Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta signs new 'lifetime contract' at the Nou Camp

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Iniesta is the only player at Barcelona who can match Messi's haul of 30 trophies with the club.

"This is the club where I grew up and evolved and I feel privileged to be its captain".

The club president explained Iniesta started "an era of winning in 2003 and until now has offered balance in the side, and while many players have changed, he always adds the balance".

On Friday morning at Barcelona's club shop, a special shirt was printed that would be paraded at a special news conference.

Andres Iniesta has signed a contract "for life" at Barcelona, the Catalan giants has confirmed.

The 33-year-old's previous deal at Camp Nou had been due to expire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, and it had been suggested that the Spaniard could move on next summer.

One thing it will not mean is that Iniesta, now 33, will hang around until he's almost 40, picking up a paycheque and making the odd appearance in meaningless Copa del Rey fixtures. Earlier this summer, Iniesta had sent the Blaugrana's devout fans into a anxious frenzy after publicly admitting that he was having second thoughts about signing a new deal.

He joined the club in September 1996 at the age of 12 and has scored 55 goals after making his first-team debut in October 2002. The truly, sincerely nutty thing about the "war minus the shooting" characterisation of football, for which this column has gently needled Orwell a few times, is this: no matter which side you are on, the other guys believe it too.

The 33-year-old has signed a new deal to stay on at the Nou Camp - the club announced it is a deal "for life". They are followed by Lionel Messi, whose streak stands at 594. Either way, this is wonderful PR for the club and the fans are delighted.

This is a reward for Andrés' exceptional career.

"The Spanish midfielder, who has made 639 appearances for Barca, ranks second on the all-time games played list at the club".

What exactly is a "lifetime contract"?

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