He (Iniesta) won’t be forgotten
Iniesta stayed behind at the Nou Camp following his Barcelona farewell. He remained on the pitch until the early hours reflecting on his career. Iniesta was seen barefooted with his phone in hand after playing his last game, which resulted in a 1-0 win against Real Sociedad.
Iniesta was given a guard of honour that night and an amazing fan tribute. Speaking to the crowd after the game, Iniesta said: “It’s been a wonderful 22 years, full of pride, and it’s been a pleasure to represent this club.”
“ I will move on and carry you all in my heart forever. I thank you for all the love and respect that you’ve given me since I arrived as a child, I now leave as a man.”
When it was all over, Iniesta took some time to absorb everything and to reflect on the pitch he graced for so many years.
Prior to the match, just a couple of days before, the team also came together to praise Iniesta and watch a tribute video. The video showed Iniesta’s growth as a player and the genius he became.
“He’s the complete player,” Messi said, “He does everything so easily, something that’s difficult to do but he brings it down to a simplicity which isn’t normal.”
‘Don Andres,’ ‘El Ilusionista’ (The Illusionist), ‘El Cerebro’ (The Brain), They are all one man, and he is all of them.
“I feel privileged,” coach Ernesto Valverde said. “Just as they all do to have been a part of it. He is a unique, unrepeatable player. There is none like him.”
After 22 years at the club and 16 in the first team, Iniesta’s 674 appearances for Barcelona is bettered only by Xavi Hernandez, who was also on the pitch before kick-off to join in the tributes.
Iniesta is now set to make his move to China to see his final days of his career in the Chinese Super League.
Iniesta has left Barcelona, but he definitely won’t be forgotten.