Twitter explodes as Andres Iniesta confirms Barcelona exit

Along with fellow Spaniard Xavi Hernandez, Iniesta formed what many regard as the best-ever central midfield partnership as the La Liga outfit dominated European football in an unforeseen manner.

In 17 years at the club Iniesta won the trophy 31, including four wins in the Champions League and eight titles of champion of Spain.

A World Cup victor with Spain in 2010, the midfielder also has eight La Liga title and four Champions League successes to his name.

Barcelona stalwart Andres Iniesta is to leave the club at the end of the season the midfielder confirmed this afternoon.

He is expected to continue his career at Chongqing Dangdai Lifan in the Chinese Super League but remained tight-lipped on his plans. "I learned a lot just being with him".

But he will also be remembered as the humble Galactico, nearly the anti-star, who spurned the bling and trappings of the modern football hero for the life of a quiet family man away from the media glare.

"It's a decision that I've pondered myself, and discussed with the family", said the player with tears in his eyes.

And former team-mate Neymar, who swapped Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a world record deal during the summer, has joined his fellow professionals; posting a heartfelt message on Instagram claiming his story will be passed through generations. "I've wanted to represent this club in the best possible way and I hope I have achieved it".

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Since 2002, Andrés Iniesta would call Barcelona home.

Iniesta was named player of the tournament when they defended the title in 2012.

He has also collected two European Championships and, perhaps most pivotally, fired the winning goal as Spain clinched the 2010 World Cup.

But, regardless of what he achieves in China, Iniesta will be remembered for his remarkable career at Barcelona and, with the help of Opta data, we look back on some of the most impressive stats of his time with the Blaugrana.

Iniesta is still playing regularly for the La Liga outfit.

'Andrés, you knew it in Barcelona and you will always know it wherever you go, here you always have your card, ' the message in the tweet reads.

"That is the good thing about this national team, that we have given joyful days to those anonymous heroes who don't often get the chance to smile".

  • Regina Holmes