An era comes to an end. Needless to say, Barcelona have boasted of some of the most phenomenal talents over the last decade or so, and many of them have won hearts and minds with their antics.
After 22 years of dedicated service to the club, Andres Iniesta has now confirmed that he will leave the Catalan giants at the end of this season.
Making the announcement in an emotional press conference, the 33-year-old was often on the verge of tears, as he conveyed the confirmation of news that has been expected for quite a while now.
The Spaniard stated: “This press conference is to communicate that this will be my last season at Barcelona. After 22 years here, I know what it means to be a player for the best team in the world.
“I know the responsibility I have as the captain and the responsibility to be honest with myself and the club by bringing my time at the club to an end this season.”
With eight La Liga titles to his name as well as four Champions League honors, his spell in Spain has been a scintillating one, and he knows it.
“If I’d imagined my how my career would end here, this is it. I leave feeling useful, feeling important, starting games and winning titles. It’s a difficult day for me. I’ve spent my whole life here,” he said.
On the verge of breaking down, it is understandable why the move was a hard choice, as he adds: “It’s a very difficult day for me, to be here saying goodbye when I’ve spent my whole life here at Barcelona. A great deal of who I am, is down to Barça and La Masía – I am very thankful to them.”
But respect deserves to be given to him even there, for when asked by reporters about his future destination, he had this to say: “I have said I will never play against Barca, so I won’t play in Europe. All options outside of Europe could be possible. At the end of the season you will know where.”
Reports of an exit to the MLS or the Chinese Super League have already been making the rounds since his announcement.