The most remarkable thing about Iniesta has been his consistency, his ability to affect nearly every game from long-forgotten wins against the likes of Getafe, Alaves, Leganes and Levante to Barcelona's most high-profile clashes in the Champions League.
Iniesta has won a flurry of trophies with Barcelona.
He clinched three UEFA Super Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cup titles with 57 goals from 669 appearances in all competitions for the club.
"This press conference is to communicate that this will be my last season at Barcelona", Iniesta said.
"I have spent all my life here at this club and it is not easy to leave", Iniesta said after fighting back tears and regaining his composure.
"There are things to talk about, things to finalise", Iniesta said.
"I need to thank him because he helped me to understand the game better - just watching him, what he does on the football pitch". "I have thought my decision through for a long time".
BC-SOC-Barcelona-Iniesta's Legacy, 866Iniesta exit deprives Barca of humble star who kept winningAP Photo TH103, TH105, EM106, EM102Eds: With AP Photos.
Iniesta during the press conference | Reuters
Meanwhile, Iniesta has played 125 times for Spain, winning the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and, of course, the 2010 World Cup.
Iniesta has since become a shareholder at the club, who responded to news of his departure from the Camp Nou by posting an old registration document from his time as one of their youth players. "Barca has given me everything".
"It's been an honour and a privilege to play in so many games with Messi because there is no-one quite like him".
Will he still play at the World Cup? .
"I'd like to be remembered for being a great footballer and a great person", Iniesta added. He went on to form a dominant midfield pairing with Xavi Hernandez under the orders of Pep Guardiola, and has become team captain.
Barcelona will never forget you, Iniesta. Not only because he is a great player but because he is an excellent human being.
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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