Iniesta confirms he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season
Apr 30, 2018, 01:32
He has won four Champions League titles, six Copa del Rey Cups and eight La Liga titles in addition to one World Cup and two European Championships with Spain. With Barcelona, he's become an eight-time (soon to be nine) La Liga champion, six-time Copa del Rey victor and four-time Champions League victor.
He has been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League, with Chongqin Dangdai Lifan with top offficials of the Asian club admitting to negotiations between both parties. If I couldn't contribute everything I was capable, then it was time to say goodbye.
He has been rated by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Paul Scholes as one of the greatest footballers of all time. That responsibility may have played on Iniesta´s mind because he admitted the main motivation behind his decision was to finish at his best, while he was still winning titles and before he started to "deceive" the club.
Iniesta has played 669 times for the Catalan club and his exit will bring a 22-year association with Barca to a close.
The man who is revered all over Spain after scoring the winning goal of the 2010 World Cup final joined Barcelona as a 12-year-old. I wouldn't forgive myself for putting myself and the club in an uncomfortable situation.
Since 2002, Andrés Iniesta would call Barcelona home.
Yet, just as key to Iniesta's status as a national treasure in Spain as his World Cup victor, is a humility often at odds with modern football and the ostentatious lifestyle of its highly paid stars. "A great deal of who I am, is down to Barça and La Masía - I am very thankful to them". "There are things to talk about, things to finalise", he said.
With his unique blend of effortless ability on the ball and an nearly unrivalled eye for a pass, Iniesta has established himself as one of the greatest players in Europe over the last 15 years.
Iniesta was named player of the tournament when they defended the title in 2012. Former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Iniesta.
He is regarded as the best player not to have won the Ballon d'Or, something for which organisers France Football apologised.
"That is the good thing about this national team, that we have given joyful days to those anonymous heroes who don't often get the chance to smile".
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