Barca boss Valverde salutes departing Iniesta

Andres Iniesta's long goodbye to Barcelona came to an end against Real Sociedad, leaving Ernesto Valverde to hail his "historic" player.

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta   -  Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde has paid tribute to the departing Andres Iniesta after he played his last game for Barcelona in Sunday's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.

With the LaLiga title already secured, the focus was shifted to 34-year-old Iniesta with an emotional Camp Nou paying tribute to one of their finest ever players.

The curtain eventually came down on Iniesta's Barca career in the 81st minute, the midfielder leaving the field to a rapturous reception and handing over the captain's armband to Lionel Messi in a symbolic gesture.

After the game, Barca boss Valverde described the World Cup winner as an historic player.

"We wanted to compete and win, but today was Andres' day and the crowd made it special," he told Barca TV.

"I wanted to change things at the end of the game, to coincide with Leo on the field. It was the right moment.

"These types of players will be talked about long into the future.

"They are unrepeatable, historical players that everyone will remember."

Iniesta has still not confirmed his next destination, with the Spain international linked with a move to Japanese club Vissel Kobe.

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