Barcelona confirm 'lifetime' contract for star midfielder Andres Iniesta

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Iniesta is the only player at Barcelona who can match Messi's haul of 30 trophies with the club. "I'm thinking about having fun and continuing to have glory with this club".

"The signing was followed by a press conference, where a beaming Bartomeu told listeners that "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. I want to be here because I'm important; because I am relevant to the club, the team and my teammates".

"It makes me very happy to know that the club has given me this opportunity".

In what we assume must surely be some sort of first, Andres Iniesta has signed a new "lifetime" contract with Barcelona. However, the new deal will keep him at Barcelona for the rest of his career.

"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".

He joined the club in September 1996 at the age of 12 and has scored 55 goals after making his first-team debut in October 2002.

"Everyone can understand that someone who is 33 might start to consider things but I never thought "I'm leaving", it was more a question of weighing things up", Iniesta said when asked why agreeing a new contract had taken so long. Following a failed vote of no confidence against the board, uncertainty around Lionel Messi's contract renewal and resignations over the decision to play Sunday's game against Las Palmas in an empty stadium, they needed a PR win.

Josep Maria Bartomeu delivered some good news to Barcelona fans on Friday.

Iniesta joined Barcelona as a 12-year-old and has gone on to make almost 650 first-team appearances - only Xavi Hernandez has played more games for the club ahead of him.

After a short speech to the media, the president presented Iniesta with a jersey with the number 8 on it that read, "A. Iniesta Forever" before the Barca and Spain legend signed the shirt.

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