– Barcelona were held to 2-2 draw bt Real Madrid at the Camp Nou in Andres Iniesta last derby against Real Madrid
– The 33-year-old was substituted in the second half of the fixture and he was spotted telling Messi he loves him as he made his way out of the pitch
– Meanwhile, the Catalan club remain unbeaten in the Spanish League this season with just three matches to wrap up the championship
Andres Iniesta featured in his last El Clasico for Barcelona in their 2-2 draw against Real Madrid on Sunday, May 6, at the Camp Nou.
Luiz Suarez and Lionel Messi scored for the hosts while Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale ensured Los Blancos avoided their sixth defeat of the season.
Meanwhile, the 33-year-old midfielder, who was substituted in the 57th minute of the meeting handed his captain’s armband to the Argentine forward before leaving the pitch for Brazil’s Paulinho.
And while handing the mantle of leadership to his second in command as far as the Catalan team is concerned, both of them embraced compassionately and the outgoing captain was said to have told his teammate he loves him according to ESPN.
Reports in Spain initially claimed what the two said to themselves wasn’t clear before Iniesta headed for the home dugout while he was given a standing ovation by the his mates and the fans.
However, ESPN claim the Spaniard said: “Here Leo, I love you so much.”
Before the crunch game against their bitter rival, the Spaniard had announced he will be leaving Barcelona at the end of the season in an emotional press conference.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, admits that seeing the attacker leave Barca is heartbreaking, adding that he is more than just a Barcelona player.
“It is difficult because if you like football, seeing a player like him leave is tough,’“said the Real Madrid boss after the game.
“I don’t think of him as a Barcelona player. I see him simply as a football player.
“I’ve come across him two or three times and he is a charming, very reserved man and I like players who can do everything on the field but are that calm off it.
“I only have good words for him, admiration for his football and I wish him the best as a player for the future but above all, as a person.
“We’re talking about someone who made everyone dream and he deserved to win the Ballon d’Or, especially in the year he won the World Cup. It was clear then that he deserved it.“
Both Messi and Iniesta have played 14 years together at the Camp Nou and they have both won four Champions League titles in their career lifespan.
Meanwhile, the midfielder has won eight La Liga titles, six Copa Del Reys and seven Spanish Super Cups during his 16-year reign at the Camp Nou.
He also clinched three UEFA Super Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cup titles with 57 goals from 669 appearances in all competitions for the club.
The attacker had 125 caps for the Spainish national team and will be representing his country for the last time at the World Cup this summer.
He won the 2010 World Cup, Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 – on top of four Champions Leagues and eight La Liga titles – set to be nine – and multiple other trophies for Barcelona.
Barca, who have five games left before Iniesta leaves, will wrap up the Spanish title if they win Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday, April 29.
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