As time goes on football fans are coming to appreciate how special the Pep Guardiola team at Barcelona was.
The Catalan manager delivered two European Cups and several other titles in a trophy glut. Yet as time has gone on and Guardiola moved on to pastures new, the team has changed significantly.
The end of the season will see one of the team’s stars bow out - it is now the turn of Andres Iniesta to leave the club.
Supposedly so shy when he arrived the club’s La Masia academy that he hardly spoke, the mesmeric Iniesta grew to be a giant at the club.
He has been a key figure throughout the entirety of the Catalan club’s most successful period, all the way through to captaining the side this season, as they added to the cabinet again with a La Liga and Copa Del Rey double.
None other than Lionel Messi will lead the side from next year onward, after tonight’s curtain closer against Real Sociedad.
Messi had been expected to be granted another chance to rest before the World Cup.
However according to AS, he may be involved as a substitute replace Iniesta, to allow him to give the Argentinian the armband and “hand over the torch”.
It will surely be an emotional moment for both, particularly for Iniesta who has been synonymous with Barcelona for over a decade.
That said, there could hardly be a safer pair of hands than Messi – we’re sure he’ll be able to handle the pressure.
Iniesta may well quit international football after this summer’s tournament in Russia, having previously scored the winner in the final of Spain’s only ever World Cup win.
The game is saying a drawn-out farewell to a legend, and its great to see him get a proper send off.
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