Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has finally put an end to his exit rumours by signing a lifetime contract with the Catalonians, which will keep him at the club for the rest of his playing career.
Iniesta joined Barcelona way back in 1996, at the age of 12, and went on to progress through their ranks before finally making his senior appearance during a Champions League match against Bruges on 29 October 2002. By the 2004-05 season, the midfielder established himself as a first-team regular and the rest, as they say, is history.
An official statement from the club read, “Andrés Iniesta signed a lifetime contract with FC Barcelona on Friday, in a deal that will keep him at the Club for the rest of his career.” Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said, “This is the first time that FC Barcelona has signed a lifelong contract with a footballer.”
Iniesta, on his part, expressed his delight and said, “This is a very special day for me because I’m staying at home. I want to continue doing important things here. I’ll be here until my body, my mind and all I must give says that’s enough. I hope that won’t be for a very long time. I can only thank the club and the fans for everything they do for me every day.”
“This agreement is a renewal but also a show of trust. It makes me very happy that my club has given me this chance,” he concluded.
Iniesta’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season, there were some rumours that he might leave the club by the end of it; just his former teammate Xavi – who left Barcelona in 2015 and joined Qatari club Al-Sadd SC. What added more fuel to the rumours was that Iniesta himself confessed a few weeks back that he is yet to make a decision on his future.