Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta confirms he will leave this summer as Chinese Super League move nears

The Spanish star, 33, is set to complete a move to China in the summer, with two million bottles of wine a key part of the deal, according to reports in Spain.

But today, a tearful Iniesta officially revealed this is indeed his final season at his boyhood club.

Iniesta claimed: "This is my last season here. I have thought my decision through for a long time.

"For me, Barca is the best club in the world – this club has given me everything.

"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 Barca and La Masia – I am very thankful to them.

"To all Cules, who have seen me grown as a player, and accompanied me in the good and bad times, thank you."


IT'S ALL ACADEMIC Andres Iniesta joined famous La Masia nearly 22 years ago… the story behind the Spanish maestro


Of all the 669 games Iniesta played for Barcelona – spanning 16 seasons – Iniesta added his favourite to this day, is still his debut.

Iniesta added: "If I had to choose just one [favourite] moment? There's been so many great ones – trophies and successes…


"But the most significant moment for me was making my Barca debut."

During his two decades at the club – including years in the youth team – Iniesta won an incredible eight La Liga titles, as well as four Champions League crowns.

124-cap international Iniesta is expected to play for Spain at this summer's World Cup ahead of his proposed move to the unnamed CSL team.

While Iniesta failed to state his next move, he did reveal he would leave Europe.

The Spanish star said: "There are still things to be sorted. I have said I will never play against Barca, so I won't play in Europe."

Meanwhile, Iniesta's former boss Pep Guardiola had his say on the star, claiming: "It could take 30 minutes to talk about Iniesta.

"He is another part of the Barcelona history in the past 15 years. It would not be possible without him. I just say thank you because he helped me.

"The people believes the manager had the players but he helped me to understand the game better. Just watching him, what he does on the football pitch.

"In spite of how many tackles he won it is the way he played and was an example of how to be a professional on and off the pitch.

"Thank you so much for all he has done. All the best in the future.

"I think when he decides to retire, hopefully one he can come back to football in Barcelona and teach the young players or even the professional players what he showed on the pitch.

"It was a really a pleasure and amazing for a short period as his team-mate and his manager. I learned a lot just being with him."

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