Andres Iniesta says he won't overstay his "lifetime" welcome with Barcelona

Andres Iniesta says he won't overstay his

Andres Iniesta says he won't overstay his "lifetime" welcome with Barcelona

The midfielder, 33, has made 639 appearances for Barcelona, a number only surpassed by Xavi's club record of 767. "No other player in the history of Barcelona has come up through the club like he has". Saying: 'I don't usually publicly evaluate situations as complex but these are exceptional circumstances and I am sure of one thing: we should talk before we do ourselves harm.

Spanish newspaper Marca say Iniesta wanted to feel important on the pitch - and he duly has featuring in all but one of Barca's games this season.

But his footballing progress was undeniable and Pep Guardiola, who would eventually become the manager to lead Iniesta to most success, would later tell Xavi: "you're going to retire me. It is a very special day for me as it allows me to continue dreaming".

On the club website, Barca announced: "Andres Iniesta signed a lifetime contract with FC Barcelona on Friday, in a deal that will keep him at the Club for the rest of his career". But the positions between the two parties eventually reconciled and Iniesta had anticipated, promising the end of September of the "good news" about this. "I will follow my body and my head because they will know better than anyone else when it's time [to retire] but it's not something I'm thinking about".

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Iniesta signed the new contract at the team's Camp Nou Stadium and was given a team shirt with the words "Iniesta forever". "And I hope that it will be for a long time".

His previous contract was due to expire at the end of the season and doubts over his future were raised when he refuted Bartomeu's claims that a deal "in principle" was in place last month.

Iniesta has played for Barcelona in more than 600 matches, having won four Champions League titles and eight La Liga titles. A lifetime contract for a club legend, someone who has won 30 trophies since making his first-team debut in 2002, certainly papers over some cracks.

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