Barcelona captain, Andrés Iniesta, has announced his intention to quit the Catalan club at the end of the season.
Speaking at his press conference this afternoon, the 33-year old FIFA World Cup winner with Spain announced his intention to quit the five-time champions league winners at the end of the season.
“This press conference is to announce publicly my decision that this season will be my last here,” the Albacete-born midfield maestro began his speech.Accompanied by his family and seemingly holding back tears, the Barca youth product who scored the extra-time winning goal at the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands was at pains to explain the difficulty in taking the decision .
“It’s a decision I have given a lot of time and thought to on a personal level and with the family,” he continued.
The Barca squad and backroom staff watched as Iniesta made it clear he didn’t need convincing to extend his stay at the Camp Nou stadium.
“There’s no need for people to say they want me to stay. I have always made it clear to the club I wanted to control my ‘stages’ in life and to be as honest as possible with myself and the Club. It’s the main reason towards understanding that my time here is at an end.”
True to media speculations, he did promise not to face Barcelona as an opponent, therefore, would not be winding down his career in Europe. He, however, did not state his next destination.
“I said I would never play against Barca so it is not going to be in Europe. We will know at the end of the season – there are still things to talk about,” the Barcelona legend stated.
Together with club legends Xavi and Messi, Iniesta formed the fulcrum of the all-conquering Barcelona team under Pep Guardiola which mesmerized world football with their famous tiki-taka brand of football.
The Barcelona legend was instrumental in the 5-0 drubbing of Sevilla to win the Copa Del Rey on Saturday, the last of 31 trophies he has won since his debut for the club in the 2004/05 season. He would also add the 32nd trophy with the La Liga all but won to call time on his Barcelona career.