Andres Iniesta: An exemplary role model for La Masia graduates to look up to in Barcelona

Andres Iniesta is, with the obvious exception of Lionel Messi, perhaps the most influential La Masia graduate ever. His inspiring vision, ability to constantly improve the performances of those around him and unlimited creativity make Don Andres a truly outstanding player that will be forever admired not only by Cules, but also by rival fans who truly love the game of football.

Deservedly, Iniesta recently earned a life-time contract at Barcelona. Having defended the Blaugrana colours for over 20 seasons, and counting, it is certainly fitting for club directors to grant Iniesta his admirable wish of hanging up his boots at the Camp Nou -- joining legends such as Carles Puyol, Ryan Giggs or Francesco Totti in the very select 'One-Club Men' group in European football.

Being 33 years of age and having suffered ongoing injuries in recent season, it is perhaps understandable to argue that Iniesta's best years are now behind him and that Barca followed their hearts rather than their heads when renewing the Spanish international's contract.

However, such analysis would overlook the fact that Iniesta still has plenty to offer both on and off the pitch. A regular fixture in Ernesto Valverde's starting lineup, it will certainly take a potential successor a huge amount of effort and consistently superb performances to change the manager's mind. In addition, and as has been the case for over a decade, Don Andres will continue to provide an admirable role model for youngsters to look up to and seek advice from until that dreaded moment in which he decides to leave Barcelona for good.

We looked back at Iniesta's career, achievements and future challenges here:

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