Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Tokyo 2020: Andrés Iniesta tackles football 5-a-side

The World Cup winner follows in Messi and Beckham’s footsteps as countdown to next Paralympic Games continues 15 Aug 2019 By IPC and Tokyo 2020

Ahead of the launch of Paralympic Games ticket sales on 22 August, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has launched a video entitled "Experience the Unbelievable" featuring members of Japan’s football 5-a-side team and Spain’s FIFA World Cup winner Andrés Iniesta playing blind football.

“Experience the Unbelievable” displays the amazing skills and athletic abilities of football 5-a-side players. Led by Japan national team captain Ryo Kawamura, the film shows Iniesta trying out the sport blindfolded like all Paralympic football 5-a-side players.  

“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,” said the 35-year-old who won 131 caps for Spain during a glittering international career.

Having won pretty much every competition there is in international and club football, including the UEFA Champions League four times with FC Barcelona, Iniesta is widely regarded as one of the world’s best players of his generation.  He currently plays in Japan’s J. League with Vissel Kobe.

Iniesta is not the first star footballer to be blindfolded and give football 5-a-side a try.

Ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, his former FC Barcelona teammates including five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, took part in a penalty shoot-out against the Spain’s football 5-a-side team as part of a joint campaign for the Agitos Foundation and UNICEF.

Find out who was victorious as Messi and Ivo Rakatic went head-to-head with Spain’s best blind footballers.

Not to be outdone, former England captain David Beckham trained with the Great Britain team prior to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.  Putting the former Real Madrid and Manchester United midfielder through his paces was David Clarke, a scorer of a record 128 goals in 144 international appearances for Great Britain and England’s football 5-a-side team. 

See how many attempts Beckham needed to score a penalty blindfolded.

Iniesta, Messi and Beckham have nothing on these players though – at the last Paralympics in Rio there were some stunning goals. 

The first ticket lottery offering Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games tickets for Japanese residents will take place from 22 August to 9 September.

Tickets for all sports are being offered at affordable prices which aim to encourage people to attend with their family and friends. Seats at competitive events will be priced from just JPY 900 and will cost no more than JPY 7,000.

This is part of the Organising Committee’s commitment to enhance the family atmosphere at the Paralympic Games and attract as many young spectators as possible. Tickets for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will cost from JPY 8,000 up to JPY 150,000.