Andres Iniesta signs lifetime contract with Barcelona

An unviable Catalonia

Andres Iniesta signs lifetime contract with Barcelona

This club has grown through this agreement because after 118 years of history it's the first time we have ever offered a footballer a lifelong contract. "Now, this season, I'm older and things are going well, it's like I have been reborn".

In potted terms, the deal means that Iniesta has pledged (presumably on a rolling basis) the rest of his career to Barca, the club he joined as a 12-year-old boy in 1996, some 21 years ago.

Iniesta's Barca and Spain team-mate Gerard Pique has been a controversial figure of late, with the defender attracting jeers from supporters at a recent worldwide training session for his support of the Catalan independence referendum.

Only Xavi Hernández has had more appearances, with 767.

"Barcelona and Andres Iniesta have agreed to a deal that will keep the midfielder (with Barcelona) for the remainder of his career", the club said Friday.

But last week, Iniesta suggested that he had finally made a decision to sign a new deal at Barcelona after revealing that "soon" there was going to be "good news" regarding his future at the Nou Camp. Earlier this summer, Iniesta had sent the Blaugrana's devout fans into a anxious frenzy after publicly admitting that he was having second thoughts about signing a new deal. "And I hope that it will be for a long time".

However, in tying down Iniesta, Bartomeu has at least ensured that one of Barca's all-time greats will see out the rest of his career at the Camp Nou.

"This is the club where I grew up and evolved and I feel privileged to be its captain".

His previous contract was due to expire at the end of the season and doubts over his future were raised when he refuted Bartomeu's claims that a deal "in principle" was in place last month.

He is also the club's most decorated player alongside Lionel Messi, having won 30 trophies.

The duo could add another La Liga title to their collection this season as Barca have started with seven wins from seven games.

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