5 players who are likely to retire at Barcelona
The Catalan club has always been the one to linked with terminologies like loyalty and home-grown talents. From the Cruyff's ideology of the La Masia system, which has contributed to the majority of Barcelona's recent success to the values associated with the club. Mes Que Un Club, as the club motto reads is the perfect microcosm of what the world and Barcelona fans, in particular, feel about the Sporting Institution, which is much more than just a Sporting Institution.
From chanting in what is their certainly their cathedral of modern art, the Camp Nou, Europe's biggest stadium, to defending the club's values and spirit all over Europe, fans have witnessed some of the finest football being played over the green grass in the historic stadium, and a lot of legendary players have left their mark in the glorious history of the club. Although not a lot of players have spent all of their sporting careers at Barcelona, a majority of them have delivered in their peak for the Cules, who are likely to bid farewell a few more modern legends in the near future.
Let's look at a few players who are set to spend all of what remains in their career at the Catalan club:
#1 Andres Iniesta
Certainly one player likely to end his career at the Nou Camp, the Artist signed a lifetime contract with his boyhood club this summer. The summer of 2017 was a turbulent one for Barcelona fans, as they could be in for a huge loss in the form of Iniesta, who was highly linked with a move to Juventus. To add to the pain, a terrible performance in the transfer window lead to the fans collaborating against the board's incompetence but Iniesta's renewal came out of nothing, easing the pressure from the under-fire board and giving a news that fans wanted to hear for a long time.
Iniesta has spent all his life at the Catalan capital and was at the helm of the club's most successful run under Pep Guardiola. Part of a formidable midfield duo with compatriot Xavi Hernandez, Iniesta has been the part of so much at the Nou Camp. A mentor for the La Masia graduates and a father-figure in the dressing room, age certainly doesn't take its toll on the little don, as they call him in Spain.
One of the finest midfielders of all time, the Spaniard contributes massively to the Barcelona game-plan. Not only known for his amazing passing skills but also his dribbling skills and calmness on the ball, the Blaugrana Captain certainly brings with him the fan's affection wherever he goes. While the idea of Iniesta's retirement haunts everyone linked with the game, it is sad to accept the fact that we are witnessing what may be the last few seasons of magic from the magician.
"You (Xavi) will retire me, but this kid (Iniesta) will retire us (Pep and Xavi) both." - Pep Guardiola in a La Masia training session after watching Iniesta play
While Xavi has made his future plans of managing Barcelona clear, Iniesta's unmatched understanding of the game and the affection he receives from the fans could be reasons for the midfielder to stay linked with the club of his life. Like many players have done in the past, Iniesta could stick with Barcelona even after his retirement by taking up a managerial post.