Andres Iniesta Tells Lionel Messi That He Loves Him As He Leaves Pitch
Andres Iniesta will leave Barcelona at the end of the season, after 17 years unbelievable years at the side.
He played his last El Classico over the weekend, a game that finished 2-2. The result means that Barca are on course to win this season's La Liga without losing a game. They are a team that just seem to keep on breaking records and taking everyone by surprise with their talent. Where they have dropped off in Europe, they have taken over in Spain.
But the focus was on Iniesta during their encounter with Los Blancos. The midfielder was subbed during the second half and he handed the captain's armband to Lionel Messi, a player who has been playing with Iniesta for 14 years at the highest level, someone that, after all those years, has seemed to have built a telepathic relationship with the Spaniard.
During the exchange, though, Iniesta was caught on camera delivering Messi a heartfelt message. It was spotted by one hawk-eyed social media user and translated from Spanish.
He said. " Here, Leo. I love you so much."
The prospect of the two never playing again is, indeed, sad. We will be left with the archive of beautiful football those two played to cherish, rather than looking forward to any more moments of magic in the future. It feels that it's the beginning of the end for the Barca we know, their tika-taka, their domination. Their impact has been unprecedented, revolutionary, but will not be forgotten.
But it's something more than the 'beauty' or aesthetics of football with Iniesta. It's not only his great talent that will be missed, it's his sensibility, his likeable nature. Many of those characteristics are few and far between nowadays.
He is Barca's centrepiece, their core. He somehow has always flown under the radar in comparisons to the world's best. Probably because always just under ten yards ahead of him was Messi. Next season without him will surely highlight his importance to Barcelona. How could they ever find a replacement?
Who could they replace him with? Give us your suggests in the comments section.