Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta played his last game for the club on Sunday, drawing a close to an illustrious and trophy-laden career with the Catalan giants.
Having spent over two decades at the Nou Camp, initially coming through the youth ranks before being a fundamental figure for the senior side during their most successful era, the 34-year-old is widely regarded by many as a club icon.
However, he will depart this summer and as he left the pitch for the final time as a Barcelona player in the win over Real Sociedad, aside from the obvious emotion involved in such a moment, there was something else that caught the attention of many Barcelona supporters.
As seen in the tweets below, Iniesta passing Lionel Messi the captain’s armband was a symbolic gesture for most, as the Argentine forward will now have the additional responsibility of being one of the most senior players in the squad and will be required to lead them moving forward.
That’s not to suggest that he hasn’t already been doing that, but with previous club stalwarts like Carles Puyol, Xavi and Iniesta no longer around, it will be down to him, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez to now take on that new role and ensure that the Catalan giants don’t slip moving forward while passing on the fundamentals to the next generation and more immediate crop coming through.
Having enjoyed countless memorable moments with Iniesta from superb goals to lifting trophies, Messi will undoubtedly feel his absence next season and beyond.
— Blue – SeAtlien (@Trueblueimages) May 20, 2018
— Sabelo (@Sabelor97) May 20, 2018
— Marcelo (@Luisguigui19) May 20, 2018
Legend never die pic.twitter.com/ULu6wZlUZo
— maimagani Jr (@HarunaA38304229) May 20, 2018
Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi will not play a single second more of football together. Let that sink in…
— Lee Roden (@LeeRoden89) May 20, 2018
El último abrazo entre Iniesta y Messi… ??? pic.twitter.com/pmSQyOltB1
— Joanna Boloña (@joannabolona) May 20, 2018
I know Iniesta is gone but damn Messi is the team captain now ?
— Ahmed (@AhmedAdnan__) May 20, 2018