30 April, 2018
But he will also be remembered as the humble Galactico, nearly the anti-star, who spurned the bling and trappings of the modern football hero for the life of a quiet family man away from the media glare.
But respect deserves to be given to him even there, for when asked by reporters about his future destination, he had this to say: "I have said I will never play against Barca, so I won't play in Europe".
Last year, Iniesta became the first player to sign a lifetime contract with Barcelona, a deal that allowed him to keep playing for the club as long as he remained fit. For me, Barça is the best club in the world-this club has given me everything.
Born in the village of Fuentealbilla in Albacete province, Iniesta moved to Barcelona's youth academy in 1996, aged 12.
A glorious farewell with the Spanish national team is also possible at the World Cup this summer, after which Iniesta is expected to call time on an global career that has included winning the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, between consecutive successes at the European Championships in 2008 and 2012.
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He would not be short of suitors this summer among the world's elite clubs but Iniesta said he will leave Europe.
Iniesta never won the Ballon d'Or for the world's best player.
"I don't see him as a Barcelona player but a football man", the Frenchman said of Iniesta's announcement.
"I want to say thank you to the club and La Masia, which made me who I am".
The 33-year-old footballer made his official debut for Barca in 2002, and since then he has recorded 435 matches for the team, winning all the possible trophies at the club level. "Because when our football days are over, that's all we are - people".
'Andrés, you knew it in Barcelona and you will always know it wherever you go, here you always have your card, ' the message in the tweet reads.
France Football, the magazine behind the award, recognized that Iniesta had deserved to win in an editorial published this week by director Pascal Ferre entitled "Sorry, Andres".