Andres Iniesta signs "lifetime" Barcelona deal

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One to shun the spotlight, Iniesta tends to do his talking on the pitch as a fundamental figure in Barca's most successful ever era.

"It's simply that things have to run their natural course, you have to talk to find common ground and beyond that we just try to take care of things and be positive".

But the 33-year-old Spanish worldwide has now disappointed clubs like Chelsea, Juventus, Inter Milan who have been monitoring his progress at Barcelona.

Amid all of that, a terrorist attack in the city centre rocked the club and the violence by Spanish police against Catalan citizens in an attempt to halt Sunday's independence vote brought Barca back into the eye of another whirlwind, as the board made a decision to play their Liga fixture against Las Palmas behind closed doors.

Only Xavi Hernández has had more appearances, with 767.

"He is unique, we can't live without him and I think the club thinks the same way".

Captain Andres Iniesta became the first player to sign a contract for life with Barcelona on Friday, ending speculation he could leave the club where he has spent his entire career.

At the start of the season Iniesta felt unsure of the direction the club was going in under Bartomeu's and he was also reluctant to sign a lucrative new deal and then not be able to produce for the team on the pitch. "It's where I have grown and developed", Iniesta said at a press conference after signing the contract. "There was never really a problem between the club and me". I hope that won't be for a very long time.

Iniesta signed in Barcelona at the age of 12 in 1996, and six years later made his debut in the first team.

Iniesta has played for Barcelona in more than 600 matches, having won four Champions League titles and eight La Liga titles. "It's true that time is against me and I am closer to hanging up my boots, but one thing I have clear is that I will be involved in football, I don't know how, but I will be related to football".

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