Spain legend Iniesta tries out blind soccer in Tokyo 2020 Paralympics promo
Tokyo, Aug 16 (EFE).- Andres Iniesta – the skilled midfielder who scored the decisive goal in Spain's 2010 World Cup victory and now plays in the Japanese league – gave blind soccer a try in a promotional video for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games released on Friday.
Iniesta, best known for his trophy-filled 16-year career at FC Barcelona, played a 5-a-side match of blind soccer in the western Japanese city of Kobe along with members of that sport's Japanese Paralympic team.
The Spaniard, who currently plays for the professional club Vissel Kobe in Japan's J1 League, wore the mandatory blindfold and attempted to locate the ball guided by the sense of sound.
"It was an amazing experience for me because I could spend time with these guys and see the great work they're doing. It was really complicated to do. It's very difficult," Iniesta told the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.
"I hope I get an opportunity to see them, because I liked the training that I had with them very much," Iniesta added.
In this blindfolded variety of soccer, the four outfield players move towards the other team's goal with the ball following the indications of their guides. The importance of the sense of hearing is underscored by the compulsory silence that needs to be maintained around the playing area, which is enclosed by fences that help the players guide themselves.
While going for the ball, the blindfolded players must warn their rivals with a shout to avoid clashes. They also rely on indications by their goalkeepers, the only players who can see and have restricted maneuverability in the small area.
The video is a part of a campaign named "Experience the Unbelievable" that aims to attract public interest for the upcoming 2020 Paralympic Games, which are scheduled to be held in the Japanese capital between Aug. 25-Sept. 6 in 2020.
The tickets for the games are set to be put on sale next week.
It is expected that a record number of 4,400 athletes will participate in the international event, which will see the inclusion of an unprecedented number of disciplines such as the recently-introduced Badminton and Taekwondo. EFE