Not too long ago, Xavi Hernandez ended his relationship with Barcelona which spanned for over 15 years as the Spanish midfielder joined the Qatari club Al Sadd on 2015.
For some time now, it has been rumored and believed that Andres Iniesta would follow the footsteps of Xavi Hernandez and also join Al Sadd or another club overseas but Andres Iniesta has denied all those claims as he has recently unveiled his intentions to retire in Camp Nou.
Andres Iniesta is 33 years old and he has a contract with Barcelona which extends until June of 2018. From the looks of it, Iniesta not only wants to completely fulfill what his contract has stated but maybe even go beyond that as the 2010 FIFA World Cup winner wants to continue playing at a high level for a few more years.
¨I have always said I would like to retire at Barcelona. It is the club I have been at since I was 12. I still have years left to play at the highest level so it is too early to decide my future, but Barcelona is where I want to be and hope to be for a long time¨ Barcelona´s Andres Iniesta said.
Even though Andres Iniesta himself has revealed his desire to continue with Barcelona, ultimately the decision of whether or not he gets to perform is up to the decision of the recently selected manager Ernesto Valverde.
Age is an important factor to take into consideration when it comes to keeping hold of a player or letting them go and considering that Andres Iniesta is 33 years old, he is very likely entering the final stages of his professional career.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Iniesta is one of the most talented players of the last decade but age is an element which can affect the playing quality of everyone and it has certainly hampered Iniesta in a few ways.
During La Liga season of 2012-13, Andres Iniesta was able to make 16 assists and scored 3 goals, this was over 5 years ago. Taking a look at the latest season of the Spanish League and Iniesta has not been able to make such a big impact as some time ago.
In the recently concluded season of 2016-17, Iniesta could only provide his teammates with 3 assists and scored 0 goals. Age might not be the only reason of this drop as there are many other factors to take into consideration but it´s clear that the veteran midfielder does not have the influence of years ago when he was dominating the pitch.
Fortunately for the veteran midfielder, Valverde is a huge fan of Andres Iniesta and even though he has dropped his form in terms of assists and goal-scoring prowess, Valverde wants to continue having Andres Iniesta in his team as the 53 year old coach made it clear that Iniesta is in his plans for the long term.
From the looks of it, the future of Andres Iniesta is tightly secured in Camp Nou and nowhere else.