When 33-year-old Andrés Iniesta announced his departure from the Catalan side at the end of the 2017-2018 season which he spent 22 years with the club, he couldn't help but give emotional remarks.
Iniesta wishes the Barcelona dream was eternal but he says he made an honest decision for the club when he decided to leave after celebrating his ninth La Liga title and with a sum total of 35 honors for both the Catalans and Spain together.
His teammate Lionel Messi gave him a social media send-off by describing him as a phenomenal player. Messi acknowledges that it was a privilege for him to have played alongside Andres Iniesta and thanked Iniesta for all what they achieved together.
Lionel Messi wrote on Instagram:
“it was a privilege to enjoy this sport by your side and have so many unforgettable moments together”.
Apart from Lionel Messi, tributes have been given to Iniesta from great football players across the globe to pay respect to the great Iniesta and what he has been able to achieve.
Players like Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane head coach of Real Madrid and Cesc Fabregas have all acknowledge Iniesta’s potential and mentioned that he could have won the ballon d’or at least once.
Furthermore, Barcelona’s president had his own view to give about Iniesta’s departure and he described him as an iconic player who is a very important player as he has been in every coach’s project since 2004.
However, Iniesta said he will never play against Barcelona and it was difficult for him to move away as Barcelona has been his home for long. After joining the Barcelona football academy at the age of 12, Iniesta grew to become the Catalans' greatest player with four Champion League titles and nine La Liga titles while also lifting the world cup with Spain in 2010.
Iniesta is yet to reveal where he will be next season but he has been linked with a move to the Chinese.
Barcelona won the Copa Del Rey by triumphing over Seville by 5-0 in the finals thus have been successfully crowned as La Liga champions. Iniesta and teammates have Real Madrid, Villarreal and Real Sociedad to host before the end of the season where Barcelona is expected to bid the legend goodbye from Campnou.