’s grandest club.

Some 13 years have passed since a product of the famed La Masia academy system donned the famous Blaugrana jersey for the first time in a competitive fixture, and it has been some ride for him since then.

Two European Championship successes and a World Cup triumph have been toasted at international level with Spain, with his extra-time winner against Holland in 2010 the stuff dreams are made of.

Iniesta has, however, lived something of a fairytale existence. No player in the illustrious history of FC Barcelona has won more trophies (25) while on the club’s books – with that honour shared with Messi and Xavi – and no-one has lifted the Champions League on more occasions than his four wins to date.

He also boasts the longest sequence of games without suffering defeat, having figured in 55 La Liga fixtures split between the 2010/11 and 2011/12 campaigns before finally coming unstuck.

There is, however, a record even more remarkable than that which was extended in his most recent outing. Given a well-deserved rest in midweek as Barca swept aside Roma in the UEFA Champions League, Iniesta will still be reflecting positively on his Man of the Match heroics in a 4-0 El Clasico thumping of arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Backed in at the time of writing to 1/6 within La Liga betting markets to defend their Spanish crown, Luis Enrique’s men, and his key playmaker in particular, were in scintillating form at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Iniesta teed up Neymar late in the first half to put the visitors in complete control of the tie, and found the target himself after the interval, adding the finishing touches to a typically free-flowing move that left Real chasing shadows. It was that effort which saw him stretch an incredible personal record.

Of the 53 goals he has netted for Barcelona and 13 for his country – that’s 66 in total – none have come in a losing cause.

In fact, the only time he has found the target and ended up on the wrong end of the final result came way back in February 2003, during an appearance for Barcelona’s B side in the Segunda Division. It really is an incredible achievement.

But, given who he is and what he has done in the game, perhaps his talismanic presence when hitting the back of the net should come as no surprise.