Iniesta for life: “I’ll be here as long as my body and mind let me”


FC Barcelona have announced this Friday that Andrés Iniesta has signed the contract extension deal that has been long in coming but is to everyone’s satisfaction. According to the club, it is a “lifelong contract” they have worked out with the 33-year-old captain. “I’ll be here as long as my body and mind let me”, said the Azulgrana player, who did not want to specify how much longer he would continue playing. “For the time being, I still see myself putting on my boots”, said Iniesta, who admits that he has not really thought about when the time will be to hang them up, although he does know that he will continue in the world of football after he retires: “It’s my life.”

“This is a very special day for me, simply because it means I’m staying at my home, where I can continue to dream of achieving great things for this club. It’s where I have grown and developed”, said the player. “I thank the club for its faith in allowing me this contract. I look forward to staying here and helping the team to achieve our targets and then at the end of the season I’ll think about what would be best for everyone. You can’t put a price on this… It was always my intention to be here for as long as possible, but knowing that I’m not just staying here for the sake of it, but to contribute as well.”

“With this contract, we have gained confidence, hope, ambition, affection and mutual respect. That is the important thing”, he added. “The ‘lifelong’ title does not mean I’ll stay on, just playing a couple of games a year. That is not what I am thinking.”

An exceptional agreement

In the unveiling of the agreement, Josep Maria Bartomeu pointed out that this is the first time a player has signed a lifelong contract in the club’s 118 years of history. “He has earned this deal”, said the chairman.

Iniesta arrived at La Masia in the summer of 1996, at the age of 12. Together with Leo Messi, he is the most decorated player in Barça’s history, with a total of 30 titles so far.