Barca legend Iniesta given fitting send-off

Andres Iniesta played his final game for Barcelona on Sunday as the Spanish champions earned a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad to give their midfield general a victorious finale.

Iniesta made his 674th appearance for the Catalan giants and was given a fitting send-off as the occasion turned into a giant party, the crowd welcoming him with a huge mural before kickoff.

The 34-year old captained the side for the match, and was substituted in the 81st minute to an emotional farewell from the crowd as he left the pitch in tears.

After the match had finished there was a light show inside the stadium as the Barcelona players emerged wearing Iniesta shirts to make a guard of honour for the Barca legend.

Iniesta then appeared to raise the La Liga and Copa del Rey trophies as the team celebrated completing the double, Iniesta’s fourth.

“This is a difficult day, but I have spent 22 marvellous years here,” he said. “It’s been a pride and a pleasure to defend and represent this badge, which for me is the best in the world.

“Thanks to all my team-mates, each and every one. I will miss you all so much. And thank you to the fans, for all your love, everything you’ve made me feel since I arrived here as a boy. I leave as a man. I will keep you in my heart forever.”

Iniesta joined Barcelona as a 12-year old and spent 22 years at the club. Only his former central midfield partner Xavi has made more appearances for the club with 767.

During his time with Barca he won nine La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups and the Copa del Rey six times.

Iniesta is yet to decide where he will play next, with rumours circulating he could head to Japan or even the Chinese Super League.

Earlier in Madrid, Fernando Torres also brought the curtain down on his career with his first club as he made his final appearance for Atletico Madrid.

Torres, who scored Spain’s winner in the Euro 2008 final, cried profusely during a pre-match ceremony at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

The 34-year old marked his final game for the club in the best way, netting both goals in a 2-2 draw with Eibar.