Monday, 21 May 2018

Iniesta Tears During Barca Farewell As Legendary Midfielder Leaves Club After 22-Years

The stadium DJ who had spent the last ten minutes drowning out the Barcelona supporters finally fell silent and the microphone was at last passed to the man of a million passes – Andres Iniesta.
He was in tears as a video of his greatest moments played on various screens around the Camp Nou stadium he has graced for 15 seasons.
The legendary midfielder was given a guard of honour after the win while his greatest moments played on stadium screens 

"These have been 22 unbelievable years and it has been an honour to defend this club – for me the best club in the world," he said.

‘I want to thank every one of my team-mates and all of you in the stadium. I’m leaving aged 34 years and I just want to say that my heart will be here for ever."

His team-mates promptly gave him the bumps out on the edge of the centre circle as around 90,000 inside the Nou Camp belted his name out one more time.
Iniesta paraded the club's latest La Liga title trophy around the stadium as the Catalan players celebrated with close family
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde accepted that it was an emotional evening for everyone inside of the Nou Camp
Iniesta’s last coach Ernesto Valverde said: "I will be able to say in the future that I was the Barcelona manager for the game that he left the club. He is someone who will never be repeated.

"I think it was an emotional night for everyone. He is a legend here. He is the standard bearer."
He had been joined by members of his family who had watched his final game alongside former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez.

Xavi had published an open letter in the build up to the game in which he said:
With Barcelona colour lights illuminating a stadium plunged into darkness, Iniesta enjoyed a lap of honour with his family
Given the responsibility of holding the La Liga trophy, Iniesta's career ended with a defeat and a night of huge celebrations
"I still remember the first time I saw Andres play. 

"I was in the youth team and he was in the underage group and somebody in the club told me: “Xavi, there's a boy down there who's going to be the best”. 

"When I saw him play, I said to myself, “This guy doesn't look like me as much as they say, he's different”. 

"This player had more creativity, he was a better dribbler and could go to the wide areas and cross the ball. You watched him play and it was a show."
Barcelona put on some light show to see him off. Once the glitter ticker-tape has been cleared off the Camp Nou pitch it will start to sink in that one of the greatest players to ever grace the surface has played his last game here in the famous red and blue shirt.
Xavi, who penned an open letter to Iniesta, won seven La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with the midfielder

It’s believed the 34-year-old, who is leaving Barcelona after 22 years of service - and 22 major trophies, will end up moving to the Chinese Super League this summer.

But nobody will forget Iniesta’s contribution to Barca’s dominance in the past decade.

Following the tears he was all smiles as his team-mates threw him aloft in typical fashion for a departing footballing legend
Iniesta paraded the club's latest La Liga title trophy around the stadium as the Catalan players celebrated with close family
He won nine La Liga titles, six Copa del Reys, the Club World Cup three times and the Champions League FOUR times.

Iniesta also played a key role in Spain’s 2010 World Cup triumph - scoring the winner in the final - as well as the two Euro victories in 2008 and 2012.

From Sportsmail and The Sun

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