Andres Iniesta, FC Barcelona’s star player, played his last match for the club against Real Sociedad on May 20. Known to be one of the greatest midfielders of all time, Andres-INFINITE-Iniesta was handed an extravagant farewell at club’s home ground – Camp Nou, on Sunday eve. It was a night to remember for both Iniesta and the fans in the stadium. The jubilant farewell ceremony saw a lot of emotional scenes as the night went by.
Andres Iniesta had played all his club matches for a single club only – FC Barcelona. Iniesta, during his childhood, had struggled to get separated with his parents to be a part of the youth academy. Scouted at La Masia (Barcelona’s Youth Academy) at an early age, Iniesta rose up in the ranks in no time.
Watch Andres Iniesta’s Youth Career at Barcelona:
An anecdote says; after captaining Barcelona’s youth team to victory in the Nike Premier Cup in 1999, the then-captain of FC Barcelona and now a club manager of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, had to say this to his former team-mate Xavi Hernandez, “You are going to retire me. This guy (Andres Iniesta) is going to retire us all.” Iniesta made his Barcelona debut in the year 2002; however, his sporadic appearances in the team increased after Xavi’s injury in the year 2004. Since then, there's the rest they say is history. See Pictures of Andres Iniesta Farewell: The Midfielder Left Everyone Teary-Eyed at Camp Nou.
Watch Andres Iniesta's Meteoric Rise to Senior Team - FC Barcelona:
Not many players have received respect from all the quarters – be it their teammates, opponents, managers, fans, and even the press – as much as Iniesta has received, during their playing careers. Andres Iniesta was one of those rare players who was adored and looked up to by players, even in the rival camps. Iniesta shared a more-than-a-cordial relationship with teammates Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Xavi Hernandez, Carlos Puyol amongst others. His glittery FC Barcelona career ended with a victory over Real Sociedad, as he the scoreline read 1-0 in Barcelona’s favour.
Watch Andres Iniesta’s Full Farewell Speech and Ceremonies at Camp Nou:
With his departure from FC Barcelona, which has been his home club since his childhood, it will be interesting to see Iniesta play in national colours (Spain) in the forthcoming FIFA World Cup, which will be played in Russia, starting next month. Iniesta was a member of the team that won 32 major trophies during his illustrious career at the club. Andres Iniesta played a total of 674 matches, and not once was the attacking midfielder was sent off the field while his stay at FC Barcelona!