It was an emotional night at the Camp Nou after Andres Iniesta played his final match for Barcelona.
The midfielder captained La Liga champions Barca to a 1-0 victory against Real Sociedad as the Catalans finished their league season with 93 points from 38 games. They were only defeated once to finish 14 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid.
The legendary midfielder was a picture of solitude as he sat barefoot in the area of the pitch he cast his spell, reflecting on his long and storied career one final time. In the 22 years since, he has won 32 trophies and the respect of even Barcelona’s greatest rivals.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde called Iniesta an “unrepeatable, historical player,” insisting his legacy would live on “long into the future.”
Speaking after the match, a tearful Iniesta said: “These have been 22 unbelievable years and it has been an honour to defend this club — for me the best club in the world.
“I want to thank every one of my teammates and all of you in the stadium. I’m leaving aged 34 years and I just want to say that my heart will be here for ever.”
Iniesta’s old boss Pep Guardiola is thought to be ready to offer him a player-coach role at Manchester City.
The champion midfield maestro will now prepare to take part in Spain’s push at the Russian 2018 FIFA World Cup.