Football star Andres Iniesta has invested nearly 6 million Euros into a winery in his hometown despite years of losses, it has emerged.
The vanity project which boasts winery visits and airbnb listing has reported to years of losses with few visitors and meagre sales.
The Barcelona legend, who scored the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup, has sunk EUR 5.87 million into the business.
The investment into the winery in the town of Fuentealbilla, in the central Spanish province of Albacete, has been revealed in Spain’s Official Gazette of commercial transactions.
It came on 20th July, just days before the 39-year-old star signed a new deal with mega-wealthy Emirates Club in Dubai said to be worth EUR 8 million a season.
The substantial investment has increased the winery’s capital to EUR 13.3 million boosting it by 80 per cent.
In 2021, the last figures available, the winery had a net worth of EUR 4.4 million with a share capital of EUR 7.49 million (6.46 million), or 58 per cent of the total.
Overall, one million bottles of wine were produced by Bodega Iniesta in 2015 and it hopes to produce 1.2 million this year.
The wines, which include reds, roses, whites, and sparkling, are available in 33 countries, including East Asia, south, central and north America, and west and east Europe with an average bottle price of 7 Euros.
Bodega Iniesta employs two wine consultants when creating a new product.
“But also the family has an input to make sure they accord with the quality associated with the image of the footballer Andres Iniesta,” says the winery manager, Cuenta Jara.
He added that such is the respect for Iniesta in Spain that he is able to sell his wines in Madrid, the home of arch rivals Real.
“In Catalonia he is respected as the captain of Barcelona, and in the rest of Spain he is respected as the guy who won the World Cup for Spain,” he says. “Also, he is a typical Spanish family guy, which people appreciate. And he does not get involved in political controversy, which some other Barcelona or Real Madrid players sometimes do.”
Spanish company law says that having a net worth of less than 50 per cent of the capital invested is cause for a company to be dissolved.
Between 2010 and 2021, its accumulated losses came to EUR 4.2 million.
And the largest annual loss for the firm – which employs 30 workers – was EUR 760,000 in 2019.
Iniesta left Barcelona in 2018 and played for Vissel Kobe in Japan until the contract expired in June this year.