Andres Iniesta agrees lifetime contract at Barcelona following months of speculation

Along with five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Iniesta is Barca's most decorated player having won 30 trophies at club level, including eight Primera Liga titles and four Uefa Champions Leagues.

"This is the club where I grew up and evolved and I feel privileged to be its captain". To most people around the world, uninterested and unused to European politics, Barca isn't just a symbol of Catalan separatism, but the primary vehicle of it. People who didn't know who the mayor of Barcelona was until last weekend, or who have never cracked open Homage to Catalonia, have long known where "Més que un club" - more than a club - comes from. "It isn't my way of doing things", said Iniesta. "It is a very special day for me as it allows me to continue dreaming".

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has previously claimed that an agreement has been reached with Messi and that they only need their superstar forward to sign the contract.

"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.

Iniesta, 33, has been at Barcelona since he was 12 years old, making his professional debut in 2002.

Iniesta has previously tended to do his talking on the field as a fundamental figure in Barca's most successful ever era.

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"We are "More than a Club" and it is precisely because of that that we feel that it is our duty to stand by our people, under such hard circumstances as those that are being experienced right now".

Iniesta has recovered a leading role in Barcelona's midfield under new manager Ernesto Valverde in the opening part of the season.

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. Either way, this is wonderful PR for the club and the fans are delighted.

The Barcelona captain is now second on the all-time appearance list for the club, trailing only former midfield partner Xavi.

Coming back from global duty where Iniesta had been outstanding in Spain's 3-0 win over Italy and their 8-0 win over Liechtenstein the player was asked if it was true he had agreed in principal to sign a new deal and his reply was a very clear "no".

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