The Dishonest Hips of Andrés Iniesta

Nicholas Schmidle at The New Yorker:

Faced with the oncoming Iranian player, Vahid Amiri, Iniesta opened his hips, as if he were preparing to pass the ball to his teammate on the touchline. The pop star Shakira, who is married to Iniesta’s teammate, Gerard Piqué, famously said that hips don’t lie. But Iniesta’s do. His hips led Amiri one way; Iniesta went the other.

Past Amiri, Iniesta played the ball to a teammate, David Silva, who passed it straight back to Iniesta. Another Iranian defender, Saeid Ezatolahi, tried to intercept the pass, but Iniesta swivelled his hips slightly, took the ball with his left foot, and raced past him, neither rushed nor panicked. Then Iniesta looked up: three teammates to choose from, surrounded by seven Iranian players. Omid Ebrahimi, an Iranian midfielder, closed in on him from the left. Iniesta scanned his options and, leading with his hips, like a ballroom dancer, froze Ebrahimi an extra beat, just long enough to create a pocket of space through which he threaded the ball to Diego Costa’s feet. An Iranian defender blocked Costa’s shot, but the ball ricocheted off his leg and into the back of the net.

more here.