Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta hasn't been able to appear on the pitch in recent months amid the COVID-19 crisis, but Iniesta turned back the clock and celebrated one of his most famous goals on Wednesday.
Iniesta looked back at his stoppage-time, semifinal-winning goal in the 2009 Champions League vs. Chelsea on its anniversary, a score that caused a "spike in the birth rate in Catalonia," according to The Guardian's Sid Lowe. And over a decade after the goal, Iniesta called a pair of 10-year-olds born in January 2010 to commemorate the moment.
"Has your mum shown you the goal?” Iniesta asked 10-year-old Ignacio Barri in a video call on Wednesday. Barri's mom, Andrea, told Iniesta she found out that she was pregnant after his famous goal and before the 2009 Champions League final against Manchester United.
The rise in the birth rate in Catalonia doesn't appear to be a simple urban legend. A study in the British Medical Journal noted Iniesta's contribution to the rise, stating, “The heightened euphoria following a victory can cultivate hedonic sensations that result in intimate celebrations, of which unplanned births may be a consequence."
Iniesta tallied 35 goals in 442 games with Barcelona, and he scored 13 goals in 131 games with the Spanish national team, including one that won the 2010 World Cup. Based on the birth rate in Catalonia, perhaps the only goal as impactful as that one was his 2009 Champions League score.