Potential Russian swansong for Iniesta as China draws closer


Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona and Spain midfield star Andres Iniesta has indicated this summer’s World Cup in Russia could signal his international swansong.

Iniesta, 33, also hinted he could finally be lured from a rarely-seen ‘contract for life’ with the Spanish league giants, signed last year, to cap his sparkling club career with a stint in China’s Super League.

“At the moment, given my age, it could be my last international appearance,” Iniesta told Radio Cadena Ser Thursday when asked about the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15.

“It’s quite similar to what could happen to me at club level. I don’t want to be there just to make up the numbers, I don’t need to be there (at Barcelona and Spain) just so I can say I’m there.”

Iniesta, considered one of world’s greatest creative midfielders, has been increasingly linked with a move to China despite signing a deal with Barcelona last autumn that effectively allowed him to decide when he would finish his career with the Catalan giants.

The diminutive playmaker said his physical condition could decide his Barcelona future for him, adding: “If I remain it will be because I feel 200% in virtually every department. And if I don’t (stay), it will be because I don’t feel myself capable.”

Iniesta, a 2010 World Cup winner who helped steer Barca to four Champions League titles between 2006-2015, is expected to declare his future intentions to Barcelona by a deadline of April 30.

He added: “It’s something that has to happen sooner or later, I haven’t decided yet.”

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