Andres Iniesta isn't leaving Camp Nou ever after securing his future with the only club he's ever known.
Barcelona has confirmed that club captain and Camp Nou living legend Andres Iniesta has agreed a new 'lifetime contract,' committing himself to the club for the remainder of his career.
Iniesta's existing contract had been due to expire at the end of the current season, leading to speculation that he could wind down his career elsewhere.
The likes of Juventus and Inter Milan were rumored as possible destinations, but the 33-year-old has come to an agreement with Barça instead.
Iniesta, a player noted for his shyness when he first arrived at Barça's famed La Masia academy in 1996, was handed a first-team debut by Louis van Gaal during the 2002/03 campaign.
He was playing regularly by the time of the 2004/05 season and went on to win the first of eight La Liga titles to date that year. The following season, Iniesta was a Champions League winner for the first time - he has now has four in his enormous medal collection.
On the international stage, Iniesta made his debut for Spain in 2006 and was later a member of the all-conquering squad that won Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 either side of the 2010 World Cup.
“The 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. This is a reward for Andrés’ exceptional career,” Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said in a statement. "The younger players in the squad always say that they see him as their role model – and that’s not just because of the way he plays but also because of the behavior that has put him where he is today."
Added Iniesta: “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. It makes me very happy to know that the club has given me this opportunity. I have always been convinced of my love for Barça and I know that I could never be anywhere better then here.
“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. Not just being here but also to feel that I will always be able to continue doing important things for this team, I am so pleased with the way things have worked out, and right now I can see myself continuing to play football.”