The 33-year-old confirmed he will leave the Catalan side at the end of the season and his Camp Nou attacking colleague gave him a social send-off
Lionel Messi says it has been a “privilege” to play alongside Andres Iniesta as he thanked the midfielder in the wake of his announcement that he will leave Barcelona.
He said, “Andrés, thank you for all these years of football. It was a privilege to enjoy this sport by your side and spend so many unforgettable moments together. I wish you all the best in this new stage in sports and in your life. You are a phenomenon, inside and outside the court. We will miss you!!!”
The Barca captain has spent his entire club career playing alongside Iniesta, winning four Champions League titles while they are just a point away from a ninth La Liga crown, a period the Argentine says he will never forget.
After winning the Copa del Rey with a 5-0 win over Sevilla in the final, Iniesta and Co. only need a draw from Sunday’s game against Deportivo La Coruna to be confirmed league champions.
The Camp Nou outfit will then host Real Madrid and Villarreal before the last game of the season against Real Sociedad, where Barca will hold a special farewell for the World Cup winner.
Tributes have flown in for the Spain international since his tearful press conference, with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, defender Sergio Ramos, former team-mate Cesc Fabregas have all said he should have won the Ballon d’Or during his career, while Neymar recalled how he “fell in love” with him.
“From 2004 until now, [Iniesta] has been the most important player we have had because he has been in every coach’s project since [Frank] Rijkaard,” Barca president Jose Maria Bartomeu said of the iconic player.