That’s it. It’s over. Andres Iniesta has played his final game for FC Barcelona.
The 34-year-old, considered by some as the best player in the history of Spanish football, said goodbye to the Barça fans at the Camp Nou after playing for 81 minutes against Real Sociedad on Sunday night.
Iniesta fought back the tears as he handed the captain’s armband to Lionel Messi and then made his way to the dugout, with his teammates all embracing him and the Camp Nou crowd all chanting his name in unison.
The midfield legend, scorer of the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final, leaves the Catalan giants having made 674 appearances during a 16-year professional career.
In total, Iniesta has spent 22 years with Barça, who now need to adjust to life without the technically-gifted superstar.
It’s still unclear where Iniesta will go next, although China and Japan appear the most likely potential destinations for the veteran midfielder.
One thing’s for sure, though: Barcelona have given him the send-off that he so richly deserved.
'I leave as a man'
"I will move on and carry you all in my heart forever," he explained in his post-match address, per Marca, after the 1-0 win over La Real.
”It's been a wonderful 22 years, full of pride, and it's been a pleasure to represent this club
"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."
What Iniesta did at 1am after his final game
If that wasn’t emotional enough, Barcelona fans will really get a lump in their throats after finding out what Iniesta did, by himself, a couple of hours after the final whistle.
Video and photos have emerged which show Iniesta sitting down, barefooted, inside the centre circle of the Camp Nou pitch.
The sight of the Spaniard sat down, all on his own, while looking pensive is almost too much.
Iniesta clearly wanted one final moment to reflect at the place he’s called home since 1996 while everybody else had gone home.
All we can say is this: thank you, Don Andres.
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