Barcelona captain Don Andres Iniesta Lujan who signed a life time contract with the Catalan club on Friday has revealed his desire of spending his entire football life with the former World Club Champions.
Speaking to the Catalan media on Friday after his official presentation, the 2010 World Cup winner said, “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 legendary midfielder has won a grand total of 30 titles at Barça, more than any other player in the history of the club (alongside Leo Messi). His impressive list includes 8 league titles, 7 Spanish Super Cups, 4 Champions Leagues, 5 Copa Del Reys, 3 European Super Cups and 3 Club World Cups.
Andrés Iniesta has accumulated a total of 639 appreances for the FC Barcelona first team, second only to ex-team mate Xavi Hernández (who has a total of 767). Andrés sits just above Leo Messi who has played 594 first team games, in the ranking.
Andrés Iniesta has spent half a lifetime in the blaugrana colours. Since arriving in September 1996 at the young age of 12 years old, the captain has risen through every rank at the club, becoming a club legend in the process.
Iniesta scored one of the most memorable goals in Barça history at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC in a dramatic European semi-final. The midfielder´s last-gasp strike took FC Barcelona to the final of the 08/09 Champions League during Pep Guardiola´s first season, a moment only bettered by the result in the subsequent European game that secured the Camp Nou side a history treble!
Since his debut on 29th October 2002, during his 15 year stint in the first-team, Andrés has scored 55 memorable goals including three against rivals Real Madrid.
Barça´s number 8 is one of the few players in the game´s history to have won two trebles, and four Champions League titles! He is currently forth in the table of players to have won the most honours. Surpassed only by Ryan Giggs (36), Maxwell (37) and Dani Alves (38).
In additional to the haul of club titles, Andrés Iniesta has collected many individual honours, including the Balón de Plata (2010), Onze de Bronze (2012), the UEFA Best Player in Europe (2012) and Best Player in the European Cup (2012).