END OF AN ERA: Iniesta confirms Barca exit

Andres Iniesta has never won the Ballon d'Or but Sergio Ramos believes he deserved

Asked about his future, Iniesta added: "There are still things to be sorted".

"It's a very difficult day for me because I've been here all my life and to say goodbye to my home and my life here is very hard".

Trawling through Andres Iniesta's personal highlights, they seem relatively modest for a man who has spent the last 22 years at Barcelona. "At the end of the season you will know where".

"How he has won and how he has behaved in victory makes him loved in all the stadiums in Spain and overseas, and that is a treasure very few players in history can have".

His short speech was greeted by applause and the congratulations are likely to continue tomorrow, when he can collect his ninth LaLiga title.

He will no doubt receive a special send off after all that he's done for the Catalan club, but newspaper Mundo Deportivo want the World Cup victor to get a special guard of honour whereby both Real and Barca players pay tribute to him on 6 May at the Nou Camp.

"There are things to talk about, things to finalise", Iniesta said.

Local media reported that the Spain midfielder will be signing a lucrative contract with a club in the Chinese league.

"Barcelona thanks you, I thank you and football lovers are grateful for everything you've done!"

"As well as the amount of titles he won, it was the way he played that is an example of how you have to be as a professional on and off the pitch". Barca holds an 11-point advantage over Atletico (as well as a game in hand) with only five matches remaining, including El Clasico on May 6. After the final game against Real Sociedad, Iniesta will deliver a final public farewell at Camp Nou. He went on to form a dominant midfield pairing with Xavi Hernandez under the orders of Pep Guardiola, and has become team captain.

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I thank him so much for what he has done.

"He is another part of the Barcelona history in the past 15 years".

Iniesta has played 125 times for Spain, winning the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.

"From 2004 until now, [Iniesta] has been the most important player we have had because he has been in every coach's project since [Frank] Rijkaard", Bartomeu told El Larguero. "He deserves our respect".

"Andres is a player absolutely in the first class", Lopetegui said.

The loss of Iniesta is a blow to the entire Spanish league.

He has had major success in worldwide football. He is often applauded by opposing fans when substituted on the road.

"There's been so many great moments - trophies and successes, but the most significant for me was making my Barca debut".

"I want to be remembered as a great footballer and a great person", Iniesta continued. He scored the winning goal for Spain in the world cup final in 2010 in South Africa.

"If I'd imagined how my career would end here, this is it".

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