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Andrés Iniesta is a true Barça legend. He’s leaving the club after 16 seasons in the first team (and 22 years in total). A few months ago he gave an interview to the club media, which following the announcement of his departure makes for especially poignant listening.

FAMILY

“These have been the best times of my life. I grew up here and made a family. I’m enjoying an idyllic life and that’s important. I have the fortune to be in an unbeatable family environment”

ADMIRATION

“Everyone makes their own way in life. The greatest thing anyone can have is recognition from the people, colleagues and staff. And I have that right now. It’s nice that children look up to me”

EARLY YEARS

“One tries to make the best possible decisions and I managed to get somewhere very special. I have been here since I was 12, growing up through the youth ranks. You need people around you to give you advice. I have the same respect for the first coach ever had in Albacete through to the last one I’ll have here”

“My early days in the first team weren’t easy but I was desperate to make it at Barça. Conviction and confidence eventually brought rewards”

CAPTAINCY

“When my team-mates picked me as their captain, I felt proud, satisfied, happy … You represent your colleagues, your club, the fans – it’s huge. It’s really special to wear the captain’s armband”

HIGHLIGHTS

“I’d saying winning the Champions League, the first Liga, my debut day, the goal at Stamford Bridge, among many others”

IDOLS

Guardiola and Laudrup were my heroes and the players that I wanted to emulate. Because of how they play, how they understand football, their charisma … I tried to learn from them”

ESSENCE

“I’m 21 years old but I haven’t changed. I remember things I did in the school playground and I still do them now. A lot of time has gone by, and I have grown, improved and progressed, but the essence of who I am is just the same”

Everything about Andrés Iniesta in our special tribute section
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