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Lionel Messi Posts Heartfelt Instagram Tribute to Andres Iniesta


Lionel Messi has posted a heartfelt tribute to his teammate Andres Iniesta on his Instagram page, after the midfielder announced he is to leave Barcelona at the end of the season.

The legendary playmaker has spent 22 years at Camp Nou and is widely regarded as one of the finest midfielders of all time, having lifted an incredible 31 trophies with Barcelona - soon to be 32 with Barça set to secure La Liga title.

Iniesta confirmed on Friday this week that he has decided to leave his boyhood club at the end of the season, with many reports linking him to a move to the Chinese Super League.

When asked by BBC Sport about where he will be playing his football next season, the 2010 World Cup winner refused to leak any information, although admitted he never wants to play against Barcelona - which would support the idea of moving abroad to China. 

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He said: "I said I would never play against Barça so it is not going to be in Europe. We will know at the end of the season - there are still things to talk about."

While we wait to find what his next step is, the tributes to the midfield maestro have been pouring in across the footballing world, with one of most notable coming from his teammate Messi. 

The pair are set to finish their 14th season together as members of the Barcelona first team in what has been a dominant era for the two superstars.

Messi took to his Instagram page to post a tribute to Iniesta, which reads: "Andrés, thanks for all these years of football, It was a privilege to enjoy this sport by your side and spend so many unforgettable moments together. I wish you the best in this new stage, in sports and life. You are a phenomenon, on and off the field. Without a doubt, we will miss you!"

Barcelona have five games remaining this season, and will secure La Liga title with a draw against Deportivo la Coruña on Sunday. Another title would be a fitting way to send off a man who helped turn Barcelona into one of the greatest teams of all time.