Andres Iniesta has confirmed he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season after 22 years associated with the club.
Struggling to hold back the tears, Iniesta said: “I understand that in the near future I will not be able to give the best of myself in all senses, both physically and mentally.
Barcelona confirm 'lifetime' contract for star midfielder Andres Iniesta
"The Spanish midfielder, who has made 639 appearances for Barça, ranks second on the all-time games played list at the Club. He has scored 55 goals for the first team, for which he debuted on October 29th, 2002.
"Since 2015 Iniesta has been the team's first captain, and is one of the Club's most distinguished symbols. The 33-year-old midfielder joined the Club in September 1996, at the age of 12. Iniesta and Leo Messi share the record for the most titles in Barça history, with 32."
Iniesta decided to leave Barcelona after 22 seasons with the club, winning an extraordinary nine La Liga titles and lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy four times. two European Championships, He also won the 2010 World Cup with Spain in 2010.
It was widely reported across Spain that the FIFA World Cup winner would be heading to China to join Chongqing on a three-year deal, worth €81 million (A$129 million).
However, Barcelona sports website Sport is reporting that Australia, along with Japan, are 'tempting' Iniesta.
"The lack of an agreement with Chongqing has led Iniesta to study new horizons with Australia as the preferred destination," journalist Jordi Gil writes.