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'Barcelona will be in my heart forever' says Inistea

Andres Iniesta has been with Barcelona for his entire career. Credit: PA

Andres Iniesta praised the club and fans as he bid an emotional farewell to Barcelona after 22 years at the Nou Camp.

LaLiga champions Barca claimed a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad and it was a fitting finale for the 34-year-old, who lifted the trophy for a ninth time.

Addressing supporters on the pitch after the final whistle, Iniesta said he "leaves as a man", having spent so long playing for the Catalan giants.

"I will move on and carry you all in my heart forever," he said in quotes published on Marca.

"It's been a wonderful 22 years, full of pride, and it's been a pleasure to represent this club.

"I thank you for all the love and respect that you've given me since I arrived as a child, I now leave as a man."

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde felt it was only right to give the midfielder the send-off he deserved by replacing him late in the game with Paco Alcacer.

"We wanted to compete and win, but today was Andres' day and the crowd made it special," Valverde told Barca TV.

"I wanted to change things at the end of the game, to coincide with Leo (Messi) on the field. It was the right moment.

"These types of players will be talked about long into the future.

"They are unrepeatable, historical players that everyone will remember."


Iniesta to leave Barcelona at the end of the season

Andres Iniesta has been with Barcelona for his entire career. Credit: PA

Andres Iniesta has announced he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season.

The Spain international, 33, came through the youth system with the club and turned professional in 2001.

He has enjoyed a glittering career for club and country, and said today: "This is my last season here."

Iniesta's emotional press conference was witnessed by a number of members of the Barca first team.

He has won eight LaLiga titles with the club and four Champions Leagues, and scored the only goal as Spain beat Holland to win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"I want to thank my team-mates," he said.

Iniesta has been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League when his time at Barcelona ends.

Former world number one Djokovic out of Barcelona Open

Djokovic struggled badly on his return to competitive tennis since elbow surgery. Credit: PA

Former world number one Novak Djokovic has suffered another early defeat as Slovakia's Martin Klizan won their second round match at the Barcelona Open.

Djokovic has now won just two of five matches since the Australian Open, where he was beaten by Chung Hyeon, after a 6-2 1-6 6-3 loss at Sabadell on Wednesday. Klizan converted all three of his break-point opportunities to prevail.

After losing to Dominic Thiem of Austria at the Monte Carlo Masters last week, the 30-year-old Serb experienced another defeat ahead of the French Open at Roland Garros, which begins on May 22.

Djokovic suffered early exits at the Miami Open, losing to Frenchman Benoit Paire earlier this month, and last month at Indian Wells, where Japan's Daniel Taro was the victor. He has not reached the last eight of a tournament since Wimbledon 2017 and has struggled with a long-term elbow injury.

Klizan, a qualifier and world number 140, will meet Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-finals after the Spaniard's win over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic on Tuesday.

Top seed Rafael Nadal and second seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria experienced no such problems, but Japan's Kei Nishikori retired after losing the first set to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Nishikori had an issue with his right wrist.

Nadal beat fellow Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-4 to win his 37th and 38th consecutive sets on clay, breaking a record he had jointly held with Ilie Nastase of Romania.

Nadal has now won 15 successive matches on the surface and next plays Garcia-Lopez.


Iniesta could move to China at the end of the season

Credit: PA

Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta says he is contemplating a move to China at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old has spent his entire career at Barca, but admitted a switch is a possibility after returning from a hamstring injury in Wednesday night's 3-0 win over Chelsea at the Nou Camp.

"Before April 30 I have to make the decision whether I'm still in Barcelona or I'm going to China, I have to assess what is best for me and for the club," Iniesta said.

Iniesta has a "lifetime contract" with Barca as a reward for his years of exceptional service.

Barca are in the Champions League quarter-finals for a record-extending 11th successive season after a 4-1 aggregate win over Chelsea.

Iniesta has won the Champions League four times and is poised to win a ninth LaLiga title this season.

He won the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

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