Xavi will leave the La Liga champions to join Qatari??side Al Sadd??this summer after 17 seasons, in which he has picked up a Spanish record 24 trophies.
If Barcelona lift the Champions League trophy in Berlin it will be the fourth time Xavi has won the competition, and Iniesta wants his Spanish team-mate to leave on a high. ?? ?? ?? ????
“He is the number one for me and it has been great to have him as a colleague and also a friend throughout my career,” Iniesta said.
“It has been a great season for a unique player like Xavi and hopefully it will be the perfect ending for him and the team if he lifts the Champions League.
“We will try to make sure the image of Xavi lifting the trophy is a reality. It is an added motivation for a game that does not need more.”
Xavi’s impact on the team has diminished this season due to his age and the realisation of coach Luis Enrique that he needed to freshen up the team with new blood and a different approach.
He has still played an important role as a leader, but the side has developed a more direct style of play that has been propelled by the attack of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez rather than an intricate midfield passing game.
Similarly at Juventus, Andrea Pirlo, one of the most gifted and graceful midfielders of his generation, is coming towards the end of his career, and Iniesta acknowledges that the Italian has also been one of the greats.
“The clubs where he has played as well as the role that he had at them and the style of his play show that he is world class and a reference for all people who watch football,” said Iniesta.
“He symbolises good play and we will have to be careful that he doesn’t have much of the ball because he can cause us a lot of problems.”