Andrés 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. The signing ceremony took place at Camp Nou at around 1.00pm local time, where the player was joined by FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The signing was followed by a press conference, where a beaming Bartomeu told listeners that “the club has grown through this agreement because after 118 years of history it’s the first time we have ever offered a footballer a lifelong contract. This is a reward for Andrés’ exceptional career.”
“The younger players in the squad always say that they see him as their role model – and that’s not just because of the way he plays but also because of the behaviour that has put him where he is today."
Iniesta himself commented that “this is a very special day for me, simply because it means I’m staying at my home, where I can continue to dream of achieving great things for this club. It’s where I have grown and developed.”
“It makes me very happy to know that the club has given me this opportunity. I have always been convinced of my love for Barça and I know that I could never be anywhere better then here.”
“I thank the club for its faith in allowing me this contract. I look forward to staying here and helping the team to achieve our targets and then at the end of the season I’ll think about what would be best for everyone.”
“You can’t put a price on this. Not just being here but also to feel that I will always be able to continue doing important things for this team, I am so pleased with the way things have worked out, and right now I can see myself continuing to play football.”
The Spanish midfielder, who has made 639 appearances for Barça, ranks second on the all-time games played list at the Club. He has scored 55 goals for the first team, for which he debuted on October 29th, 2002.
Since 2015 Iniesta has been the team's first captain, and is one of the Club's most distinguished symbols.
The 33-year-old midfielder joined the Club in September 1996, at the age of 12. Iniesta and Leo Messi share the record for the most titles in Barça history, with 30.