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Iniesta 'renews for life' at Barcelona

Iniesta 'renews for life' at Barcelona

Andres Iniesta has agreed to stay at Barcelona for the rest of his career and will sign a "contract for life" at the club's Camp Nou stadium on Friday.

Iniesta has been widely reported to be considering a move out of Barcelona when the January 2018 transfer window opens.

"This is an indescribable sensation, to come here as a 12-year-old and still be here at 33 and to think back on everything that has happened gives me goosebumps all over my body", he added.

Iniesta signed in Barcelona at the age of 12 in 1996, and six years later made his debut in the first team.

Andres Iniesta is an iconic figure in the history of Spanish football.

Barcelona are keen to manage their captain's minutes to prolong his impact on the first team, although the evergreen Iniesta has still started six of their seven LaLiga games this season.

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Only Xavi Hernandez has had more appearances, with 767. Basically, it seems that Iniesta will simply remain at the club until he chooses to retire, but what control the head coach or club chiefs will have over that decision is very uncertain. "I want to be here because I'm important; because I am relevant to the club, the team and my teammates". Iniesta is a Barcelona player and will be until he decides he can thread not one more flawless pass.

However, in tying down Iniesta, Bartomeu has at least ensured that one of Barca's all-time greats will see out the rest of his career at the Camp Nou.

Iniesta denied he was on the brink of signing a new contract last month. "There was never really a problem between the club and me".

Barcelona will now be hoping for Lionel Messi follow in Iniesta's footsteps in the near future with the Argentine's contract set to expire at the end of the season.

"An exceptional contract for an exceptional player" was how Bartomeu described the club's first-ever contract for life.

The Barcelona captain is now second on the all-time appearance list for the club, trailing only former midfield partner Xavi. "I know that I'm running against time".

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