In a heartfelt press conference, Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta on Friday announced that he will leave Barcelona after 16 seasons with the football club.
“This season is the last,” Iniesta announced in an emotional conference attended by most of his teammates, his family, and club hierarchy.
After managing to stop his tears, he added, “I have spent all my life here at this club and it is not easy to leave.”
“The club has placed its confidence in me and considered me a player who is honest with myself and the club, and I said that if I am not able to give it all to my club that has given everything to me that I wouldn’t be happy.”
The 33-year-old silky feet midfielder and a genius on the pitch, Iniesta said he will play for another club, but did not reveal the name.
“I have always said that I would never compete against my club, so all the options outside Europe are open,” Iniesta said.
“When the season is over we will know my choice.”
Iniesta joined Barcelona’s youth academy La Masia when he was 12. He went on to become not only a Barcelona legend but a global football icon. He has won 31 titles, a club record which he shares with team mate Lionel Messi.
After bagging the Copa del Rey with a goal last weekend, Iniesta is set to lift one more trophy as Barcelona are on the verge of winning the Spanis league title La Liga.