Iniesta Ends Barca Career, Messi Grabs Golden Boot

Andres Iniesta (R) handed over the captain’s armband to Lionel Messi.Andres Iniesta (R) handed over the captain’s armband to Lionel Messi.

Andres Iniesta’s illustrious Barcelona career came to an end with a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad at a Camp Nou in celebratory mood on Monday.

The 34-year-old had announced in April that he would leave the Catalan giants at the end of the season – just two days before Ernesto Valverde’s side beat Deportivo La Coruna to confirm a 25th La Liga title, Beinsports reported.

On the last season match, Iniesta demonstrated his abundant repertoire in a dominant first-half display, finding his team-mates with an array of precise and inventive passing, something he has done with distinction since his debut in the 2002-03 season.

The curtain eventually came down on Iniesta’s time with Barca in the 81st minute, the midfielder leaving the field to a rapturous reception and handing over the captain’s armband to Lionel Messi in a symbolic gesture.

Iniesta’s long goodbye finally came to an end nine minutes from time when he was replaced by Paco Alacer, while there was also time for Sociedad to pay tribute to their own legendary midfielder Xabi Prieto, the 34-year-old coming on for the final few minutes ahead of his retirement at the end of the campaign.

 Messi’s Honors

The Argentina international Lionel Messi won two awards after the league-ending match; he claimed the Golden Boot prize after scoring 34 goals in La Liga this season, as well as the La Liga Player of the Season.

Messi also won the Golden Boot award last year, as well as in 2010, 2012 and 2013 and now has the fifth award on his trophy shelf.

His impressive tally came from 32 games and saw him top the charts ahead of Mohamed Salah, who netted 32 goals in a stunning debut season for Liverpool, while Tottenham striker Harry Kane rounded out the top three after plundering 30 goals for his side in the Premier League. Four-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo finished ninth in the rankings after scoring 26 goals for Real Madrid in La Liga.

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