Andres Iniesta will take a call on Barcelona future by April

By @saihoops on
Andres Iniesta, Barcelona
Soccer Football - Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg - FC Barcelona vs Chelsea - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - March 14, 2018 Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta in action. Reuters / Lee Smith

Andres Iniesta, one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, has said that he will decide whether to remain at Barcelona or move to a Chinese club before the end of April. The Spanish soccer great has made 433 appearances for Barcelona -- the only club he's ever played for -- since turning pro in 2002.

During Wednesday's second leg UEFA Champions League victory over Chelsea, Iniesta was rushed back from a hamstring injury to start. After the game, Iniesta said he will weigh his options in April before taking a call on his future. According to several Spanish dailies, he could walk from Camp Nou next season.

"It's a decision which you [the press] will find out after the club. I will decide before April 30. It will be the most honest decision for me and for the club. There are still a few weeks left. There are two options: stay at Barcelona or go to China. Nothing has changed from what I said when I renewed my contract," Iniesta told the media after helping his club reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the 11th consecutive year.

Earlier this season, the player signed a rare lifetime contract at Camp Nou, but the terms of the deal allow him to leave Barcelona at the end of each campaign to pursue newer challenges. Iniesta, who turns 34 in May, is still an integral component of Ernesto Valverde's squad. However, the midfielder has often stated that he will not prove to be a hindrance to Barcelona's impeccable youth system.

Will Andres Iniesta return next season?

Iniesta lasted a little over 50 minutes in his first match back from a hamstring injury before being replaced by Brazilian Paulinho. Coach Valverde addressed Iniesta's future at the club during his post-match press conference. 

"I don't know what he will do, it's a very personal decision. He has to decide himself. He will have his reasons and he will decide what's best for him and the club. But right now he's with us and we are not planning for anything other than having him here and living in the present, which means finishing the season well. So, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. I am not thinking about a Barca without Andres because right now we're enjoying having him with us," the coach of Barcelona said via ESPNFC.

Andres Iniesta was an integral member of the Spanish team that won the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In the final against the Netherlands, Iniesta scored a goal in the 116th minute giving Spain their first and only world title. Iniesta was also the star midfielder on the Spanish teams that won the 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships.