Manchester City coach, Pep Guardiola has paid tribute to his former Barcelona teammate and player, Andres Iniesta who announced on Friday that he will be departing the club at the end of this season.
The City coach spoke highly of the midfielder, with whom he played and then went on to manage during a hugely successful period for the Catalan club. Such success, the Manchester City boss believes, would not have been possible without Iniesta.
He said, “I think he’s a part of the history Barcelona have left in the last 15-20 years that would not have been possible without him,’ Guardiola said. ‘I just can say thank you, he helped me.
‘People think the manager helps the players but in a few cases, Andres is one of them, he helped me to understand the game better. Just watching him, what he does on the football pitch. The number of tackles he won, the way he played, the example for the way to be a professional on and off the pitch.
“All the best for the future. When he decides to retire, hopefully (after) one decade more, he can come back into football, Barcelona especially, to teach the young players or even professional players on the pitch“
“I’m sure he will be remembered and I think that’s a lot, talking about football.’
Iniesta ruled out a move to Europe, with a lucrative switch to China beckoning. Whenever he decides to call it a day, however, Guardiola hopes La Masia are ready and waiting with a coaching contract for him“, he added.