Iniesta gives hint on future after announcing Barcelona exit

Date published: Friday 27th April 2018 2:50 - Rob McCarthy

Veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta has announced that he will be leaving Barcelona at the end of the season.

The Spain international, 33, came through the youth system with the club and turned professional in 2001.

He has enjoyed a glittering career for club and country, and said today: “This is my last season here.”

Iniesta’s emotional press conference was witnessed by a number of members of the Barca first team.

He has won eight LaLiga titles with the club and four Champions Leagues, and scored the only goal as Spain beat Holland to win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

“I want to thank my team-mates,” he said.

Iniesta has been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League when his time at Barcelona ends.

Asked about his future, Iniesta added: “There are still things to be sorted. I have said I will never play against Barca, so I won’t play in Europe.

“Barca has given me everything.”

Iniesta continued: “My only aim was to be a success at this club and I have done that.”

He said never winning the Ballon d’Or was not something he regretted and added: “The magic I’ve been through as a player is enough for me, that’s what I have gained happiness from.”

Former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Iniesta.

Now in charge at Manchester City, Guardiola said: “I want to say thank you. He helped me understand the game better, just watching him and what he does on the football pitch.”

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said of Iniesta: “You have the eternal gratitude of Barca fans and the whole football world. Today is not a farewell, it’s a see you soon.”


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