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Iniesta leaving Barcelona after 16 seasons

30 April, 2018, 01:34 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Instead the title went to his Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi for his second of five titles

After 22 years of dedicated service to the club, Andres Iniesta has confirmed that he will leave the Catalan giants at the end of this season.

This was after the Spain global announced at a press conference on Friday he was leaving the La Liga club after 16 years at the heart of the team's midfield.

Speculation Iniesta would move to China had grown in recent weeks with the 33-year-old linked to a number of Chinese Super League clubs including Tianjin Quanjian for a reported US$43.1 million a year.

'I wish you the best of the world, magician Andres Iniesta'.

"I want to say thank you to the club and La Masia, which made me who I am".

A World Cup victor with Spain in 2010, the midfielder also has eight La Liga title and four Champions League successes to his name.

"It's been a dream come true, lots of titles, important moments throughout my career".

Iniesta was also in the right place at the right time to score in extra time to give Spain the World Cup title in 2010 with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands.

Barcelona victories in the 669 games he has featured in.

"I am here with the most wonderful person I have ever met in my life and who makes me happy every day, my wife".

His short speech was greeted by applause and the congratulations are likely to continue tomorrow, when he can collect his ninth LaLiga title.

That is the 33rd piece of silverware he has won for Barcelona and Spain, and he will soon lift a 34th when the club are crowned La Liga champions. It was the Barcelona midfielder scored the winning goal in the final of the 2010 world Cup in South Africa.

But the Midfielder said he will not play in Europe after Barca because he can not play against them.

"I said I would never play against Barca so it is not going to be in Europe", he said.

Iniesta pulled the strings in the middle of the pitch alongside Xavi Hernandez when Guardiola was in charge of Barcelona for four years.

"On the pitch I like him to be near me, particularly when a game takes a turn for the worse, when things get hard".

Iniesta is still playing regularly for the La Liga outfit.

But he will also be remembered as the humble Galactico, nearly the anti-star, who spurned the bling and trappings of the modern football hero for the life of a quiet family man away from the media glare.



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