Stoke City veteran Stephen Ward has revealed that Barcelona great Andres Iniesta is the toughest player he has come up against so far in his career.

Ward has a senior career that has stretched over the course of almost two decades and turned out for Bohemians, Wolves, Brighton and Burnley before joining Stoke.  


He has also represented the Republic of Ireland at international level, being capped 50 times, and locked horns with Iniesta when his country took on Spain.

The 34-year-old, while responding to a question on who was his toughest opponent, told the club's official site: "Andres Iniesta."

Ward was a team-mate of Michael Kightly first at Wolves and then at Burnley, and considers the 34-year-old as his best friend in football.

"I would say Michael Kightly [is my best friend in football.]"

There was a special mention for another Barcelona great, Lionel Messi, who he thinks would have been a dream team-mate.

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"It [the dream team-mate] has to be Lionel Messi for obvious reasons!"

Ward's Stoke side sit 17th in the Championship table, three points above the relegation zone with nine games left to play if the season is able to be resumed.