Former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta will go down as one of the finest midfielders to ever play the beautiful game.
The Spaniard was part of the Barcelona team that ruled Europe for years and won everything, including the sextuple in 2009.
The 36-year-old recently opened up on some of the best moments in his glittering, trophy-laden career, and here are 10 of the memorable times.
His official debut in LaLiga: “Without doubt, one of the most important moments of my career. Making my LaLiga debut, after working towards it for so many years, was very, very special.”
His first goal in LaLiga: “It was during a match at the Jose Zorilla against Real Valladolid. I came off the bench and took my chance in front of goal. That first goal for the club is always a special moment.”
His first LaLiga title: “Again, very special. I remember the match in which we clinched the title, it was away at Levante. We had Ronaldinho in the side, Eto’o and Deco too... Frank Rijkaard as coach. That first title has a very special place in my heart.”
First match as FC Barcelona captain: “Above all, you feel a great sense of responsibility. It was a very special moment. It’s the same for everyone, but especially for those of us who came through the ranks at Barcelona, after spending so many years there. Having that opportunity, even if it was because other teammates were out injured, was very special. It was at an iconic LaLiga stadium too, at San Mames. I remember it very fondly.”
Winning 6-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu: “One of those games we all remember. Sometimes memories of such games are wonderful, other times not so much. But this game was incredible, obviously, also because of what the game meant. The LaLiga table was really tight. And also the flow of the game. We went behind early on and came back to win. I think it was one of our best matches as a team, and to do it at the Bernabeu made it even more special. As Barça fans, we’ll never forget that game.”
Barcelona’s sextuple in 2009: “2009 was an incredible year, a historic year for the club and football in general. It showed how well we worked as team throughout the whole season, we won all the titles we could. And being the first to do so in history showed just what an achievement it was. It’s a year that will go down in Barça history.”
On his last match in LaLiga: “Maybe my most special match. For everything it represented, playing one final match in my stadium, with the fans. The emotions were incredible, from the moment I stepped onto the pitch until the very end. The farewell was incredible. And remember, it wasn’t only me saying goodbye that day. A Real Sociedad legend and icon [Xabi Prieto] also played his last match that day.”
On his last trophy while playing in Spain: “I have magical memories, because it was the last title I won with my club. To have the chance to lift it, and to feel all those emotions before, during and after the match, that was incredible. On a personal level, I also look back on it as one of my best performances.”
On his first standing ovation in LaLiga after the 2010 World Cup: “I’ve always said it: I consider the love and respect that people have shown me over the years more important than any trophy. It was a magical thing, in many stadiums. I’m very grateful to the fans.”
On being named a Favourite Son of Fuentealbilla, his hometown: “It’s a small, relatively unknown town, like many across Spain. But it’s wonderful that it’s now known a little more, that people know the name Fuentealbilla despite it being a town of around 2,000 people.”