The Spain midfielder and Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta announcement came during a press conference at Barcelona’s training ground on Friday, bringing an end to a glittering career at the Nou Camp.
Iniesta joined Barcelona’s youth academy when he was 12. He went on to become one of the best players in its history, helping the team win 31 titles, a club record he shares with Lionel Messi.
Iniesta move is link to the Chinese Super League, has not said where he will play next season.
“I said I would never play against Barca so it is not going to be in Europe,” he said.
“We will know at the end of the season – there are still things to talk about.”
“It is a difficult day for me to be here saying goodbye when I’ve spent my whole life here.
“A great deal of who I am, is down to Barca and La Masia – I am very thankful to them.
“I spoke to a lot of people – players, coaches – and I know what they want, but I tried to be honest with myself and the club.
“I want to be remembered as a great footballer and a great player.
“Because when our football days are over, that’s all we are – people.”
He said, I would like to thank my team-mates and everyone who accompanied me every day, they made me be better. It’s been a dream come true, lots of titles, important moments throughout my
career. I am very happy to have played for this club. I am proud.”
Iniesta is expected to move to Chinese Super League club Chongqing Dangdai Lifan, with their president Gong Daxing recently admitting they are in negotiations with the Barcelona midfielder.
Chelsea and Spain forward Pedro, who played alongside Iniesta at Barcelona, tweeted: “Thanks a lot, it has been a great honour to play alongside you. Good luck in your next stage.”