Iniesta agrees on first 'lifetime' contract at Barca

The European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt in Belfast at the start of a two day fact-finding mission

The European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt in Belfast at the start of a two day fact-finding mission

"It makes me very happy that my club has given me this chance".

"I don't like to speculate of what will happen in the future", Iniesta said during the press conference.

"I have so much sentiment and love for this club, this is my home, the best place I could hope to be at".

"Iniesta signed a lifetime contract with FC Barcelona on Friday, in a deal that will keep him at the club for the rest of his career", Barca said in a statement. The truly, sincerely nutty thing about the "war minus the shooting" characterisation of football, for which this column has gently needled Orwell a couple of times, is this: no matter which side you are on, the other guys believe it too.

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Iniesta has recovered a leading role in Barcelona's midfield under new manager Ernesto Valverde in the opening part of the season.

Iniesta has previously tended to do his talking on the field as a fundamental figure in Barca's most successful ever era.

The midfielder's contract was due to expire next summer and he had expressed doubts about whether he would continue at the Camp Nou beyond then. Following a failed vote of no confidence against the board, uncertainty around Lionel Messi's contract renewal and resignations over the decision to play Sunday's game against Las Palmas in an empty stadium, they needed a PR win.

Iniesta, 33, has been at Barcelona since he was 12 years old, making his professional debut in 2002.

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Josep Maria Bartomeu delivered some good news to Barcelona fans on Friday.

Iniesta, who has captained the Spanish club since 2015, has already made eight appearances for Barcelona in all competitions this season. "I'll be the first to know when it's over".

Barca has made a brilliant start to La-Liga, winning all seven of its league matches.

After a short speech to the media, the president presented Iniesta with a jersey with the number 8 on it that read, "A. Iniesta Forever" before the Barca and Spain legend signed the shirt.

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