Andres Iniesta and Barcelona Officially Agree to New Contract

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2013

GETAFE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 22:  Andres Iniesta of FC Barcelona in action during the La Liga match between Getafe CF and FC Barcelona at Coliseum Alfonso Perez on December 22, 2013 in Getafe, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Andres Iniesta has officially committed his future to Barcelona and signed a new long-term contract that will keep him at the Camp Nou until June 2018, per the club's official website:

The Spanish legend was expected to ink a new deal before Christmas and will be pleased to confirm his Catalonia stay until the age of 34, providing he continues to play a certain amount of matches in 2017-18, per the official report:

On Monday [Dec. 23, 2013] at midday, Andres Iniesta signed a new contract binding him to FC Barcelona until June 30, 2018.


From 2017/18, his contract will be automatically extended provided he has appeared in a certain number of matches over the course of the season just ended.

Although his future was never in serious doubt, Iniesta's decision to confirm a new contract has ended speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United, per Charles Reynolds of The Independent.

United fans should at least be thankful they won't experience a month of false rumours regarding the 29-year-old and can expect David Moyes to outline alternative targets as he looks to strengthen the Premier League club's midfield.

Iniesta remains an important player for La Blaugrana and has made 22 appearances across La Liga and the Champions League this season, per

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 26:  Christian Poulsen of Ajax and Andres Iniesta of Barcelona battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona at Amsterdam Arena on November 26, 2013 in Amsterda
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

He has scored one goal and provided three assists in that time, numbers that have perhaps suffered under Gerardo Martino's willingness to rotate the squad's major stars.

Having joined Barcelona as a 12-year-old prospect in 1996, few would have predicted the success Iniesta would help to achieve for both club and country.

His six La Liga titles and three Champions League wins headline a career that has also seen him score the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final and capture Euro 2012 with Spain.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 23:  Andres Iniesta of FC Barcelona is brought down by Fran Rico of Granada CF for a penalty during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Granda CF at Camp Nou on November 23, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ram
David Ramos/Getty Images

In the same year, Iniesta was named European Player of the Year for his continued quality and production of era-defining moments.

As noted by Sky Sports pundit and La Liga expert Graham Hunter, Iniesta could go on to become a future captain at the elite club.

Although many of Barcelona's old guard are entering the twilight of their careers, it's important to maintain individuals such as Iniesta.

He will remain a key figure as the club enters a transitional phase and can be expected to grab further glory during the remainder of his career.