Iniesta bids farewell to Barcelona- ‘I arrived as a boy, I leave as a man’

Andres Iniesta bid farewell to club Barcelona on Sunday evening after his win over Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp.

The league in Spain ended on Sunday with Iniesta who also played his last match with the club. It was indeed an emotional day as the player who was a key member of the team praised the club and his fans as he bid farewell to the club.

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La Liga champions Barca claimed a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad and it was a fitting finale for the 34-year-old, who lifted the trophy for a ninth time.

Iniesta joined the club as a 12-year old, progressing through the ranks at La Misa before making his debut under Louis Van Gaal in 2002. The 34-year-old player had been in the club for 22 years.

Iniesta announced his decision to leave the club in April and is expected to make a lucrative move to China.

Addressing his fans on the pitch after the match, Iniesta said he “leaves as a man,” having spent so long playing for the Catalan giants.

He added, “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.I will keep you in my heart forever.”

An emotional Iniesta broke down into tears as he delivered his farewell message at Camp Nou.

Iniesta received a standing ovation from the Camp Nou crowd after being substituted in the 82nd minute during the match in a career that saw him win 32 titles.

Iniesta embraced Lionel Messi and other teammates before saluting the fans and leaving the pitch one last time. He left the field to an overwhelming reception upon handing the captain’s armband to Lionel Messi.

The player is loved across the world and to watch him play was spectacular.

Andres Iniesta tribute

FC Barcelona's supporters pay tribute to Barcelona's Andres Iniesta prior of the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Iniesta announced last month he would leave Barcelona after 16 seasons. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

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