Iniesta Announces Barcelona Departure, Won't Stay In Europe

Hope Soto
April 30, 2018

Andres Iniesta has announced that he is leaving FC Barcelona this summer after 22 years at the club during a press conference at the Nou Camp.

A tearful Iniesta said: "I understand that in the near future I will not be able to give the best of myself in all senses, both physically and mentally". "Because when our football days are over, that's all we are - people". The amount of tackles he won, the way he played, the example for the way to be a professional on and off the pitch. If I couldn't contribute everything I was capable, then it was time to say goodbye.

Iniesta's departure after 16 trophy-rich seasons will leave Messi as the last link to the group of players that started Barcelona's incredible winning era with a Liga crown in 2005.

Without him, Spain doesn't win the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, and of course the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where Iniesta's goal was the difference in a 1-0 win over the Netherlands. His was also the goal that made Spain the champion of the planet for the first and only time.

Iniesta won his 125th cap for Spain in last month's 6-1 friendly victory against Argentina.

Iniesta said that soon he will be 34 years old, and he wants to be honest with himself and the club that his time with the team ended. I leave feeling useful, feeling important, starting games and winning titles.

Iniesta is still playing regularly for the La Liga outfit.

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Barca, who have five games left before Iniesta leaves, will wrap up the Spanish title if they win Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, April, 29.

"For me it has been and always will be an honour and a privilege to have shared a team with him", Iniesta said. Without him, Messi would have gotten exhausted much faster at Barca.

"It's been magic, a one-off - that's the only way I can describe it".

"I could spend so many minutes talking about what Andres Iniesta means to Barcelona and football", he told reporters.

Although the 33-year-old has not confirmed his next destination, he is being strongly linked with a move to Chinese Super League side Chongqing Lifan.

France Football apologised earlier this week for never awarding Iniesta the Ballon d'Or, but he says individual glory was never what he aspired to.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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