Iniesta's emotional press conference was witnessed by a number of members of the Barca first team.
The midfielder was in tears during the announcement, which was attended by his Barcelona team-mates. "I'm nearly 34, I've left everything out on the field, I've given everything to the club, and if I couldn't give everything up to now, I wouldn't be happy".
Andres Iniesta, a legend of world football and a benchmark for Barcelona, today confirmed his departure from the Catalan club. But that's all about to change at the end of the season. "The people believes the manager had the players but he helped me to understand the game better".
"I spoke to a lot of people - players, coaches - and I know what they want, but I tried to be honest with myself and the club".
Iniesta, who turns 34 on May 11, said that he intends to continue playing but did not reveal what his next club will be.More news: Broncos introduce first-round pick Bradley Chubb
Having made his debut with the first team in the 2002-03 season, Iniesta has written himself into Barca folklore and will go down among their finest players ever. He is pulling off the Barcelona jersey for good at the end of the season; the task of Barcelona's next No.8 is a very daunting one because of the big-sized boots being left behind.
Local media reported that the Spain midfielder will be signing a lucrative contract with a club in the Chinese league.
But both Messi and Luis Suarez were notably absent due to "personal reasons".
Iniesta has won 31 different trophies with Barcelona, including four Champions League titles.
"My admiration is not only in the field, I admire you for the great person you are and could know".
"Iniesta is the most important player of this winning era that started in 2004", Bartomeu told Cadena SER radio on Thursday. "He deserves our respect".More news: Indian court calls for fair trial in murder case
The loss of Iniesta is a blow to the entire Spanish league.
The midfielder has won two European Championships with his country as well as a World Cup winner's medal in 2010, scoring the victor in extra-time in the final against the Netherlands. He is often applauded by opposing fans when substituted on the road. It's a very hard day for me.
"On the pitch I like him to be near me, particularly when a game takes a turn for the worse, when things get hard".
Iniesta was beaten to the Ballon d´Or by Lionel Messi in 2010, despite clinching the World Cup that year with Spain, and scoring the decisive goal against Holland in the final. That will likely be his last chance to add to his glorious career with the national side. He will bid his final farewell at home on May 20 against Real Sociedad. I would like to thank my team-mates and everyone who accompanied me every day, they made me be better.
"I will take your love with me in my heart".More news: Nominee withdraws but remains White House doctor
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